Looking back at the Seawolves’ fall semester

OvertimeWith the fall semester coming to an end, it’s time to reflect. Join me as I travel back and reminisce about the most memorable and entertaining highlights the Seawolf athletes had over the last four months.

 

Men and women show out at Shootout

Those who didn’t make the games (so, almost everyone) won’t understand why I’m praising the men’s team. They lost three straight, going against the precedent they’ve recently set of not leaving the Shootout winless.

I guess you had to have been there. You missed Travis Thompson and Kyle Fossman putting a combined 10 three pointers on Denver. You were funneling gravy down your throat while the ‘Wolves played mid-major dynamo Indiana State to a close finish.

And your biggest mistake was skipping the UAA-TCU nail-biter. The ‘Wolves were one successful inbounds away from getting a victory on night one. I was seated next to a couple of Tulsa assistant coaches that were openly rooting for the Horned Frogs because they were afraid of UAA’s style.

Now for the women — they played in the weekend’s most exciting game. The female hoopers took UC Riverside into double OT and left with the win.

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The box score doesn’t lie: This one was a bit messy. But it was also thrilling. Both Alli Madison and Kiki Robertson showed off their short-term memories by hitting big shots after having sketchy starts. It was fantastic.

 

Everything cross-country

The teams place first (women) and second (men) at the GNAC Championships. The women set a UAA record by finishing fourth at the NCAA Division II Championships.  Head coach Michael Friess sweeps the GNAC Cross Country Coach of the Year awards.

A couple issues ago, I floated the idea of the cross-country teams entering GNAC dynasty territory. My case keeps getting stronger.

It’s a difficult program for students to support, but an easy one for them to respect.

 

Zanders makes All-West Region Team

Julia Mackey and Katelynn Zanders are terrors from the outside. The Roddy White/Julio Jones comparison is hard to avoid when watching the duo play.

After Zanders’ partner was sidelined with a leg injury, she didn’t flinch. She took on the extra responsibility and led the team to the NCAA Division II West Regional Championships.

Zanders ended the regular season top-five in the GNAC in kills per set, points per set, and aces per set. Those numbers earned her a spot on the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s NCAA Division II All-West Region Team. The title is exhausting but her selection is impressive.

 

GPA is a stat, too

BPG, APG and KPG are all useful stats when measuring someone’s value as a volleyball player. However, GPA is the go-to stat when measuring someone’s value as a person. Three members of the UAA volleyball team are posting big stats both on and off the court.

Sarah Johnson, Siobhan Johansen and Jodi Huddleston were named to the 2013 GNAC All-Academic Volleyball Team this semester. Johnson was one of just two players to make the team with a perfect 4.0 GPA.

I can barely balance three rock gym trips per week with my schoolwork, so this achievement really resonates with me.

 

Hockey team wins the Kendall Cup

Head coach Matt Thomas had his first opportunity to quiet the noise that had surrounded UAA hockey for a significant period of time, and that’s what he did. The Seawolves won the weekend in riveting fashion.

The ‘Wolves slapped in two goals in the final two minutes, including a game-winner from Matt Bailey with 3.4 seconds left.

The Sullivan Arena was rowdy. That game had fans feeling the way they’ve been craving to feel about UAA hockey for so long.