BELLINGHAM, Wash. – Western Washington University women’s basketball head coach Carmen Dolfo has announced the 2017-18 schedule for the Vikings, featuring two tournaments hosted in Bellingham and a total of 16 games on the newly-renovated WECU Court at Carver Gym.
In its entirety, the 2017-18 schedule is composed of 28 regular-season games with eight non-conference contests and 20 conference games.
After a two-year hiatus playing games at Whatcom Pavilion on the campus of Whatcom Community College during the Carver renovation, the Vikings return to their permanent home at Carver for the 2017-18 season. The first opportunity to watch the Vikings at Carver will be on Oct. 22 as WWU hosts Trinity Western for an exhibition on WECU Court. The Vikings also host Corban in an exhibition contest at home on Nov. 5.
WWU officially opens the season at the West Region Crossover Classic, facing Fresno Pacific on Nov. 10 and Humboldt State on Nov. 11. Both games will be hosted at Fresno Pacific in Fresno, Calif.
The following weekend WWU will be in California once again to compete in a second West Region Crossover Classic, facing UC San Diego (Nov. 17) and Azusa Pacific (Nov. 18) with both games played at Azusa Pacific in Azusa, Calif. Seattle Pacific joins the Vikings as the other GNAC school participating in both West Region Crossover Classic tournaments.
The first official home game for WWU will be Nov. 24 as WWU takes on Valdosta State for its first of two games in the Lynda Goodrich Classic on WECU Court at Carver Gym. The Vikings face Academy of Art on Nov. 25 in the second tournament game. GNAC member school Saint Martin’s will travel to Bellingham as part of the tournament field and face Valdosta State and Academy of Art as well.
The Great Northwest Athletic Conference schedule begins for WWU with a home game against Simon Fraser on Nov. 28 and is followed immediately by a trip to Montana State Billings for a game on Nov. 30.
WWU closes out its non-conference schedule on Dec. 18 and Dec. 19 with the Viking Holiday Hoops Classic, facing Texas A&M International on Dec. 18 and West Texas A&M on the Dec. 19. The Vikings return to the conference schedule at the end of December, hosting Alaska Fairbanks (Dec. 29) and Alaska Anchorage (Dec. 31).
Additional GNAC home games for WWU will be against Seattle Pacific (Jan. 11), Saint Martin’s (Jan. 13), Western Oregon (Feb. 1), Concordia (Feb. 3), Central Washington (Feb. 15), Northwest Nazarene (Feb. 17) and Montana State Billings (Feb. 24).
Additional GNAC road games for the Vikings will be at Concordia (Jan. 4), at Western Oregon (Jan. 6), at Northwest Nazarene (Jan. 18), at Central Washington (Jan. 20), at Alaska Anchorage (Jan. 25), at Alaska Fairbanks (Jan. 27), at Saint Martin’s (Feb. 8), at Seattle Pacific (Feb. 10) and at Simon Fraser (Feb. 20).
Alaska Anchorage will serve as host for the 2017 GNAC Tournament, to be held March 1-3 in Anchorage, Alaska.
Dolfo, entering her 27th year leading WWU, has compiled a record of 561-207 (.730) as the winningest coach in WWU history. Last season, she led WWU to a 26-6 record (18-2 GNAC), the 20th season of at least 20 wins in her tenure, as WWU reached the NCAA II West Regional semifinal round to post the program’s 16th NCAA II Tournament trip in the last 19 seasons. Dolfo is assisted by Stacey Turrell while 2016-17 student-athletes Jessica Valley and Taylor Peacocke join the coaching staff as graduate assistants for the upcoming season.
WWU lost six seniors from last year’s team, five four-year players and one transfer, a class that went 86-34 (.717) over the last four years with three 20-win seasons. The 2016-17 senior class featured Peacocke, Valley, Tia Briggs, Kiana Gandy, Rachel Albert and Aleisha Hathaway. Peacocke (All-American, GNAC Player of the Year), Briggs (First Team All-GNAC) and Gandy (Honorable Mention All-GNAC) were each All-GNAC honorees and concluded their careers each scoring more than 1,000 career points, with Peacocke ending her career as the No. 2 career scorer in program history.
Forward/center Hannah Stipanovich (St. Louis, MO/Metro State) and guard Maia Barnett (Los Angeles, CA/The Archer School) will help lead WWU as the team’s two seniors in 2017-18. Stipanovich appeared in all 32 games with 16 starts last year and Barnett appearing in 24 games off the bench last season.
The Vikings return three additional letter winners from last season. Junior forward/center Nikki Corbett (Camas, WA) appeared in all 32 games last season with a pair of starts, sophomore guard Lexie Bland (Ellensburg, WA) appeared in 27 games with 1 start during her freshman year and junior guard Amanda Lance (Buckley, WA/White River) appeared in 20 games off the bench last year. Redshirt freshmen guards Gracie Castaneda (Arlington, WA) and Drew Morris (Chelan, WA) will be ready to contribute in 2017-18 after redshirting last season.
The 2017-18 Vikings welcome an incoming class of four transfers and two freshmen. Sophomore guard Dani Iwami (Seal Beach, CA/Hawai’i Pacific), sophomore forward Anna Schwecke (Evergreen, CO/Colorado-Colorado Springs), junior guard Bobbi Westendorf (Auburn, WA/Tacoma CC) and redshirt sophomore guard Taylor Enders (West Linn, OR/Utah State) compose the class of transfers while WWU also welcomes incoming freshman forward/center Kelsey Rogers (Bothell, WA/Lynnwood) and freshman guard Emma Duff (Tumwater, WA/Black Hills).
WWU Falls 82-62 at Northwest Nazarene
Vikings reduce early deficit during second quarter, Nighthawks pull away after halftime
Vikings Hit the Road to Face Northwest Nazarene and Central Washington
WWU faces NNU on Thursday (7 pm MT) and CWU on Saturday (7 pm PT)
WWU Tops Saint Martin's 69-58 for Historic Victory
Vikings earn win No. 1,000 all-time in program history with Saturday’s victory over Saints
WWU Rally Falls Short in 75-63 Loss to SPU
Vikings cut 21-point halftime deficit to five points but Falcons hold off WWU
Vikings Return Home to Host SPU and SMU
WWU faces SPU on Thursday at 7 pm, oppose Saint Martin's on Saturday at 7 pm.
Vikings Edged 54-50 at Western Oregon
WWU takes a late lead, Wolves score last six points of game to top WWU
Women's Basketball Falls at Concordia 70-61
Nikki Corbett scores 13 points in her season debut, Lexie Bland also finishes with 13 points
Vikings Travel to face Concordia and Western Oregon
WWU faces Concordia Thursday and Western Oregon Saturday, both games start at 5:15 pm
WWU Falls to No. 6 Alaska Anchorage 64-54
Kelsey Rogers scores 12 points for WWU, Seawolves hold off Vikings
Vikings Take Down Alaska Fairbanks 83-49
WWU shoots 50.8% from the field with balanced offense in commanding win
WWU Hosts Alaska Schools in Return to GNAC Play
Vikings face Alaska Fairbanks on Friday (7 pm) and Alaska Anchorage on Sunday (4 pm)
Anna Schwecke Named GNAC Player of the Week
Schwecke was named to the Viking Holiday Hoops Classic All-Tournament Team averaging 14 points and 10 rebounds per game
WWU Falls 78-62 to No. 3 West Texas A&M
Vikings stay within striking distance of West Texas A&M before Lady Buffs pull away late
Vikings Roll to 90-59 Win Over Texas A&M International
WWU uses strong start to build early lead, five Vikings score in double figures
Vikings Ink Lynden Christian Star Avery Dykstra
Dykstra is a four-year starter at Lynden Christian in basketball and the 2017 Northwest Conference MVP