Sports

Alaska sports week in review: UAA women’s basketball wins Great Alaska Shootout, South hockey moves into top spot in CIC

UAA, La Salle, Great Alaska Shootout, Basketball, Shootout, Ryan McCarthy, Seawolves, Jahanna Hajdukoviich

This past week saw some impressive and dominating performances as well as some shocking upsets at the prep, collegiate and amateur levels across the Alaska sports landscape. On the high school hockey front, South Anchorage moved into the top spot in the Cook Inlet Conference but Dimond isn’t far behind. On the college scene, the University of Alaska Anchorage women’s basketball team won the first Great Alaska Shootout title since 2017.

Headlines and highlights

While both the South Anchorage and reigning Division I state champion Dimond boys varsity hockey teams recorded lopsided victories over new co-op Bartlett/Bettye Davis East, it was the Wolverines that moved into the top spot in the Cook Inlet Conference standings. The Wolverines have suffered just one loss compared to two for the Lynx so far this season. South also tied with defending Division II state champion Houston the this season while Dimond suffered a 3-0 loss to the Hawks.

The Anchorage Scholastic Bowling competition began last week with matches between Cook Inlet Conference foes Tuesday and Thursday. After the first two matches of the 2022 season, Bettye Davis East, West Anchorage, and Eagle River got out to 2-0 starts for boys while Dimond and Service did the same in the girls division.

Less than a week after claiming the Great Northwest Athletic Conference title and securing the top seed in the NCAA Western Regional Championships, the UAA volleyball team had its historic 2022 season end prematurely in disappointing fashion Thursday. The Seawolves fell in five sets to the Chaminade Silverswords in a shocking upset for an early exit despite strong showings from their star seniors. Outside hitter Eve Stephens led the team in kills with 20, setter Ellen Floyd led the team with a game-high 43 assists and libero Talia Leauanae led the team with 20 digs.

[UAA volleyball upset in opening round of NCAA Tournament]

The UAA hockey team got back on track and snapped a four-game losing streak with a pair of wins in Sin City. The Seawolves faced UNLV for the third time this season and completed the sweep with a 3-1 victory Wednesday and then beat Liberty 9-1 on Thursday. Junior forward Matt Allen scored a pair of goals against the Rebels and senior forward Ben Almquist did the same against the Flames.

UAA's Cole Nash

UAA sophomore distance runner Cole Nash qualified for the NCAA Division II Cross Country National Championships by placing second at the NCAA West Regional Championships on Saturday. He covered the 10-kilometer course in 30 minutes, 10 seconds, finishing three seconds behind winner Charlie Dannalt of Simon Fraser. Seawolves teammate Michael Zapherson earned an at-large bid after a seventh-place finish at the West Regional.

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[UAA’s Nash qualifies for cross-country nationals]

The UAA men’s basketball team lost its fourth straight game by five points or less last Monday in the 50th state to the University of Hawaii Hilo. Despite having four players record double-digit points, including a team-leading 16 points from junior guard Lachlan Viney, the Seawolves fell in overtime 87-82. Local product Da’Zhon Wyche, who led the team with eight rebounds, nearly recorded a double-double.

UAA, La Salle, Great Alaska Shootout, Basketball, Shootout, Ryan McCarthy, Seawolves, Nicole Pinckney

While the men’s team extended its losing streak, UAA’s women’s basketball team remained undefeated through its first five games of the 2022-2023 season with a trio of wins last week. It started with a 77-60 win over Chaminade on Monday and ended the week with a pair of wins Friday and Saturday in the return of the Great Alaska Shootout to claim the title. Senior Vishe’ Rabb was named the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament after recording double-digit points in both games and local products Jahnna Hajdukovich and Nicole Pinckney were named to the all-tournament team.

[UAA tops La Salle to take Great Alaska Shootout title]

The UAA ski teams swept the slalom events at the Yukon FIS races Saturday. Ainsley Proffit posted the fastest first run and the second-fastest second run to finish with the best two-run time of 1:35.20 on the women’s side. Hunter Eid posted the fastest first run and took the overall win in 1:23.12 on the men’s side.

Former Dimond standout Santiago Prosser helped the Northern Arizona cross-country team to a third consecutive national championship. Prosser finished 19th with a time of 29:19.5 and earned his first All-American honor in the process.

The Anchorage Wolverines played a pair of tight games against the Kenai River Brown Bears over the weekend but lost both in the two-game road series. They dropped the first 4-2 on Friday after allowing a pair of goals in the third period and lost 2-1 in overtime in the second game.

Alaska stars in the greater galaxy

Alaska’s own Nicholas McLennan recently signed a standard player agreement with the Prince George Cougars of the Western Hockey League. He was born and raised in the Anchorage area until the age of 16 when he left to play hockey and attend school at the Southern Alberta Hockey Academy of the Canadian Sports School Hockey League U18 prep league. Prior to heading to Canada, he played 40 games with Team Alaska 15U AAA where he recorded five goals and 11 assists in 16 games. The Cougars originally selected McLennan 41st overall in the second round of the 2021 WHL US Prospects Draft.

Last week’s results

Prep Hockey

Boys

Tuesday

South 16, Bartlett 1

Wednesday

Houston 7, West 3

Thursday

Dimond 17, Bartlett 1

Chugiak 9, Kenai Central 0

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Wasilla 6, Service 2

Friday

Chugiak 3, Soldotna 1

Service 6, Eagle River 4

Saturday

Eagle River 5, Bartlett 2

Bowling

Tuesday

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Boys

Service 35, Chugiak 0

Service - Aaron Richard 204

Chugiak - Elliott Barnes 112

Eagle River 31, South 4

Eagle River - Kendric Siders 258

South - Jet Kmet 187

East 31, Bartlett 4

East - Colton Penetac 245

Bartlett - Nathaniel Copeland 168

West 29, Dimond 6

West - Dimitrie Brand 202

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Dimond - Logan Jokela 252

Girls

Service 25, Chugiak 10

Service - Lillian Blumbery 168

Chugiak - Anna Parks 157

Eagle River 33, South 2

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Eagle River - Thania Darby 154

South - Stella Baldessari 95

Bartlett 27, East 8

Bartlett - Kara Lyman 122

East - Katelyn Dennis 99

Dimond 28, West 7

Dimond - Maia Struble 214

West - Callie Justice 191

Thursday

Boys

Eagle River 27, Dimond 8

Eagle River - Connor Lanehart 279

Dimond - Jared Krison 255

East 19, South 16

East - Colton Penetac 197

South - Jet Kmet 170

West 18, Service 17

West - Marcos Vian 185

Service - Rusty Romero 213

Bartlett 31, Chugiak 4

Bartlett - Nick Jones 144

Chugiak - Elliott Barnes 114

Girls

Dimond 27, Eagle River 8

Dimond - Maia Struble 230

Eagle River - Payton Stokes 204

South 22, East 13

South - Zoe Fencil 131

East - Kaelyn Dennis 131

Service 18, West 17

Service - Alyssa Porcelli 176

West - Callie Justice182

Chugiak 33, Bartlett 2

Chugiak - Lindsey Vig 174

Bartlett - Tida Xiong 113

College

Volleyball

Thursday

Chaminade 3, UAA 2 (20-25, 25-22, 25-23, 21-25, 12-15)

Women’s Basketball

Monday

UAA 77, Chaminade 60

Friday

UAA 64, UC Riverside 51

Saturday

UAA 88, La Salle 75

Men’s Basketball

Monday

Hawaii Hilo 87, UAA 82 (OT)

Hockey

Wednesday

UAA 3, UNLV 1

Thursday

UAA 9, Liberty 1

NAHL

Friday

Kenai River Brown Bears 4, Anchorage Wolverines 2

Saturday

Kenai River Brown Bears 2, Anchorage Wolverines 1

Three things to watch for this week

Prep

Hockey

Dimond v West, Tuesday 6:30 p.m. at Ben Boeke Arena

This will mark the first matchup of the season for these two semifinalist teams from last year’s state tournament. The Lynx will be looking to retake the top spot in the Cook Inlet Conference while the Eagles will be aiming to win their first game against Dimond since the 2019-2020 season.

College

Women’s basketball

Biola at UAA, Friday and Saturday 7 p.m. at Alaska Airlines Center

The day after Thanksgiving, the Seawolves will be back in action with a two-game home series against the Eagles at the Alaska Airlines Center. They will be looking to build off a strong performance in their first two home games at the Great Alaska Shootout last weekend and remain undefeated.

NAHL

Anchorage Wolverines at Fairbanks Ice Dogs, Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m. at Big Dipper

Alaska’s fiercest junior hockey rivalry will be renewed in Fairbanks as the Wolverines will be heading to the Big Dipper Ice Arena for a two-game series with their in-state rivals. The last time these two teams squared off, they split a tightly contested two-game series in Anchorage at the Ben Boeke Ice Arena.

Josh Reed

Josh Reed is a sports reporter for the Anchorage Daily News. He's a graduate of West High School and the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

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