Sports Briefs 10/27/2009

UAA CC: Seawolf women capture GNAC title

UAA won its first-ever women’s conference team title, while the UAA men finished runner-up in the ninth annual Great Northwest Athletic Conference Cross Country Championships on Oct. 24th at the Apple Ridge Run course.

UAA’s junior Marko Cheseto repeated as the GNAC’s male individual winner, leading the Seawolves to second place – their fourth runner-up finish since joining the conference in 2001.

Cheseto was clocked at 24:50 in the 8K race. Cheseto lead No. 21 UAA to 70 points, behind No. 7 WWU with 30. Western Oregon rounded out the top three, just four points behind UAA.

Picking up conference honors on the men’s team was Cheseto, sophomore Alfred Kangogo and freshman Micah Chelimo. Also scoring for UAA was freshman Michael Adams and freshman Thomas Hill.

On the women’s side the No. 5 Seawolves placed five runners in the top seven, led by freshman Miriam Kipngeno in third. Kipngeno crossed the finish line in a time of 22:02, to win the team title with 25 points, the second-lowest team score in GNAC history.

Joining Kipngeno and earning all-conference honors was sophomore Shoshana Keegan, sophomore Ruth Keino, junior Hallidie Wilt and senior Laura Carr.

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Carr became the third Seawolf to finish in the top 10 and earn all-conference honors in four different seasons – 2009, 2008, 2006 and 2005.

UAA placed a combined eight Seawolves on the GNAC All-Conference team (five women, three men). Cheseto was selected as the GNAC’s Male Cross Country Runner of the Year, while Chelimo and Kipngeno brought home Freshmen of the Year honors.

Seawolves rally past Vikings, now alone in 1st

Sophomore outside hitters Jackie Matthisen and McKenzie Moss each notched double-doubles Oct. 24th as the UAA volleyball team roared back from a shaky start to claim a 8-25, 25-19, 25-16, 25-9 victory over Western Washington at the Wells Fargo Sports Complex.

Senior setter Calli Scott had 41 assists and five kills for the regionally 7th-ranked Seawolves who won their seventh straight match and moved into sole possession of first place in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.

Despite getting dominated in the opening set, the Seawolves were able to recover from an early 4-1 deficit in the second and turn the match upside down. Moss and Matthisen accounted for five kills and five digs apiece on that set, while junior Cortney Lundberg – the GNAC’s blocking leader – had four of her eight total blocks.

The Seawolves, who were picked preseason to finish seventh in the nine-team league, now lead idle Seattle Pacific by one-half match, while WWU falls 1.5 matches behind.

Seawolves repel Wildcats in four

Sophomore outside hitter Jackie Matthisen had 19 kills and 16 digs Oct.  22 as the UAA volleyball team used solid performances throughout its lineup to earn a sixth straight victory, 25-18, 25-21, 23-25, 25-19, over Central Washington at the Wells Fargo Sports Complex.

The Seawolves maintain a share of first place in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference with the win and swept the season series from the Wildcats for the second straight season.

UAA junior middle blocker Cortney Lundberg equaled her career-high and established the best mark by a GNAC player this year with 11 total blocks, helping the hosts to a season-best 15 stuffs.

Meanwhile, senior setter Calli Scott was at her best with 51 assists – the most in a 4-setter by a GNAC player in 2009 – nine digs, five block assists and five kills. The Arizona native ran a Seawolf offense that out-hit the Wildcats and produced double-digit kills totals from Matthisen, sophomore outside hitter McKenzie Moss, freshman outside hitter Marie Borowikow and Lundberg.

Despite taking a 21-19 lead late in the third set, the Seawolves’ bid to tie the school record for consecutive sets won came up just short, falling by the minimum two points.

The game was also a banner night for a pair of Seawolf freshman defenders, with Nikkie Viotto and Shelby Hollister both recording personal-bests in digs.

Seawolf women continue to lead GNAC

Both of the Seawolf cross country running teams held on to its U.S. Track and Field Cross Country Coaches Association Division II ranking in week six of the poll, announced on Wednesday.

The GNAC-leading women’s squad retained its program-best fifth-place ranking for the fifth straight week. The top-16 of the 25 listed remained unchanged. Still leading the country was West Region foe Chico State, followed by Grand Valley State and Missouri Southern State at numbers two and three, respectively.

On the men’s side, the Seawolves continue to hold down No. 21 for the second week in a row. Week six of the men’s poll remained completely unchanged from week five. Filling the top three was Adams State (first place), Western State (second place) and Chico State (third place).
Alaskans Stevens and Rock join UAA men

UAA men’s basketball head coach Rusty Osborne finalized his team’s 2009-10 roster, announcing the addition of a pair of former Alaska prep standouts – South Anchorage’s Aaron Stevens and Point Hope’s Ryan Rock – to the Seawolf roster.

Stevens, a 6-8, 200-pound forward, played last season at Highline Community College in Washington, averaging 4.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and shooting 51 percent from the field as the Thunderbirds went 22-9 and won the NWAACC West Division title. As a senior at South, Stevens earned first-team all-state honors from the Anchorage Daily News in 2008, helping the Wolverines to their first Class 4A state title.

Rock, a 6-1, 205-pound guard, was the captain of last year’s Point Hope squad that won the school’s first 2A state title since 2001. A three-time all-region honoree, he averaged 24 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds as a senior, finishing his career with 24 points in the championship victory over Noorvik.

The Seawolves start their season Nov. 11 when they travel to San Bernardino, Calif., to play NAIA American Sports University, and the home season tips off Nov. 25 against Washington State in the 32nd-annual Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout.

-Compiled by Damaris Craig