MONMOUTH — The Wolves (3-1) swept two games at home last weekend. They defeated Chico State 68-60 on Friday and Sonoma State 81-56 on Saturday.
Western Oregon’s win over Chico State was the first in nine tries against the Wildcats. Sophomore 5-11 forward Meadow Aragon led the way with 16 points, 14 rebounds and five of WOU’s 12 blocked shots. The Wolves held Chico State, which came into the game 3-0, to 27-percent field-goal shooting.
Against Sonoma State, the Wolves won the second half 42-11 to pull away after leading 40-34 at halftime. Aragon led four Wolves in double figures with 15 points and had team highs of six rebounds and five blocks.
Western Oregon will take the court again Wednesday at 2 p.m. PT at Texas A&M-Kingsville. The Wolves then will go to Laredo for a 4 p.m. PT game versus Texas A&M International.
WOU’s Great Northwest Athletic Conference season starts Dec. 2 at home against Alaska Fairbanks, followed by a Dec. 4 home game with Alaska Anchorage.
Western Oregon picked up its first win of 2021-22 on Saturday, 77-56 over Sonoma State at Rohnert Park, California.
The Wolves made 16 of 34 from 3-point range, compared to their opponent’s 6 of 26.
WOU had lost 85-72 there to Cal State East Bay on Thursday.
Cameron Cranston, Western Oregon’s 6-6 junior guard, had a game-high 26 points in the win, after team highs of 15 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals in the loss.
Western Oregon was 1-3 going into a Tuesday game at Humboldt State. Next for the Wolves are two games this weekend at Salt Lake City. WOU will play Fort Lewis College on Friday and Westminster College on Saturday.
The GNAC season starts the following week with home games against Alaska Fairbanks on Dec. 2 and Alaska Anchorage on Dec. 4.
Western Oregon’s Luz Garcia ran 107th in the NCAA Division II championships Saturday at Saint Leo, Florida.
Garcia had hoped for a top-40, All-American finish, but she vastly improved on her first trip to nationals in 2019, when she placed 226th for Cal Poly Pomona.
The 40th spot in this year’s championships clocked 21 minutes, 28.6 seconds. Garcia made it to the line in 22:19.0 for the six kilometers at Abbey Golf Course.
In a field of 250 finishers, she was sixth among GNAC entries. She trailed two freshmen from Alaska-Anchorage who were 61st and 72nd, respectively, along with a senior, junior and sophomore from Simon Fraser who were 76th, 101st and 102nd.
Western Oregon got 10 of the 33 spots on the all-Great Northwest Athletic Conference team – five on offense, four on defense and one on special teams.
Central Washington, the league champion and NCAA Division II playoff-bound, filled 21 spots and swept the seven special awards, including the offensive and defensive player of the year and coach of the year honors.
Simon Fraser had two players make the all-league team.
The Wolves also landed six players on the 16-member honorable mention list. Central Washington had six, and Simon Fraser had four.
Youth led the way for WOU on the first team, with seven of the 10 players selected eligible to return next season. Five of the six Wolves who received honorable mention have at least one more year to play college ball.
WOU first-teamers on offense were junior running back Omari Land, junior wide receiver Thomas Wright and three offensive linemen – senior Jakob Pruitt, sophomore Fernando Salazar and freshman Josh McKey.
On the first team defense from WOU: junior lineman Mack Little, junior linebacker Jaylin Parnell, senior linebacker Curtis Anderson and junior defensive back Joey Sinclair.
Andrew Gross, a senior, was WOU’s all-league punter.
Anderson was a first-team pick for the third time. Land, Parnell, Sinclair and Gross made the top squad for the second time.
Honorable mention went to sophomore wide receivers Jarren Ford and Damon Hickok, junior defensive backs Machiah Lee and Ryan Minniti, senior defensive lineman Twister McComas and sophomore long snapper Jackson Holstad.
The Wolves finished their season with a 4-21 record (2-16 GNAC). They dropped a match 3-0 at Alaska Anchorage on Thursday, then lost 3-0 at Alaska Fairbanks on Saturday.
The top finishers in the league were Western Washington (17-1, first for the fourth year in a row), Central Washington (12-6), Alaska Anchorage (12-6), Simon Fraser (11-7), Alaska Fairbanks (11-7) and Seattle Pacific (11-7).
Season leaders for WOU: sophomore Isabel Hurliman, 272 kills; junior Delaney Smith, .265 hitting percentage; junior Aubrey Stanton, 471 assists; freshman Sophie Matlock, 391 digs; and freshman Bella MacLellan, 72 blocks.
Coach Stan Rodrigues, preparing for the Wolves’ first season, has added Conner Cappelletti as an assistant coach. Cappelletti grew up in Washington and Alabama and most recently was coaching youth for Cincinnati United Premier in Ohio. He also has experience with Eugene Timbers FC, Lane Community College and Lane United FC. He played for the Guam men’s national team.
The Wolves signed nine players last week – one defender, two midfielders, four forward-midfielders and two forwards. Five are from Washington, three from Oregon and one from California.
The defender is Claire Worthy out of Spokane, Wash. The midfielders are Caprial Loescher from Grant High in Portland and Olivia Johnsrud, a center back from Sammamish, Wash. The forward-midfielders are Emma Smith, Burlington, Wash.; Jocelyn Jacobs, Des Moines, Wash.; Abbie Nelson, Barlow High in Gresham; and Lauren Rose, Roseville, Calif. The forwards are Alysia Snyder, Federal Way, Wash., and Ella Kunert, Sherwood High.