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).
Vikings Ink Point Guard Mollie Olson out of Napavine
Olson averaged 17.8 points and 7.3 assists during her senior season to earn 2B All-State honors
Women's Basketball 2017-18 Season in Review
WWU tied for 7th in the GNAC, earned the program's 1,000th all-time win in 2017-18
Nooksack Valley star Katrina Gimmaka to Join WWU Women's Hoops
Gimmaka earned First Team 1A All-State honors and Northwest Conference MVP honors as a senior in 2017-18
Pair of Vikings Earn Great Northwest Athletic Conference Honors
Hannah Stipanovich named Second Team All-GNAC, Dani Iwami honored as GNAC Newcomer of the Year
WWU Falls 76-63 to MSU Billings in Season Finale
Vikings come up just shy of GNAC Championships berth as Yellowjackets pull away after halftime
Comeback Falls Just Short in 79-77 Loss at SFU
Anna Schwecke scores career-high 28 points on 13-for-17 shooting in the tough loss
WWU Travels to Simon Fraser, Hosts MSU Billings
Vikings enter final week of regular season vying for GNAC Championships berth
WWU Edged 78-76 by NNU in Overtime Thriller
Vikings force overtime with late 3-pointer, NNU pulls ahead in final minute of overtime
WWU and Bellingham Selected as Host for 2019 GNAC Basketball Championships
WECU Court at Carver Gym will host the 2019 GNAC Basketball Championships March 7-9, 2019
Vikings Take Down Central Washington 67-59
Hannah Stipanovich scores game-high 19 points, WWU win for fifth time over last six games
Trio of Vikings Named to GNAC All-Academic Team
Hannah Stipanovich, Amanda Lance and Lexie Bland honored by conference
Vikings to Host Central Washington and Northwest Nazarene
WWU faces CWU on Thursday, NNU on Saturday in GNAC matchups
Late Comeback Falls Short in Women's Hoops 80-62 Loss at SPU
Gracie Castaneda scores career-high 21 points as Vikings have four-game winning streak snapped
Vikings Roll To 79-51 Win at Saint Martin's
WWU wins fourth consecutive game, Vikings shoot 50.0% (28-of-56) from the field
Women's Basketball On the Road to Face SMU and SPU
Vikings face the Saints Thursday night (7 pm) and the Falcons Saturday night (7 pm)