SoHi’s Kennedy signs to play with Western New Mexico

Posted: Sunday, May 20, 2007

Soldotna senior Christa Kennedy signed a letter of intent on Monday to play women’s basketball for Western New Mexico University, a Division II school located in Silver City, N.M. Kennedy will be receiving an athletic scholarship and plans on majoring in sports medicine.

Kennedy started four years for the Stars in varsity basketball and earned a letter each year. She was named to the Northern Lights Conference first team in 2005 and 2007 and the second team in 2006. She was a co-captain her junior and senior years, was named the team most valuable player in 2005 and freshman of the year in 2004.

This past season, Kennedy helped lead the Stars to a second-place finish in the NLC tournament and a berth at state by averaging 9.6 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.8 steals per game while shooting 37.6 percent from the field. She was 26.1 percent from 3-point land and 58.1 percent from the foul stripe.

Kennedy prepared for this season by playing for the Alaska Youth Basketball Association’s Girls High School Select team in the summer of 2006 and in April 2007.

Kennedy also lettered for three years in volleyball. In 2004 and 2006, she was named to the NLC second team in the sport. This season, she helped the Stars to a second-place finish in the NLC tournament and her team’s first state berth in nine years. Kennedy also has won two letters in soccer and is currently on the track and field team. She is a 2007 Wendy’s High School Heisman nominee and was recently named the 2006-07 Outstanding Senior Athlete of the Year at SoHi.

Kennedy, who maintains a 3.2 grade-point average, will play for a Western New Mexico team that finished 8-16 last year in Brent Hansen’s second year at the helm.

Nikiski’s Herrin earns awards at UAF

Nikiski graduate Sarah Herrin earned the Most Improved Player award and shared the Most Inspirational Player award with fellow freshman Brittany Black for the University of Alaska Fairbanks women’s basketball team. The awards ceremony for the team was in late April.

Herrin had 97 points and 69 rebounds for UAF, playing a bigger role on the team as she gained experience.

“She brings a lot to the program personalitywise and her hard work,” UAF coach Lynne Andrew told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. “I think that’s just her teammates’ way of rewarding her and letting her know how much they appreciate it.”

At the team banquet, Nikiski graduate Karen Rabung also was honored as a departing senior.

UAF had a 10-17 record last season.

Ninilchik’s Matson named All-American

Ninilchik graduate Amanda Matson was named a 2007 Daktronics-National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Women’s Basketball All-American Scholar-Athlete. Student-athletes must be nominated by their head coach, be at least a junior and maintain a minimum of a 3.5 on a 4.0 scale.

Matson, a junior, is a business major with a GPA of 3.56. She helped Eastern Oregon University to a 25-7 record last season, a conference championship and a trip to the NAIA national tournament.

“I am really proud of her,” women’s basketball head coach Anji Weissenfluh said in a released statement. “That was one of her goals and she worked hard to achieve this accomplishment.”

Fellow Ninilchik graduate Whitney Leman, who also plays women’s basketball for Eastern Oregon, made the Dean’s List at the school.

Kenai’s Craig to play for Peninsula College

Kenai Central’s Damaris Craig will play basketball next year for Peninsula College in Port Angeles, Wash. Peninsula plays in the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges, where last season, under first-year coach Tiffany Darling, the Pirates finished with a winning record in the NWAACC and one spot out of a trip to the NWAACC tournament.

Craig joins a group of four Alaskans that are in Peninsula’s recruiting class. Also included are Ayla Brown, a 5-foot-8 guard from Wasilla; Jamie Brown, a 5-8 guard transferring from the University of Alaska Anchorage; and Tina Knight, a 5-6 guard from Dimond High School in Anchorage.

Craig, at 6-0, adds some size to the class. Craig averaged 10 points per game, 7.5 rebounds per game and two blocks per game this season. She also carries a 3.4 GPA.

“She has great hands, can finish with her left or right hand with contact, rebounds well, and can shoot it from 10 to 12 feet,” Darling said in a released statement. “Her potential is unlimited, I’m excited to see her grow and develop over the course of her two years in a Pirate uniform.”

Krusen, Boyle make All-Academic Team

Kenai Central graduates Mary Krusen and Mick Boyle were named to the 2007 Great Northwest Athletic Conference All-Academic Team in early May for the University of Alaska Anchorage. The team recognizes student-athletes who have a cumulative grade-point average of 3.20 or higher, are in their second year of competition and qualified for the GNAC Track Championships.

Krusen, a senior majoring in nursing, carries a 3.48 GPA and made the team for the second time in her career. Boyle, a junior majoring in psychology, carries a 3.55 and was honored for the first time.

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