Oct. 16, 2014
Contact: Nathan Webber ([email protected])
503-305-8756 / www.gnacsports.com
2014 GNAC Tournament Champions WWU Voted to Win Conference Crown
Great Northwest Coaches Poll
1. Western Washington (9)
19-10, 13-5, 2nd
2. Alaska Anchorage (1)
19-9, 12-6, t-3rd
3. Simon Fraser
20-10, 12-6, t-3rd
4. Seattle Pacific
18-9, 11-7, t-5th
5. Montana State Billings
25-8, 15-3, 1st
6. Saint Martin's
18-11, 11-7, t-5th
7. Northwest Nazarene
15-11, 8-10, 7th
9-17, 3-15, t-8th
9. Western Oregon
6-20, 3-15, t-8th
10. Central Washington
7-19, 2-16, 10th
(Note: First-place votes in parentheses. Points awarded on a
PORTLAND, Ore. - The Western Washington women’s
basketball team has been selected to win the conference in
the GNAC preseason coaches poll.
The Vikings received the maximum of nine first-place votes
in the poll.
The 2013-14 GNAC tournament champions return 10 letter
winners and four starters on a team that went 19-10 in the
regular season and 13-5 in conference play.
Two all-conference players from last year headline the
Vikings returnees, including first-team conference selection
Katie Colard who averaged 14.7 points per game in 201314.
The Vikings moved up two spots from last year’s poll where
they received three first-place votes, but placed behind
Montana State Billings and Seattle Pacific respectively.
Second in the poll is Alaska Anchorage, which received the
only other first-place vote in the poll.
The coaches had mixed feelings on teams 3-5 as they were
separated by only 10 points.
Last year’s tournament runner-up Simon Fraser got the nod
for the third spot with 63 points.
SFU, which tied Alaska Anchorage for third place in the
GNAC last season, returns five letter winners, including the
conference’s leading scorer in Erin Chambers.
Seven points behind the Clan was Seattle Pacific. Coach Julie
Heisey returns one of the most experienced teams in the
conference with 10 players and four starters suiting up on a
squad that went 18-9 last season.
Montana State Billings, last year’s regular season and
preseason poll champion, dropped all the way to fifth place
in this year’s poll.
MSUB made it farther than any other GNAC team in the
NCAA tournament last year, reaching the West Region
championship game and completing a 25-8 regular season.
Saint Martin’s, which tied for fifth with Seattle Pacific in the
2013-14 season, was voted to finish in sixth place. The
Saint’s return one of the conference’s top defensive groups,
allowing 62.9 points per game last season.
The seventh place team voted in the poll was also the last
GNAC team to finish the 2013-14 season above the .500
mark. Northwest Nazarene ranked fourth in the nation in
free-throw percentage last year and return two starters on
a team that went 15-11.
UAA coach Ryan McCarthy’s team tied for third last season
and reached the NCAA tournament where they lost to
eventual final four participant Cal Poly Pomona.
Alaska and Western Oregon were only separated by two
points in the coaches poll. These teams tied for eighth in
the GNAC last season, but enter this year another year
wiser and more experienced and will try and make some
noise in the conference.
The Seawolves have four starters and nine letter winners
returning from an offense that led the GNAC with 78.6
points scored each game and a defense the led the nation in
assists per game.
Central Washington was voted 10th in the poll. The
Wildcats are in a period of transition as new coach Jeff
Harada takes over a team that won only two conference
games last season.