Friday, November 19, 2010

Thursday, Nov. 18 in the GNAC

Volleyball: Falcons, Vikings Advance To Semis

Seattle Pacific and Western Washington advanced to the semifinals Thursday in the NCAA Division II West Regional volleyball tournament at Coussoulis Arena in San Bernardino, Calif.

The second-seeded Falcons (25-2) outlasted Cal State L.A. 25-23, 20-25, 23-25, 25-23, 15-6, while third-seed Western Washington (20-3) eliminated Alaska Anchorage, 26-24, 25-12, 20-25, 25-20.

Seattle Pacific and Western Washington, which split their two regular-season matches, will play Friday at 5 p.m. The winner will advance to Saturday's 7 p.m. championship match against either top-seed CSU San Bernardino or fourth-seed UC San Diego.

Freshman middle blocker Nikki Lowell tied her career high with 17 kills and outside hitters Sarah Risser, Lindsey Wodrich and Paige Hoffman combined for 14 kills from midway through the fourth set to the end of the fifth to lead Seattle Pacific to its victory.

Risser finished with 16 kills, Wodrich had 12 and Hoffman added 10. Risser and Wodrich also had 10 and 16 digs, respectively.

Lowell also had a team-high six blocks and hit .406, getting her 17 kills with just four errors on 32 total attacks. She came into the match with a season hitting average of .389, 12th best in Division II.

Setter Shelby Swanson racked up a career-high 54 assists for the Falcons increasing her career total to 1,041. Libero Anna Herold had a team-leading 23 digs.

Four players were in double figures for CSLA led by Marquis Mora and Chelsea Hamilton with 13 each. Zuzana Cizova and Natalie Gonzalez had 12 each for the Eagles (16-11).

SPU, which had never won in five previous NCAA tournaments, was staring at elimination, down 2-1 in sets and trailing 13-6 in the fourth stanza.

But the Falcons ran off nine of the next 12 points to close within one at 16-15, then kept it going, taking seven of the next 10 for a 22-19 advantage.

Cal State L.A. eventually climbed back into a 23-23 tie before Wodrich and Lowell put down kills for the final two points to force the fifth set.

The Falcons ran off five straight points to snap a 2-2 tie in Set 5, taking a 7-2 lead and never let the Golden Eagles get closer than four the rest of the way.

Risser got the final point on a hard kill that was blocked by a CSULA player, but the ball went straight up in the air and came down beyond anyone's reach.

The five-setter was just the second of the year for the Falcons, who also went the distance to beat San Francisco State in the season-opening match on Sept. 3.

Western Washington 3, Alaska Anchorage 1

Outside hitter Megan Amundson had a match-high 15 kills on .394 hitting and middle blocker Emily Jepsen and outside hitter Marlayna Geary added 13 kills each to lead Western Washington to its win.

Amundson, who made just two errors in 33 attempts, also had six digs, three blocks, three assists and two service aces.

“She was a steady force for us,” WWU coach Diane Flick said.  “It seemed like every time she touched the ball, we knew something good was going to happen.”

Set one had nine ties before the Vikings scored five straight points, three on aces by Haleigh Adkins for a 14-9 lead.  UAA (18-9) came back to tie the set at 24-all, before a Geary kill and an attack error gave Western the win.

With the score tied at 5-5 in the second set, the Vikings took six consecutive points. Amundson served two aces in a 9-1 run that gave her team a 14-6 lead.  The set ended on a kill by Geary and a service ace by back-up setter Laurie Yearout, giving Western a 2-0 advantage.

In the third set, the Vikings led 15-12 before Alaska Anchorage, which was led by Jackie Matthisen with 11 kills, rallied to score 13 of the last 18 points.

Trailing 12-8 in the fourth set, Western scored six straight points to take a 14-12 lead.  Ahead 20-17, the Vikings closed out the match with Geary scoring four of their last five points on kills.

Jepsen paced Western with six blocks.  Libero Allison Gotz had 14 digs and setter Kari Rice had 47 assists.

The Vikings finished with a .215 hitting percentage, while holding UAA, which had 11 blocks including seven by Cortney Lundberg, to .153.

Women's Soccer: Falcons Lose to UC San Diego 1-0

Sarah McTigue delivered a 73rd-minute strike that lifted UC San Diego to a 1-0 victory over Seattle Pacific in the West Region championship game of the NCAA Division II Women's Soccer tournament Thursday at Austin, Tex.

The nationally 12th ranked Tritons (17-2-3) advance to the quarterfinals to meet host St. Edward's (17-1-2), which won the South Central Region championship with a 3-2 win over Central Missouri.

Seattle Pacific, which was ranked 12th, suffered just its second setback of the season, completing the campaign with a 16-2-2 record.

The Tritons broke the deadlock at 73:00 as McTigue received a throw-in from teammate Shelby Wong and dribbled toward the box in the center of the field before unleashing a 20-yard shot into the upper corner.

SPU goalkeeper Maddie Dickinson dove toward the shot, but the ball tipped off her fingertips and caromed off the underside of the crossbar into the goal.

"That's probably the best goal I've ever scored in my life," McTigue, who scored for the ninth time this season, said. "I kind of looked up and I had enough time to shoot so I just took it. It went upper-V, that's pretty awesome."

It took a perfectly placed effort to end Dickinson's postseason scoreless streak at 416 minutes. She had not surrendered a goal since the 2008 national semifinals.

Dickinson blanked top-ranked West Florida for 108 minutes in the championship game, enabling the Falcons to win the 2008 NCAA title.

That was the first of her three straight playoff shutouts, including the Falcons 2-0 second-round win over Montana State Billings on Nov. 13.

The senior shot-stopper, who had three saves Thursday, completes her career as the school record holder with 28 career shutouts. Her shutout total and career GAA of 0.49 both rank second in GNAC history.

One minute after the Tritons goal, SPU forward Brandi Hamre fired a shot that was saved by San Diego goalkeeper Kristin Armstrong. The Falcons had three more attempts at an equalizer during the final 11 minutes, but none were directly on goal.

SPU was unable to capitalize on four outstanding first-half opportunities. Hannah Masson ripped a point-blank 10-yard shot in the 11th minute that was saved by Armstrong.

The Tritons goalkeeper stopped two more shots later in the opening half. She deflected a 30th-minute try by Kendall Thoreson that subsequently nicked off the crossbar. In the last minute of the first half, Armstrong denied a shot by the Falcons leading scorer Megan Lindsay.

Lindsay had a hard-luck half as she banged a shot off the crossbar 20 minutes into the contest.

The closest SPU came to a goal was in the second half on a low shot by Hamre. The ball slipped past Armstrong, but was cleared off the goal line by San Diego defender Ellen Wilson in the 62nd minute.

Armstrong was credited with four saves for UCSD, which was outshot 10-8 by the Falcons.

"I give San Diego all the credit in the world. They played their hearts out, played very well and came at us," said SPU coach Chuck Sekyra. "We did have our chances and the goal that they scored was a great goal."

Men's Basketball: West Scores 32 In UAF Defeat

Parrish West scored exactly half of Alaska Fairbanks' points in each half in a 88-64 loss to King College in Day 1 of the UAF Invitational Thursday at The Patty Center.

In the tournament's opening game, Fort Smith outscored West Florida 101-90.

West ended up with 32 points, including 17 in the opening period when the Nanooks trailed 51-34. He made 11 of 20 shots and eight of 11 free throws.

The only other player with more than six points for UAF was guard Jarrett Miller with nine points.

Jason Seymore led King College (Tenn.) with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Clarence Smith had 15 points, Brian Hewitt had 14 and Mark Dockery chipped in 11 for King.

There were three early ties in the game before the Tornado used a 13-0 run to open up a 29-15 lead. King led by as many as 19 in the first half and by 27 in the second period.

The Tornado outscored UAF 33-6 from the three-point line, making 11 of 35 treys. They also dominated the boards (48-28). Boe Edwards had eight rebounds to lead the Nanooks.

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