11-3 WWU hosts No.8 Alaska Anchorage in GNAC first-place showdown

WWUVIKINGSDOTCOM 600th game for head coach Carmen Dolfo
WWUVIKINGSDOTCOM
600th game for head coach Carmen Dolfo
WWUVIKINGSDOTCOM

Jan. 13, 2012

BELLINGHAM, Wash. - With sole possession of first place in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference at stake, the Western Washington University women's basketball team entertains top 10-rated University of Alaska Anchorage on Saturday (7 p.m.), Jan. 14, at Sam Carver Gymnasium on the WWU campus.

The contest can be heard live on KBAI Radio (930 AM - www.930kbai.com) with Doug Lange handling the play-by-play and Mark Scholten providing the color commentary. It also can be viewed on the internet at http://wwu.nmtvsports.com and live stats are available at http://www.wwuvikings.com/multimedia/livestats.html.

WWU, 11-3 overall, is tied with UAA for the top spot in the GNAC standings at 5-1, after extending its winning streak to seven with a 93-80 victory over Alaska Fairbanks on Thursday.

UAA, ranked No.8 in this week's Women's Basketball Coaches Association/NCAA Division II Top 25 Poll, is 14-3 overall. The Seawolves had a 10-game winning streak snapped in a 77-69 loss at Simon Fraser on Thursday. Their other two setbacks were against NCAA I opponents - 72-55 to Miami FL and 90-84 in overtime to Central Michigan.

Junior point guard Corinn Waltrip, who scored 21 points in the win over UAF, is averaging a team-leading 13.1 points. She leads the GNAC in free-throw percentage at 86.1 (31-of-36) and is third in assists at 4.3. Over the last three games, Waltrip is shooting 55.0 percent (22-of-40) from the floor.

Senior guard Kristin Schramm, who had a career-high 29 points in the UAF victory, is averaging 12.1 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.6 steals. She has been named to three all-tournament teams this season, earning MVP honors at both the GWS and WWU Lynda Goodrich Classic.

Junior center Britt Harris missed the UAF game and her status is indefinite for UAA because of a concussion suffered in practice Wednesday. She is averaging 8.7 points and a team-leading 6.8 rebounds, hitting 64.3 percent (18-of-28) from the field in her last three games. She had a career-high 22 points on 10-of-16 field-goal shooting in a 76-55 win over Simon Fraser on Dec. 31.

Harris is one of three Vikings ranked among the league's top five in floor accuracy. She is fifth at 55.1 percent (43-of-78), with junior forward Trishi Williams leading at 57.3 percent (47-of-82) and freshman forward Sydney Donaldson third at 55.6 percent (45-of-81).

Williams, a transfer from Columbia Basin CC where she earned NWAACC East Region MVP honors, is averaging 8.5 points, connecting on 22-of-27 (81.5 percent) free throws.

Donaldson is scoring at a 7.4 clip and ranks third among GNAC leaders in blocked shots with a 1.2 average. She has a team-best two double-doubles this season.

Redshirt freshman guard Katie Colard is fourth in the GNAC in three-point makes at 2.1 per game and is averaging 7.6 points. She has made at least one trey in all but one contest this season with a high of four twice.

Junior forward Erika Ramstead is averaging 4.7 points and 4.7 rebounds.

Redshirt freshman guard Erin Feeney ranks fourth in the GNAC in three-point percentage at 43.9 percent (18-of-41).

WWU leads the GNAC in field-goal percentage (46.0), three-point percentage (39.8) and blocked shots (4.1).

The Vikings are 5-1 at home this season and 418-71 (85.5 percent) in 40 seasons at Carver Gym.

WWU's game with UAA will be the 600th of coach Carmen Dolfo's 21-year collegiate coaching career.

ALASKA ANCHORAGE: The Seawolves, ranked No.8 nationally, are 14-3 overall and 5-1 in GNAC action. They had a 10-game winning streak snapped in a 77-69 loss at Simon Fraser on Thursday. Their only other losses were to NCAA I schools - Miami FL (72-55) and Central Michigan (90-84 OT). UAA is led by returning honorable mention All-American and first-team GNAC all-star 6-2 senior center Hanna Johansson (14.3 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 0.7 bpg, 55.5 FG Pct., 1,136 career points). Another starter back for coach Tim Moser (6th year, 149-30), whose 83.2 winning percentage ranks seventh among all NCAA divisions, is 6-0 junior forward Alysa Horn (10.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg). Another top returnee is 6-0 senior forward Kaylie Robison (9.0 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 0.7 bpg, 57.0 FG Pct.). Heading the newcomers is 5-8 junior guard Haley Holmstead (15.6 ppg), a transfer from Salt Lake CC where she became just the 16th player to earn back-to-back NJCAA All-America recognition and the first to be a two-time Scenic West Athletic Conference Player of the Year. Another talented new face is 5-9 junior guard Bruna Deichmann (8.4 ppg, 1.8 spg), a junior college transfer from Eastern Utah. UAA leads the GNAC in scoring offense (81.1), scoring defense (55.8), scoring margin (25.2), field-goal percentage defense (32.4), rebound margin (13.5) and assists (19.3). UAA ranks second nationally in three categories - scoring margin, assists and field-goal percentage defense; and is third in rebound margin, fourth in scoring and seventh in field-goal percentage. Last year, WWU won both regular-season meetings. UAA then beat the Vikings 68-67 in the GNAC tournament final at Carver Gym, snapping a 26-game home court winning streak, and the Seawolves defeated WWU, 55-48, in the opening-round of the NCAA II West Regional. The Vikings hold a 25-11 series advantage.

WWU NOTES: The Vikings have held the opposition under 40 percent field-goal shooting in 10 of their 11 wins and have been outrebounded in just one of their victories ... WWU has made seven or more treys in 10 games with a season-high 13 against Alaska Fairbanks ... Like Schramm, Waltrip was named to three all-tourney teams, and Williams was picked to two ... Schramm was named GNAC Player of the Week for her MVP performance at the GWS ... The Vikings' 108 points against Simpson marked just the third time that they had reached triple digits in the last eight years and it was the first time they had gotten 100 points at home since a 100-48 victory over Northwest during the 2006-07 season.

TOURNEY SUCCESS: The Vikings have competed in four tournaments this season, winning their own Great Western Shootout on Dec. 15-16 and tying for first at the WWU Lynda Goodrich Classic held Thanksgiving weekend. They also split a pair of games at both the CCAA/GNAC Crossover Classic to begin the season in early November and at the GNAC/CCAA Challenge Classic held during the second week of December.

VIKINGS FOURTH IN GNAC COACHES POLL: WWU was voted fourth in the GNAC coaches' preseason poll. Alaska Anchorage, looking for its third straight title, received nine of 10 first-place votes in being selected No.1. Seattle Pacific, which has won eight league crowns, was picked second, followed by Northwest Nazarene.

POST-SEASON: This year, the GNAC championship will be decided with a six-team tournament at Saint Martin's University (Marcus Pavilion) beginning Thursday, March 1. The No.1 and No.2 regular-season finishers will earn first round byes and play Thursday's winners in semifinal action Friday, March 2. The championship game will be Saturday, March 3. Alaska Anchorage won the first GNAC tourney last year, when it consisted of eight teams and games were played at the highest seed.

SISTER ACT II: Three members of this year's WWU squad have sisters who were former Viking standouts. They are Katie Colard (Kelly), Sarah Hill (Celeste) and Kristin Schramm (Sarah). Celeste Hill was a first-team NCAA II All-American in 2000 and will be inducted into the WWU Athletics Hall of Fame on Feb. 4. Kelly (Colard) Dykstra was a second-team GNAC all-star as a senior in 2005-06, averaging 12.6 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists. Sarah Schramm averaged 5.5 points and 3.9 rebounds for WWU in 2007-08, and 4.5 points and 3.8 rebounds in 2006-07 after transferring from NCAA I Gonzaga.

HOME COURT DOMINANCE: The Vikings are 418-71 (85.5 percent) in 40 seasons at Carver Gym. Their longest home court win streak was 29 from 1983 to 1986.

COACH DOLFO: Carmen Dolfo is in her 21st year as head coach at WWU. She has a 435-164 (72.6 percent) record and prior to the season ranked No.12 among active NCAA II coaches in winning percentage and No.18 in victories. Dolfo's teams have reached post-season play 19 times and have won 20 or more games 15 times. She has been named GNAC Coach of the Year in 2004, 2006 and 2011; Northwest small college Coach of the Year in 2000 and Pacific Northwest Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in 1995 and 1996. Dolfo was the top Viking assistant for four seasons (95-28, 77.2) and earned All-America honors as a player at WWU.

TRADITION OF SUCCESS: With 867 victories (299 losses, 74.4 percent) in its 40-year history, WWU is one of just 15 colleges in all divisions of the NCAA to reach the 850-plateau... The Vikings have made 39 post-season appearances, including one stretch of 28 straight, with one national semifinal and three quarterfinal finishes ... They have made 12 West Regional appearances in their 13 seasons as a NCAA II member, and also have had 29 20-win seasons ... WWU has had 21 winning streaks of 10 or more games with its longest being 21 ... Former WWU coach Lynda Goodrich, now the Vikings' director of athletics, is a member of the NAIA National Hall of Fame. She coached WWU for 19 seasons, winning more than 400 games (411-127, 76.4 percent). Another Viking NAIA Hall of Famer is forward Jo Metzger (1977-81), who earned first-team All-America honors in 1980 and 1981 ... WWU has had 13 first, second or third-team All-Americans.

CARVER GYM CELEBRATES 50TH ANNIVERSARY: Dedicated on March 30, 1962, WWU's Sam Carver Gymnasium is celebrating its 50th anniversary this season. It is named for Sanford E. Carver, a NAIA Hall of Famer who was WWU's first director of athletics and the chairman of the physical education department from 1914-55. Carver Gym was an addition to the existing physical education facility. It added 54,233 square feet of floor space at a cost of $1.04 million. The most significant addition was the present main gymnasium. The facility opened in time for the 1961-62 basketball season, although it wasn't named for Carver until the dedication ceremony the following spring. Dr. James L. Jarrett, then Western's president, and Dr. E.V. Pullias, a professor at the University of Southern California, were the main speakers at the gathering. Basketball has been one of the primary activities at Carver Gym. The Seattle Pacific men were Western's opponent in the first game played on the new floor on Dec. 6, 1961. The Viking women have racked up an impressive record during their time in the building, going 418-71 (85.5 percent) in 40 years.

COLLEGIATE FIRST FOR WWU: Last season, WWU became the first college in the country to boast two 400-win women's basketball coaches. Lynda Goodrich, now in her 25th year as the Vikings' director of athletics, posted 411 victories from 1971 to 1990, and current coach Carmen Dolfo is in her 21st season with 435.

ON THE WEB: All Viking home games are being video streamed live and are available free at http://wwu.nmtvsports.com. For up-to-date statistics, box scores of every game, records, stories, etc., see the WWU Athletics web page at www.wwuvikings.com. Up-to-date league standings and statistics can be found on the Great Northwest Athletic Conference web page at www.gnacsports.com

RADIO BROADCASTS: Selected WWU games are being broadcast this season on KBAI Radio (930 AM) with Doug Lange handling the play-by-play and Mark Scholten providing the color commentary. They also can be heard on the internet at www.wwuvikings.com.

PROBABLE WESTERN STARTERS & TOP RESERVES:

F Erika Ramstead, 6-0, **Jr., Everson, WA/Nooksack Valley
F Sydney Donaldson, 6-0, Fr., Edmonds, WA/Edmonds-Woodway
C Britt Harris, 6-2, **Jr., Marysville, WA/Marysville-Pilchuck
G Corinn Waltrip, 5-6, **Jr., Tigard, OR/Tigard
G Kristin Schramm, 5-9, ***Sr., Chelan, WA/Chelan

G Trishi Williams, 5-9, JC-Jr., Mabton, WA/Mabton/Columbia Basin CC C Sarah Hill, 6-3, So., TR, Richmond, VA/Lloyd C. Bird/ Maryland-Baltimore County G Katie Colard, 5-9, R-Fr., McCleary, WA/Elma C Kayla Bernsen, 6-3, Fr., Moses Lake, WA/Moses Lake G Erin Feeney, 5-8, R-Fr., Bothell, WA/Jackson G Jenni White, 5-5, R-Fr., Spokane, WA/East Valley *letters won

RECENT GAME SUMMARY:

Jan. 12 - WWU 93, Alaska Fairbanks 80 at Bellingham

Kristin Schramm scored 21 of her career-high 29 points in the first half as WWU outscored Alaska Fairbanks, 93-80, in a wild GNAC contest at Carver Gym. Corinn Waltrip had 21 points and seven assists for the Vikings. Center Nicole Bozek had 29 points and nine rebounds for UAF, with fell to 4-12 overall and 0-6 in the GNAC with its sixth straight loss. Guard Nicole Hartzog added 17 points and four steals for the Nanooks. WWU never trailed, hitting nine of its first 11 three-point attempts to open up a 33-15 lead with 9:20 left in the first half. UAF rallied, using a burst of 14 straight points in a three-minute span to narrow the margin to four, 38-34, with 4:06 left in the period. The Vikings held a 53-43 advantage at halftime, having hit 12-of-17 three-pointers (70.6) percent. Schramm had 21 points at halftime, going 6-of-7 on three-pointers. Bozek also had 21 points at halftime for the Nanooks. UAF got as close as seven twice in the second half, the final time at 61-54 with 15:38 to play, but the margin fluctuated between 12 and 17 the final 14 minutes. Schramm, who was 10-of-17 from the field for the game, also had a game-high 11 rebounds as WWU held a 52-33 advantage on the boards. Five Vikings reached double figures. Trishi Williams had 14 points and eight rebounds on 6-of-9 field-goal shooting. Katie Colard had 13 points, 11 of them in the first seven minutes, and center Kayla Bernsen had 10 points, nine rebounds and four blocked shots. Bernsen was making her first career start in place of Britt Harris, who missed the game because of concussion.