Local sports events
Deyzha Samuelu and Naomi Dalley added their names to join the Western New Mexico University volleyball team for the 2017 season as announced by head coach Jim Callender.
Samuelu, a 6-foot-3 middle hitter from Huntington Beach, Calif., transfers from former Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference foe Chadron State where she redshirted during the 2015 season and played as a redshirt freshman in 2016. This past year she saw action in 12 sets and six matches coming away with nine kills, two digs and five blocks. During her high school career she played on the varsity team for two seasons, posting 113 kills and 101 blocks with a .214 hitting percentage. In addition she spent time playing for the Aiga Volleyball Club for two years and was a member of the varsity basketball team as well as the club baseball team.
"I recruited Deyzha two years ago when she was in high school and played for the Aiga club team. She is an imposing middle blocker with great lateral skills," Callender said. "She is such a hard worker and a great teammate also. I'm so glad she has chosen to transfer to WNMU and continue her career here. I think she will start contributing right away this fall."
Dalley, a 5-foot-2 setter, will be an incoming freshman after playing at Tonopah Valley High School in Tonopah, Ariz., as she played in 63 sets coming away with 76 kills, 42 service aces, 55 blocks, 380 digs and 240 assists. She also put together a solid junior campaign with 32 kills, 82 service aces, 27 blocks, 232 digs and 282 assists in 73 sets played.
"She has an excellent work ethic and was extremely coachable. Naomi has seen the highest honors and achievements at the Arizona State high school level," Coach Callender said. "We will work with her as a setter in our system for the future. The speed of the collegiate game in our Lone Star Conference specifically is a big jump from the high school level. I expect Naomi to work very hard and is up to the challenge."
Junior Vladimir Gnilozubov and senior Harry Wetton were each named to the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-American At-Large Third-Team on Thursday.Both advanced to the national ballot after landing on the All-District Team in May.
Gnilozubov holds a 4.0 GPA and is majoring in accounting. He was named to the LSC Academic Team this season, along with landing on the honorable mention singles squad. Last season he took home the RMAC Summit Award and was a First-Team All-RMAC Academic selection.
Along with redshirt junior teammate Tristan Da Lio, they have formed one of the top doubles teams in the nation, finishing seventh in the nation to earn All-American status. Gnilozubov won 14 singles matches this season to lead the team with top wins against Azusa Pacific, UC Riverside, St. Edward's, Southeastern Oklahoma, Newman, MSU Denver and Midwestern State. In doubles action at one point this season they won 10 straight matches and took home All-LSC doubles honors. They grabbed top wins versus Colorado Mesa, Point Loma, St. Mary's, St. Edward's, UC San Diego, Southeastern Oklahoma, Newman, MSU Denver and Cameron.
Wetton holds a 3.91 GPA and is majoring in business management. He landed on both the LSC Academic and All-Conference lists this season. He took home All-RMAC Academic First-Team accolades each of the past two seasons and was an All-RMAC performer the past three seasons. Wetton took home several other honors over the years in Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-American Scholar and PING All-Region. He compiled an amazing 44 rounds at par or better throughout his career.
He played in 32 rounds this season with a low of 210 on 54-hole and 140 on 36-hole. He had a low score of 66 that included four top-five finishes, a 73.75 scoring average and a 566-349 (62) win-loss record, leading the team in both categories. His 210 came the Mustang Intercollegiate when he finished fifth out of 104, with his low round of 66 coming in that same event. Wetton finishes his career with the second-best scoring average of 73.40, just behind Mustang great Calum Hill's 73.16.
A trio of new players signed on to join the Western New Mexico University men's basketball team for the 2017-18 season as announced by head coach Matt Enriquez.
All three players will be transferring in as juniors. O'Shayne Reid will arrive from Cochise College, Davis Wade from Phoenix College and Jon-Reese Woodson from Temple College.
Reid is a 6-foot-7, 245-pound center from Cochise College and is originally from Jamaica, N.Y. The Apaches went 25-7 this past season and the team made it to the Division I Region Championships game. Reid saw action in all 32 games last year making 43 percent from the field.
“One of the areas that we needed to address in this recruiting class was size and strength. O'Shayne gives us both of those things,” Enriquez said. “He is a very strong and physical big who will come in and give us much needed depth at the center position. He is the ultimate team player who works hard and comes from a great program in Cochise. I am very excited for O'Shayne to join our Mustang family.”
Wade is a 6-foot-1, 185 pound guard from Phoenix College and is originally from Jackson, Miss. Wade averaged seven points per game and is a sharp-shooter making 42 percent from three-point range. Phoenix College went 25-7 and made it to the Division 2 Region 1 Championship game.
“Davis gives us another threat on the perimeter with his shooting ability. He is a big physical guard who can play multiple positions. Not only is he a proven shooter, but he is a true competitor,” Enriquez said. “Davis also comes from a great program in Phoenix College. I expect great things from Davis over the next two years.”
Woodson is a 6-foot-9, 210-pound forward from Temple College and is originally from Corpus Christi, Texas. He connected on 57 percent from the field while averaging nine points and six rebounds per game. Temple College also did well tallying a 24-7 record on the season.
“I am very excited that Jon-Reese will be wearing a Mustang uniform next year. He is a versatile player who will give us height and athleticism at the forward position,” Enriquez said. “He will have an impact on both ends of the floor for us. He will help us accomplish great things during his time here. I look forward to coaching him over the next two years.”
Following a season in which they claimed the ITA South Central Region doubles title and finished third at the Oracle Cup, redshirt junior Tristan Da Lio and junior Vladimir Gnilozubov finished seventh nationally in the final ITA rankings of the season. The Western New Mexico University men's tennis team took home a 25th national ranking.
In finishing seventh, the duo will claim All-American status and it was a season to remember for Da Lio and Gnilozubov as they went 15-7, with all of their matches being played at the top flight. They went 2-1 in Lone Star Conference matches and at one point this year they won 10 straight matches.
As a team, the Mustangs grabbed a 25th ranking and at one point this season were ranked as high as 22nd, which is the highest in program history. WNMU posted 13 wins this year and advanced to the South Central Regional in which they played a tough match against St. Mary's before falling just short, 5-2.
When it came to the final South Central Region rankings, WNMU was fourth. In singles, senior Jean-Laurent Pageault came in eighth, followed by sophomore Liam Fraboulet at ninth. Gnilozubov rounded out the three that were ranked in the top-20 at 17. Pageault went 11-9 this season, second-best on the team, going 10-8 at No. 2 and 1-1 at No. 1. He went 3-0 in conference play. Fraboulet tallied a 6-15 mark going 5-14 at the top flight and 1-1 at No. 2. Gnilozubov led the team in singles victories collecting a 14-8 mark going 13-8 at No. 3 and 1-0 at No. 1. He went 2-1 in conference play. While in doubles rankings, Da Lio/Gnilozubov were the top ranked pair, while Pageault/Fraboulet were No. 8. They went 14-8, including a 2-1 mark in conference play with all of their matches coming at No. 2.
Scott Woodard and Liz Narkon will be inducted into the Western New Mexico University Athletic Hall of Fame this fall during the Homecoming festivities on September 23.
Woodard spent 20 years at WNMU as the director of athletics, head softball coach, head baseball coach and assistant football coach. He helped run the compliance office during the transition from NAIA to Division II and was involved in building the new softball field, football complex and addition of the tennis court expansion. Before moving into administration and coaching at WNMU, Woodard played baseball for the Mustangs before graduating in 1985. He helped restart the softball program in 1998 and coached four All-Americans and was an assistant on the 2004 NCAA West Region Championship team that finished fifth at the Division II Championships. He helped guide the Lady Mustangs to 191 victories in his seven seasons as the head coach, including three straight 30-win seasons in 1997-99.
Before coaching softball, Woodard was the head coach of the baseball program for two years and spent time as an assistant coach on the football team from 1992-96. He was a part of the 7-4 team in 1995 that included an upset of Cal State Northridge and is the last winning season in program history as he served as the offensive coordinator during that season. During his playing career he was an all-star shortstop and was twice named to the RMAC All-Conference Team. Woodard received both his bachelor's degree in 1985 and master's in 1986 from WNMU.
Narkon was a team captain, four-year starter, All-Conference in both the Heartland and Rocky Mountain Athletic Conferences, NCAA Division II West Region Freshman of the Year, Daktronics All-Region, AVCA All-Region and AVCA All-American. She is second in school history in kills with 1,311, while also adding 105 service aces, 944 digs and 154 blocks. Narkon ranks second for most kills in a season with 579 during the 2004 year, second in kills per set at 4.95 during that same year, first in service aces in a season with 45 during the 2003 year, first in service aces per set at 0.44 also in 2003, ranks in the top-10 in a season twice in digs with 333 in 2004 and 326 in 2003, second in most points in a season with 646 in 2004, and ranks second and third in points per set with 5.52 in 2004 and 4.30 in 2003. In three seasons she tallied at least 252 kills and had three years with at least 280 digs.
Narkon finished 19th nationally in kills per set during the 2004 season. The team reached some of their best seasons since moving to Division II during her career as the Lady Mustangs won at least 18 games during the four seasons, three times winning 22 or more, with her final two seasons each producing 26-win campaigns. In 2005, the team tallied 26 wins and advanced to the NCAA Southwest Regional after winning the Heartland Conference Championship. In 2006, WNMU again soared to 26 wins and advanced to the NCAA Regionals.
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