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UAA Athletics

On eve of conference tourney, Wandersee, McCarthy pick up GNAC honors

  • Author: Anchorage Daily News
  • Updated: February 28
  • Published February 28

Hannah Wandersee, a junior from Kodiak, is a first-team pick on the GNAC all-conference women’s basketball team.  (Marc Lester / ADN)

It was one of those good news/bad news days for the UAA women's basketball team Wednesday.

The Seawolves were knocked off their perch as the No. 1 team in the West Region rankings, falling to No. 3 as a consequence of their loss last week to Northwest Nazarene. That's the bad news, because the No. 1 team is likely to host the West Region tournament next week.

The good news? UAA coach Ryan McCarthy and Kodiak junior Hannah Wandersee were among four Seawolves earning postseason honors from the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.

McCarthy, whose team returned one starter and five letter-winners from last season's 30-2 team, was named the GNAC Coach of the Year for the second straight season and the third time in his career. The Seawolves are 25-3 heading into this week's GNAC tournament at the Alaska Airlines Center.

Wandersee, a 6-foot-2 center who emerged as a force this season, was one of six first-team selections. She leads the Seawolves in scoring (14.6 points per game), rebounding (6.4 per game), blocks (1.5 per game) and field-goal percentage (52.2).

Also receiving recognition for the Seawolves were senior forward Shelby Cloninger, who was one of six second-team picks, and sophomore guard Yazmeen Goo, one of nine honorable mention picks.

UAA and Northwest Nazarene tied for the regular-season GNAC championship and received first-round byes in the tournament.

GNAC coach of the year Ryan McCarthy checks the scoreboard during a timeout during a game against Concordia earlier this season. (Bob Hallinen / ADN)

Northwest Nazarene is the hottest team in the field, the winner of 13 straight games, including a 104-78 pounding of UAA last week in Nampa, Idaho. That's the game that sent UAA from No. 1 to No. 3 in the West Region rankings, behind Azusa Pacific and Northwest Nazarene.

The Seawolves have won the last three GNAC tournament championships.

The tournament tips off Thursday with two women's games and two men's games, including a 2:15 p.m. contest between the UAA men and Seattle Pacific.

GNAC All-Conference team

Player of the year — Alisha Breen, Montana State-Billings

Coach of the year — Ryan McCarthy, UAA

Defensive player of the year — Jordan McPhee, Seattle Pacific

Freshman of the year — Saniah Simpson-Patu, Saint Martin's

Newcomer of the year — Dani Iwami, Western Washington

First team

Alisha Breen, MSU-Billings

Hannah Wandersee, UAA

Lexi Tubbs, Northwest Nazarene

Jordan McPhee, Seattle Pacific

Bailey Cartwright, Concordia

Jasmin Edwards Central Washington

Second team

Courtney Hollander, Seattle Pacific

Shelby Cloninger, UAA

Danielle Jardine, Northwest Nazarene

Sophie Swant, Simon Fraser

Danielle Hartzog, Concordia

Hannah Stipanovich, Western Washington

Honorable mention

Lexi Carpenter, UAF

Yasmeen Goo, UAA

Alexis Pana, Central Washington

Keesha Sarman, Concordia

Rylee Kane, MSU-Billings

McKenna Walker, Northwest Nazarene

Elin Johansson, Saint Martin's

Rachel Shim, Seattle Pacific

Savannah Heugly, Western Oregon

GNAC Tournament at the Alaska Airlines Center
Thursday's quarterfinals
5:15 p.m. — Central Washington (15-13, 11-9) vs. MSU-Billings (19-11, 12-8)
7:30 p.m. — Simon Fraser (14-14, 9-11) vs. Seattle Pacific (21-6, 15-5)
Friday's semifinals
5:15 p.m. — CWU-MSUB winner vs. Northwest Nazarene (22-3, 18-2)
7:30 p.m. — SFU-SPU winner vs UAA (25-3, 18-2)
7:30 p.m. — Championship
Thursday's quarterfinals
Noon — Central Washington (15-12, 10-10) vs. Saint Martin's (22-6, 15-5)
2:15 p.m. — UAA (15-13, 11-9) vs. Seattle Pacific (16-11, 11-9)
Friday's semifinals
Noon — CWU-SMU winner vs. Western Washington (21-7, 16-4)
2:15 p.m. — UAA-SPU winner vs. Western Oregon (27-1, 19-1)
5:15 p.m. — Championship

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