WWU off to La Jolla, Calif., as No.4 seed at NCAA II West Regional
March 6, 2012
BELLINGHAM, Wash. - The Western Washington University women's basketball team has reached the NCAA Division II Championship for the 13th time in 14 years as a member of that organization and faces No.5 seed Cal State Monterey Bay in an opening-round West Regional contest Friday (5 p.m.) at La Jolla, Calif.
All WWU games will be broadcast live on KBAI Radio (930 AM - www.930kbai.com) with Mitch McClellan providing play by play. They also can be viewed on the internet at http://wwu.nmtvsports.com and live stats are available at http://www.gnacsports.com/livestats.htm.
The Vikings enter the tournament as the No.4 seed with a 21-7 record. They were second in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference regular-season standings at 14-4. As the No.2 seed at last week's second annual GNAC Tournament, WWU defeated Northwest Nazarene, 66-54, in a semifinal, then lost, 67-52, to nationally No.8-ranked and top-seeded Alaska Anchorage in a championship game that wasn't decided until the last five minutes.
The winner of Friday's regional contest will face either No.1 seed and host UC San Diego, ranked No.1 nationally, or No.8 seed Chico State in a semifinal Saturday (7:30 p.m.), with the winner advancing to Monday's regional championship game with a berth in the NCAA II Elite Eight at San Antonio, Tex., on the line.
On the other side of the bracket Friday, No.3 seed Grand Canyon faces No.6 Cal Poly Pomona, and No.2 Alaska Anchorage meets No.7 Cal State L.A.
"It was exciting to see that we got the fourth seed," said WWU coach Carmen Dolfo (21st year), whose Vikings are going to nationals for the fourth straight year. "It's a great indication of how hard our players have worked and improved as a team."
The Vikings, who are 8-2 in games decided by 10 or less points, are led by two all-GNAC picks - first-team senior forward Kristin Schramm (Chelan) and second-team junior point guard Corinn Waltrip (Tigard, OR).
Schramm is averaging 12.6 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.7 steals; Waltrip is averaging 12.1 points and 3.8 assists. Both are three-point threats, with Schramm going 51-of-131 (38.9 percent) and Waltrip 48-of-127 (37.8 percent).
Two other starters are scoring just under double figures. Junior guard Trishi Williams (Mabton) is averaging 9.6 points on 54.3 percent (102-of-188) field-goal shooting, 4.5 rebounds and 3.4 assists; and junior center Britt Harris (Marysville/Marysville-Pilchuck) is providing 9.3 points and 6.4 rebounds while shooting 55.9 percent (104-of-186) from the floor.
Waltrip was the only returning starter from last season's 26-4 squad, but the young Vikings, who have three freshmen seeing extensive playing time, got better and better as the season progressed after being picked fourth in the pre-season GNAC coaches poll.
"Defensively is where we made our biggest strides," Dolfo said. "We had some success early on because of our offense, but our defensive improvement certainly contributed to our success toward the end of the year."
Cal State Monterey Bay enters 21-8 after winning the California Collegiate Athletic Association Tournament title. The Otters are making their second consecutive national appearance, having reached the regional semifinals last year.
"It's always an exciting challenge to play someone different," Dolfo said of CSUMB. "They're very well-coached and they play great defense."
The Otters are allowing 59.9 points a game, holding teams to 38.1 percent shooting from the field, including 26.6 percent from three-point range. Senior guard Brandi Stevens, a first-team CCAA all-star, is their leading scorer with a 10.3 average; and junior forward Brittani Jefferson, who was a second-team all-league pick and the CCAA tourney MVP, is averaging 9.5 points and 7.8 rebounds.
WWU's best tournament performance was in 2000, when the Vikings reached the national semifinals. They have made seven regional semifinal appearances, the most recent being in 2006.
WWU ranks 12th nationally among NCAA II schools in field-goal accuracy at 44.8 percent (746-of-1667), 13th in three-point shooting at 36.8 percent (194-of-527) and 17th in assists (16.6). The Vikings led the GNAC in three-point shooting and blocked shots (4.3), are second in field-goal shooting and field-goal percentage defense (37.0), and third in scoring offense (72.3), three-point makes (6.0),scoring margin (8.1), rebound margin (6.4) and assists.
The 20-win season is the third straight for WWU and its 16th in Carmen Dolfo's 21 seasons as head coach and the 30th in the 41-year history of the program.
2012 NCAA DIVISION II WEST REGIONAL
host UC San Diego, RIMAC Arena
La Jolla, Calif.
March 9 (Fri.) Game #1 - No.3 seed Grand Canyon (23-3) vs. No.6 seed Cal Poly Pomona (19-8) - 12 noon
NCAA II ELITE EIGHT
March 20-21, 23 (Tue., Wed., Fri.)
at San Antonio, Tex. (Bill Greehey Arena) - (host St. Mary's)
1999 West Regional at Davis, Calif. (host UC Davis) Defeated Seattle Pacific, 77-69 OT, in first round Lost to Montana State Billings, 70-48, in semifinals
SCHRAMM: Forward Kristin Schramm, WWU's lone senior and a first-team GNAC all-star, is averaging a team-leading 12.6 points per game and is second in rebounds at 4.5. She ranks fifth in the GNAC in three-point makes (1.8), seventh in three-point percentage at 38.9 (51-of-131), and eighth in steals (1.7).
Schramm has been named to three all-tournament teams this season, earning MVP honors at both the Great Western Shootout and WWU Lynda Goodrich Classic. She also is a two-time GNAC Player of the Week.
During her four-year career, Schramm has totals of 787 points, 341 rebounds, 116 steals and 107 assists.
WALTRIP: Junior point guard Corinn Waltrip is averaging 12.1 points. She is among the GNAC top 10 in five categories, leading in free-throw percentage at 90.6 (58-of-64). Waltrip is fourth in both assists (3.8) and minutes played (32.7), sixth in three-point makes (1.7) and eighth in three-point percentage (37.8, 48-of-127).
A second-team conference all-star, Waltrip is a three-time all-tourney pick this season and earned GNAC Player of the Week honors. She also is a two-time GNAC Academic all-star.
REST OF STARTERS: Junior guard Trishi Williams is averaging 9.6 points and 4.5 rebounds. She is seventh among GNAC leaders in both field-goal percentage (54.3, 102-of-188) and assists (3.4).
Williams, who was named to two all-tournament teams, is a transfer from Columbia Basin CC where she earned NWAACC East Region MVP honors.
Junior center Britt Harris, who had a double-double against UAA with game-highs of 21 points (one short of career high) and 12 rebounds (tied career high), paces the Vikings in rebounds with a 6.4 average, while scoring at a 9.3 clip. She is third among league leaders in field-goal shooting (55.9 percent, 104-of-186) and eighth in offensive rebounds (2.6).
Junior Erika Ramstead, who is averaging 4.0 points and 4.0 rebounds, completes the first five.
TOP RESERVES: Freshman center Kayla Bernsen is averaging 5.3 points and 4.2 rebounds off the bench. Another freshman, forward Sydney Donaldson, is averaging 6.0 points and 3.7 rebounds. She is shooting 52.8 percent (75-of-142) from the field, which is eighth in the league. Donaldson has 30 blocked shots and Bernsen 27, those totals ranking fourth (1.1) and fifth (1.0), respectively, among GNAC leaders.
Redshirt freshman guard Katie Colard is eighth in the conference in three-point makes (1.6). She is averaging 6.0 points.
WWU NOTES: WWU has held opponents under 40 percent field-goal shooting in 20 of its 21 wins and has been outrebounded in just four of its victories ... The Vikings have shot under 40 percent in five of their seven losses and have had 18 or more turnovers in five of their setbacks ... WWU has made eight or more treys in 13 games with a season-high 13 against Alaska Fairbanks on Jan. 12.
GREAT NORTHWEST ATHLETIC CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT Lacey, Wash. (Marcus Pavilion) - host Saint Martin's University
TOURNEY SUCCESS: The Vikings competed in four regular-season tournaments, 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, which won its third title in four seasons, received nine of 10 first-place votes in being selected No.1. Seattle Pacific, which had won eight league crowns, was picked second, followed by Northwest Nazarene.
SISTER ACT II: Three members of this year's WWU squad have older 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 a WWU Athletics Hall of Fame inductee in 2012. 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 422-72 (85.4 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 445-168 (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 20 times and have won 20 or more games 16 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 877 victories (303 losses, 74.3 percent) in its 41-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 13 West Regional appearances in their 14 seasons as a NCAA II member, and also have had 30 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 422-72 (85.4 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 445.
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 Trishi Williams, 5-9, JC-Jr., Mabton, WA/Mabton/Columbia Basin CC 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
RECENT GAME SUMMARY:
March 2 - WWU 66, Northwest Nazarene 54 - GNAC Semifinal at Lacey
WWU, the No.2-seed, played stifling defense in rolling to a 66-54 victory over No.3 seed Northwest Nazarene in a semifinal round contest of the GNAC Tournament at Marcus Pavilion on the Saint Martin's campus. The Vikings held NNU to 29.4 percent (15-of-51) field-goal shooting and had a 42-32 edge in rebounds with Sarah Hill grabbing a game-high nine and Britt Harris eight. Kristin Schramm and guard Corinn Waltrip each had a game-high 13 points for WWU, which shot 44.0 percent from the field (22-of-50) and made just 17-of-30 free throws (56.7 percent). Trishi Williams contributed nine points. NNU dropped to 18-10 overall, having a four-game winning streak snapped. The Crusaders got 11 points each from guards Alla Dzhidzhiyehvili and Chelsie Luke, and forward Megan Hingston had 10. Center Briaunna King, who entered the game averaging 15.7 points, was held to four points. NNU made just five field goals in 24 attempts (20.8 percent) in the first 20 minutes. Despite that, WWU led by only six points midway through the period and the Crusaders tied the game at 17-all with 3:35 left in half. WWU ended the period with a 7-1 run, Williams hitting two jumpers around a three-pointer by Erin Feeney, for a 24-18 halftime lead. The Vikings scored seven straight points to begin the second half, Erika Ramstead making a jumper followed by two free throws and a three-pointer by Waltrip, who had 11 points in the half, for a 12-point advantage, 31-19, with just over two minutes gone. WWU led by 13 points, 52-39, with 9:15 remaining, and the closest the Crusaders got after that was seven.
March 3 - Alaska Anchorage 67, WWU 52 - GNAC Final at Lacey
WWU's Britt Harris had game-highs of 21 points and 12 rebounds, but it wasn't enough as the Vikings fell to Alaska Anchorage, 67-52, in the championship game of the GNAC Tournament at Marcus Pavilion on the Saint Martin's University campus. The Seawolves, ranked No.8 nationally and the No.1 seed, improved to 27-4. Forward Haley Holmstead led UAA with 19 points on 9-of-14 field-goal shooting. WWU trailed by just three, 48-45, after a jumper by Katie Colard with 5:51 to play. But UAA went on an 11-2 run in a little over two minutes to go up 59-47 with 3:17 remaining and was never seriously threatened after that. UAA shot 52.3 percent (23-of-44) from the field to just 27.7 percent (18-of-65) for the Vikings, who had 17 offensive rebounds. The Vikings, who lost to the Seawolves by 20 and 22 points in the regular season, never trailed by more than six points until the final five minutes, and were down by only three, 29-26, at halftime. Harris was 9-of-15 from the field, but the rest of the Vikings were just a combined 9-of-50. In the first half there were three ties and 12 lead changes, UAA scoring the last four points of the period, all by Holmstead, for a 29-26 advantage into the break.
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