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Canitez, Nwaba to Compete in Rio

Submitted by: Ron Smith - August 1st, 2016
Barbara Nwaba (left) and Tugce Canitez

With the 2016 Summer Olympics about to get under way in Rio de Janeiro later this week, Westmont fans will be paying special attention to women’s basketball and track and field and cheering on two particular athletes in their quest for an Olympic medal.

Tugce Canitez, who graduated from Westmont in 2013, will compete in the Olympics for the second time as a member of the Turkish women’s basketball team. Canitez competed at the London Games in 2012, the summer between her junior and senior years at Westmont. After her return from London to Westmont, Canitez helped lead the Warriors to the 2013 NAIA Women’s Basketball National Championship.

Since her graduation, Canitez has played professionally in her home country for Fenerbahce in Istanbul. A perineal contender in the Turkish Women’s Basketball League, Fenerbahce won the 2016 championship.

Turkey has been assigned to Group A at 2016 Olympics along with France, Australia, Japan, Belarus and the home country, Brazil. Pool play begins on Saturday, August 6 and continues through Monday, August 15. The single elimination brackets begin on Tuesday, August 16 with the quarterfinals. The semifinals are scheduled for Thursday, August 18 and the medal games will be played on Saturday, August 20.

Competing in the women’s heptathlon will be Barbara Nwaba, the two-time USA champion in the event. Nwaba is a member of the Santa Barbara Track Club that trains at Westmont and is coached by Joshua Priester, a Westmont assistant track and field coach.

Women’s Basketball Inks Talented Trio

Submitted by: Kaci Mexico - June 30th, 2016
Krupa (top left), Ranger (top right), and Sears (bottom left).

By Kaci Mexico
June 30, 2016

Head Coach Kirsten Moore is pleased to announce the signing of three talented student-athletes, Ellie Sears from Portland, Ore., Maud Ranger from Anaheim, Calif., and Joy Krupa from Montclair, Calif.

Moore reflected on the signing of the 2016 recruiting class and said, “Anyone who has been around me on the basketball court knows that I am passionate about being a gritty, yet intelligent basketball team. As a top-tier academic institution, here at Westmont we can recruit highly intelligent student-athletes and this class brings not only smarts in the classroom but also a strong basketball IQ. This group will bring the toughness and grit on the defensive end of the floor that I believe is imperative to winning championships. Having been to two NAIA Fab Fours and winning a National Championship in the last four seasons, our program has continued to catch the eye of talented athletes looking to join a successful team and I am thrilled to add Ellie, Maud and Joy to our Warrior family.”

Moore Named as USA Basketball U18 Court Coach

Submitted by: Ron Smith - May 24th, 2016
Kirsten Moore

USA Basketball has announced that Westmont head coach Kirsten Moore has been appointed as one of two court coaches for the USA Women’s Basketball U18 National Team Trials. Moore will serve alongside Temple University coach Tonya Cardoza.

The trials features 30 athletes and will take place from May 28-30 at the United State Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Participants will compete for 12 roster spots on the USA U18 National Team, which will play in the 2016 FIBA Americas U18 Championship for Women from July 13-17 in Valdivia, Chile.

“It is an absolute honor to be named a court coach for USA Basketball. To wear the letters U-S-A across my chest while representing our country is honestly something I dreamed of growing up,” Moore said. “I am grateful and excited that I can play this small role in helping the growth and development of the young basketball talent in this great country prepare to represent us on a national stage.”

The court coaches were selected by the USA Women’s Junior National Team Committee consisting of Jim Foster (Tennessee-Chattanooga), Melanie Balcomb (Vanderbilt), Lindsay Gottlieb (California), Joi Williams (formerly of Central Florida) and athlete representative Kara Lawson Barling, a 2008 Olympic gold medalist.

Karr, Shellmire, McCoy, and Storkson Honored

Submitted by: Kaci Mexico - March 30th, 2016
Krissy Karr (top left), Lauren McCoy (top right), Aysia Shellmire (bottom left), and Karlie Storkson

By Kaci Mexico
March 30, 2016

Four players from the Westmont Women’s Basketball Team were honored with NAIA post-season awards – Krissy Karr, Aysia Shellmire, Lauren McCoy, and Karlie Storkson.

Karr, a 5-6 senior guard from Anaheim was named NAIA Women’s Basketball All- American (first team); Shellmire, a 5-11 forward from Burbank was named NAIA Women’s Basketball All-American (second team); McCoy, a sophomore forward from Arcata was named NAIA Women’s Basketball All-American (third team); and Karlie Storkson, a 5-11 senior guard from Lynnwood, Washington was declared an NAIA scholar Athlete.

Additionally, senior forward Lauren Sende who has made contributions in 33 games for the Warriors this season, was honored as the Westmont Women’s Basketball Champions of Character representative.

Warriors Fall Short in Second Round

Submitted by: Kaci Mexico - March 18th, 2016
Photo by Kaci Mexico

By Kaci Mexico
March 18, 2016

After a largely successful season, that included an undefeated home record, a Golden State Athletic Conference regular season Championship, a GSAC Tournament Championship, and a winning record of 29-4, number one seeded Westmont Women’s Basketball fell to fifth-seeded Lindsey Wilson (28-6) in the second round of the NAIA National Tournament. The score was 59-63.

“They are a really good team and we knew they are a really good team – they had a couple of really dynamic scorers on that team,” explained head coach Kirsten Moore. “For the majority of the game we led and I was proud of how our bench played – Morgan Haskin was great again tonight and has really has grown up so much in this tournament. It was a frustrating game for us because we had a lot of good looks that we normally make and we didn’t stick the ball in the basket with those opportunities that we had.”

The Blue Raiders went on a 10-3 run to start out the game and the Warriors answered with an 11-2 run that lasted until midway into the second quarter to take a four point lead (21-17). Aimee Brakken had a three-pointer and a jump shot, Lauren Sende had two free throws, Krissy Karr had a jump shot, and Moran Haskin had a layup.

Warriors Breeze Through First Round

Submitted by: Kaci Mexico - March 17th, 2016
Morgan Haskin ( Photo by Ron Smith).

By Kaci Mexico
March 17, 2016

Second ranked and number one seeded Westmont Women’s Basketball (29-3) made a statement in the first round of the NAIA Women’s Basketball National Tournament when they defeated unranked and eighth-seeded Hustin-Tillotson (20-7). The Warriors left no doubt – defeating the Rams by a score of 82-47.

“I just thought we looked like a team that has been here before,” said head coach Kirsten Moore. “I think our players are comfortable on this court and came out and attacked really confidently. We really set the tone from the beginning and it was a great team effort.”

Westmont set the tone when halfway into the first quarter they went on a 12-0 run to take an early 15-point lead. Lauren McCoy had two layups and a free throw, Aysia Shellmire had a layup, Lauren Sende had a jump shot, and Aimee Brakken added a three-pointer.

By the end of the first half, the Warriors led 40-21, and at the end of the third quarter they increased their lead to 27 (60-33).

The Warriors ultimately solidified their trip to the second round when they kicked off the final quarter with a 17-2 point run to take a 40 point lead (77-37). Morgan Haskin was the force behind this run with 13 fourth-quarter points, Sende added on a layup, and Kayla Sato had two free-throws.

The Warriors scored more than 20 points in three of the four quarters, while holding the Rams to no more than 14 points in any quarter.

Westmont Draws Huston-Tillotson in NAIA First Round

Submitted by: Kaci Mexico - March 9th, 2016
Basketball D1 Women CMYK

By Kaci Mexico
March 9, 2016

The official brackets have been announced and second ranked Westmont Women’s Basketball (28-3) will face the unranked Huston-Tillotson Rams (20-6) from Austin, Texas in the first round of the 2016 NAIA Division I National Championship Tournament. Westmont is the number one seed in their quadrant of the 32-team bracket, while Huston-Tillotson is the eighth seed.

The Warriors and Rams are scheduled to tip-off next Thursday, March 17, at 6:15 p.m. CDT (4:15 p.m. PDT), the second day of first round games. The tournament will take place at the Independence Events Center in Independence, Missouri.

These two teams have never met before and have no common opponents this season.

The Rams have four players who average in double-digit scoring. Junior guard Deandra Darjean leads the pack with an average of 16.9 points per game while shooting at 42.8 percent, senior guard Ariel Callis has an average of 15.2 points per game while shooting at 43.0 percent, senior guard Porscha Jewell puts up an average of 13.7 points per game while shooting at 41.3 percent, and sophomore guard Lolita Franklin has an average of 11.0 points per game while shooting at 33.7 percent.


Westmont Warriors: GSAC Champions

Submitted by: Kaci Mexico - March 8th, 2016
Photo by Ron Smith

By Kaci Mexico
March 8, 2016

Westmont Women’s Basketball (29-3) shot at 62.5 percent from the three-point line and at 47.8 from the field in the second half to claim a 67-58 victory over Vanguard (24-6) in the Championship game of the Golden State Athletic Conference Tournament.

The Warriors, who were already the regular season champions, are now the GSAC Tournament Champions. “This feels amazing,” said GSAC Player of the Year, Krissy Karr. “It is definitely a goal we had and especially after we won league, we were set on winning the GSAC tournament too.”

“I am just really proud of our players,” said Westmont head coach Kirsten Moore. “We push them so hard all year for moments like this so that they are ready and prepared, and they came through when they needed to tonight.”

Within the first two minutes, the Warriors went on a 9-2 run to take an early lead. After winning the tip off Aysia Shellmire drove towards the basket, drew the foul, and made the subsequent free throws. Vanguard then embarked upon their first possession of the game, but Karr stole the ball and handed it off to Shellmire, who hit a jump shot. Cora Chan followed with a layup, Vanguard’s Samantha Doucette piped in with a jump shot, and Aimee Brakken added a three-pointer.

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