Harthun selected as GNAC Co-Rookie of the Year

Photo by Paul McCarthy

Jamie Foland

Freshman outside hitter Sam Harthun (Oregon City, Ore./Photojournalism) was selected as the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Co-Rookie of the Year, the league office announced Monday afternoon.

“I’m super excited for Sam,” head coach Phil Shoemaker said. “Certainly we think it’s recognition that is well deserved. It’s an indicator of the season she had and what we think the future holds for her. You can think of the great ones that have come through here and her name is going to join that list really soon.”

Harthun led the Nanooks and ranked fifth in the GNAC with 3.49 kills per set and sixth in points with 3.89 per frame. She was also 26th in the league with a .192 hitting percentage.

For the year, the six-rotation hitter accrued 314 kills on 845 attempts, both a team-high. She also tallied 199 digs (2.21 dps), 32 total blocks, 27 assists and 17 aces while making starts in all 24 matches.

Her season highlights included a 31-kill performance at Simon Fraser (11/1/12) as well as two other 20-plus kill outings, a .654 hitting percentage against Saint Martin’s (10/20/12) and 15 digs at Western Oregon (9/22/12).

“She was a big part of our success this year and she’s a big part of our optimism for the future,” Shoemaker said. “We’re very proud of her and it was well earned.”

Harthun, who was an Honorable Mention All-GNAC selection as well, shared the top freshman honor with Alaska Anchorage’s Julia Mackey. Mackey was ninth in the league with 3.13 kills per set while producing 53 total blocks for the Seawolves.

Western Washington’s Marlayna Geary was named Player of the Year and her teammate Samantha Hutchinson was honored as the Defensive Player of the Year. Anchorage also had Jodi Huddleston receive Newcomer of the Year and Viking head coach Diane Flick was tabbed Coach of the Year after leading WWU to the regular-season GNAC title.

First Team All-GNAC
Outside Hitter – Cailin Fellows (SPU), Marlayna Geary (WWU), Marcy Hjellum (CWU), Julia Mackey (UAA), Danielle Reese (WOU), Samantha Ward (WOU).
Middle Blocker – Kayla Erickson (WWU), Krissi Kemper (WOU), Erin Smith (CWU).
Setter – Kimya Jafroudi (UAA), Shelby Swanson (SPU), Laurie Yearout (WWU).
Libero – Erin Compton (MSUB), Samantha Hutchinson (WWU)

Honorable Mention All-GNAC
Outside Hitter – Emmy Dolan (CWU), Monica Grimsrud (MSUB), Sam Harthun (Alaska).
Middle Blocker – Becky Blees (WOU), Emily Boerger (WWU), Katy Ferguson (SMU), Becky Flores (NNU), Jodi Huddleston (UAA), Nikki Lowell (SPU).
Setter – Catie Fry (CWU), Michelle Terpstra (NNU).
Libero – Kaely Kight (CWU).