Sunday, January 12, 2020

Men win OT thriller at Peninsula, improve to 2-0

PORT ANGELES -- Edmonds men’s basketball is off to a 2-0 start in the NWAC North after hanging on to defeat Peninsula College on Saturday night.

The Tritons held a 37-31 advantage at halftime, and opened the second half on a 17-6 run to extend out to their largest lead of the game at 54-37. In the final 13 minutes the Pirates clawed back on their home hardwood and ended up forcing overtime after Everett Torres-Kahapea’s layup tied the game at 79 apiece just before the end of regulation.

In overtime Curtis Walker dominated, scoring 10 points to lift Edmonds to a 96-88 victory. He finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Tre’Var Holland notched 26 points and dished out 10 assists to pace the Tritons. Holland was also a perfect 10-of-10 from the free throw line. The sophomore is near the top of the NWAC leaderboard in steals (2.4) and assists per game (6.5); he is shooting 87% from the charity stripe this season.

Amanuel Gebreziabher
Winning in Port Angeles against the Pirates (1-1 North, 11-3 overall) is never an easy task. Edmonds snapped Peninsula’s six-game win streak. “It was a gritty win for us. We battled through a lot of adversity at the end when Peninsula hit some tough shots and found ways to get to the free throw line,” said head coach Kyle Gray. "I'm really proud of how we stuck together and found a way to get a road win in a tough place. We focused on what we could control."

Wednesday’s home win over Shoreline saw freshman Amanuel Gebreziabher pour in a season-high 20 points. The freshman guard has worked his way into the starting lineup the past four games and has reached double-digits in four of the past five games. Edmonds led wire-to-wire to top Shoreline 82-75. The Tritons’ bench played a part in the victory, netting 33 points to the Dolphins 16 bench points. Skyler Hammer chipped in 10 points and 7 rebounds. Hammer, Naji Ibraham (who scored 14 points and had 4 steals at Peninsula), and Simran Parmar have all played key roles, and Parker Landdeck is now back from an injury.

Edmonds (2-0 North, 10-6 overall) has now won four in-a-row, and will hit the road again on Wednesday when they cross the Puget Sound to face Olympic College (1-1 North, 4-12 overall) in Bremerton. Stay up-to-date with any schedule changes or cancellations by following the Triton Athletics Twitter. Western Washington is supposed to receive snow this week along with subfreezing temperatures for several days.

Edmonds downs Peninsula, moves to 2-0 in region play

PORT ANGELES -- The Edmonds Community College women’s basketball program has started regional play with two wins after Saturday’s triumph in Port Angeles over Peninsula College.

The Tritons shot 48% from the field and held the Pirates to 32% shooting. Just over one minute into the game they took a lead they would not relinquish. At the break, they led 35-27 and hung on to claim the important 74-67 road victory. Jerzie Pluid recorded her second double-double in the past three games with 14 points and 10 rebounds, and was one of four players to reach double figures (Kalei Cates scored 19, Rachael Balagso had 16 and Gieani Balino added 11). Edmonds withstood Leilani Padilla’s 27-point effort by the Pirates (1-1 North, 8-5 overall). When it mattered in the fourth quarter, Padilla was limited to just three points, all coming from the charity stripe.

Sophomore Gieani Balino
In Wednesday’s NWAC North Region opener at home versus Shoreline, the Tritons fought off a pesky Dolphins team 96-83 behind Gieani Balino’s offensive explosion. The sophomore guard scored a career-high 28 points and also swiped 10 steals. She is now averaging just over 18 ppg, which is 7th best in the NWAC. It was a back-and-forth battle through three quarters before the Tritons pulled away in the final stanza. Edmonds outscored Shoreline 34-24 in the fourth quarter. The Tritons shot a blistering 53% from the floor and forced 35 Dolphin turnovers, 11 of which came in the fourth quarter.

Edmonds (2-0 North, 5-10 overall) is scheduled to play in Bremerton at Olympic College (0-2 North, 3-8 overall) on Wednesday, January 15. Follow the Triton Athletics Twitter for the
most up-to-date information on any game changes or cancellations. Western Washington is supposed to receive snow this week along with subfreezing temperatures for several days.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Edmonds CC volleyball opens NWAC Championships in Tacoma

TACOMA – The Edmonds Community College volleyball team opens postseason play at the NWAC Championship Tournament as the No. 2 seed from the North Region on Thursday at 2 p.m.

Edmonds (27-12, 9-3 North) comes into the tournament as one of the hottest teams in the NWAC after winning its last five matches. The tournament kicks off Thursday morning on the fifth floor of the Greater Tacoma Convention Center. The Tritons play a familiar opponent in their first-round match in Linn-Benton CC. The Roadrunners defeated the Tritons in three early-season matches this year – 2-0 at the kickoff NWAC Showcase, 3-2 on the Roadrunners' home floor September 4, and again 2-0 at the Bellevue College Invite on September 7. 

“They have a couple nice hitters, play relentless defense, and serve tough,” said Edmonds head coach Tony Miranda of Linn-Benton, which finished as the No. 3 seed from the South Region and went 27-10 overall.

Edmonds CC volleyball at the banquet
The Tritons have qualified for the playoffs for the fourth consecutive year under Miranda. Last year they placed fourth at this tournament. Three players were selected as NWAC North Region All-Stars as announced by the conference at the banquet Wednesday night. Sophomores Sadie Gardner and Haylee Hooper were first-team picks, and freshman Danika Brown made the second team.

Gardner has been a stalwart. She leads the team in kills as an outside hitter, and is an overall talent.

“She’s more than the kills. She gets aces, digs, blocks,” Miranda said. “On any given night she could be the best on our team in any of those categories.” Gardner earned the North Region Offensive Player of the Week award the final three weeks of the season.

Hooper overcame an injury during the season and has stepped up her defense since returning to the starting lineup. Along with Gardner, she is a two-time first-team selection in the North.

Brown has become good at scoring in transition. "She's making herself available to attack. Danika and Jerzie's (Pluid) blocking has made the opposing team's hitter do things they don't want to," Miranda said. Brown is an efficient hitter as well. Her .268 hitting percentage is best on the team and 12th overall in the NWAC.

For Edmonds to advance and have success Miranda thinks it starts and ends with his sophomores. 

“They will have to lead like they have all year. They’ve played all different positions, all six rotation positions," he said. “They’ve been here before, they are tested … on the court, with how we play and how we prepare off the court. They are key."

This year’s team has overcome a multitude of injuries, and Miranda is proud of how the Tritons have bounced back.

 “I’ve never had so many matches and sets lost due to injury on any team I’ve ever coached. This has been a resilient group,” Miranda said. “You lose your libero, lost your setters – the next person has stepped in and played well.”

Gardner has been the only sophomore that didn’t catch the injury bug. Hooper, the team’s returning all-league setter, went down for a stretch. Ludwig, the returning libero, had two injury stints. Weekes, who stepped up to fill a few different roles, went down before the regular-season finale. 

Makalei Watson was the starting outside hitter when she was hampered. She is back, but not to full strength and missed most of region play. Sara Gauna also saw time on the bench.

Now with Weekes out, freshman Erin Doner will step up and assume the opposite hitter role. She was thrown into the fire the last match of the regular season and fared well. The Tritons swept previously undefeated Whatcom in straight sets. “Sara, Erin, and Jerzie have shown glimpses this year,” Miranda added.

In the last five games Ludwig and Hooper have re-established their chemistry. “Our offense works better when we get that good dig, set and swing off,” said Miranda. Down the stretch the Tritons have played great defense which has fueled the offense.

Miranda may have done his best coaching job this season, his 11th year as head coach in the NWAC. 

“This team believes in each other and they trust each other," he said. "Our depth has been crucial. The next person up for us has been solid and has allowed us to compete.”

Edmonds has a tough draw if it’s to advance on the winners’ bracket side. No. 1-ranked North Idaho College and No. 2 Pierce are both on the same side of the bracket. 

All three healthy sophomores – Gardner, Hooper, and Ludwig – will play in the All-Star Games on Sunday, November 24. The North faces the South first at 10:30 a.m. followed by another match at noon.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Ashley Lokey named head coach of Edmonds CC softball

LYNNWOOD – Ashley Lokey has been selected as Edmonds CC’s new head softball coach and assumes the position immediately. 
Lokey spent the last two years as an assistant at NCAA DI Seattle University, helping the Redhawks to their first NCAA Regional appearance in the program’s history. Seattle U was 73-40 in her two years there, which included the school’s first Western Athletic Conference (WAC) regular season and tournament title this spring. Seattle U notched 40 wins (school record) in 2019 and was the first WAC program to win an NCAA tournament game since 2015. Lokey helped with recruiting, coached first base, worked primarily with the team’s lefty slap hitters and outfielders, and organized camps. 
Lokey has previous head-coaching experience at the community college level. She coached at Chabot College, a two-year school in the California Community College Athletic Association, in Hayward, Calif. for four years (2013-2017). Lokey rebuilt the program and in 2015-16 the Gladiators were 26-11. She coached two All-Nor Cal players and eight 1st-Team All-North Coast Conference players and established a track record of academic success with a student-first philosophy. Lokey was also a part-time faculty member at Chabot.   
“Ashley comes highly recommended to us and is the right person to lead Triton softball,” said athletic director Spencer Stark. “If you look at her coaching path, she’s already cut her teeth as a young head coach and her recent experience at Seattle U will help her at Edmonds. I know the team is excited about Ashley and we are thrilled to add her to our coaching staff.”
Ashley Lokey
Lokey is from Eugene, Ore. and graduated from Elmira High School. She started her playing career at Mt. Hood Community College, learning from five-time NWAC championship head coach Meadow McWhorter, who is now the skipper at NCAA DI Portland State University. While at Mt. Hood she was part of McWhorter's first championship team in 2009 and was a two-time selection to the NWAC All-Tournament Team. Lokey garnered NWAC South all-league honors both years and was a NFCA NWAC All-American in 2009. She transferred to NCAA DII Academy of Art University in San Francisco, Calif. and holds the school's record for highest batting average (.437), slugging percentage (.668), and on-base percentage (.528). While at Academy of Art Lokey was PacWest Academic All-Conference (2011, 2012), All-PacWest 1st Team (2010, 2012), and NFCA All-Region 2nd Team (2010). She earned nine Player of the Week honors, and three PacWest Weekly Top 10 selections.
“I’m super excited to come into the NWAC as the new head coach for Edmonds softball. As a former student-athlete in the NWAC, I have a unique understanding of playing at the community college level and moving on to play at a four-year university,” said Lokey. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to build upon the expectations and foundation that Edmonds softball has created. I am eager to work with the team and look forward to building champions in academics, athletics, community, and in life.”
Lokey earned her Bachelor’s degree from Academy of Art, majoring in Multimedia Communications and later obtained her Master’s in Sport and Health Science from American Public University. 
This year interim head coach Chuck Stark guided the Tritons to a 41-10 season and an appearance in the NWAC championship game one year after former head coach Sheryl Gilmore led the team to a record-setting 2018 season in which the Tritons finished 42-8, captured the North Region title for the first time since 1998, and placed third overall at the NWAC Tournament. Gilmore is now the head coach at NCAA DII Western Washington University. 
Edmonds has seven returning sophomores, many of whom filled large roles on the squad in 2019. Freshmen Prestyne Kaimi-Montira and Ciena Kauhi were named to the NFCA All-American team, and returners Staisa Micky, Cecilia Robbins, Rhilmina Sagapolutele and Liliola Vehikite were all NWAC North Region All-Stars. Softball starts their fall season in early September.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Tritons title hopes still alive after 6-3 loss

SPOKANE -- Edmonds softball was unable to best defending NWAC champion North Idaho College on Sunday night, losing the NWAC Tournament winner's bracket game 6-3. But the Tritons are not headed home yet. After the Cardinals scored two runs in the second inning, and one in the third, Rhilmina Sagapolutele launched a line drive solo shot in the fourth inning to get the Tritons on the board. The Cardinals touched Tritons' starter Cecilia Robbins for two more runs in the fifth to extend their lead to 5-1.

Rhilmina Sagapolutele
Photo by Dan Acosta
The Tritons didn't go down without a fight. Kayla Hensley and Sagapolutele hit back-to-back round trippers in the top of the seventh to make it interesting. Hensley and Sagapolutele, both freshmen, have combined for five dingers this weekend. North Idaho box score >>

Edmonds' three home runs were the most Madi Mott has given up in a game this year. The North Idaho pitcher was named the 2019 NWAC Softball Player of the Year and is a two-time NFCA All-American with the best pitching numbers in the league. The Tritons should be confident if they get another opportunity to face the top hurler, but will need to put the ball in play -- Edmonds fanned 11 times against the righty on Sunday.

Next up is another rematch with Douglas College. The two North Region adversaries meet for the sixth time this year at 11 a.m. on Monday. Edmonds has won the previous five meetings, including a 3-0 win in their first game Sunday. The winner will move on to face North Idaho in the NWAC Championship at 1:30 p.m. Edmonds would need to beat North Idaho twice to win the title if it can get past Douglas. The last time Triton softball played for an NWAC title was in 1998. Last year's team finished 3rd overall at the tournament. The only NWAC championship in program history was in 1980.

Livestream for Douglas >> | Bracket | Triton Athletics Twitter

Robbins shines as Tritons blank Douglas

Cecilia Robbins
Photo by Dan Acosta
SPOKANE -- After three innings of scoreless softball, the Tritons broke through with two runs in the bottom of the 4th inning and that's all Cecilia Robbins needed to blank Douglas College 3-0 on Sunday afternoon in Spokane. It was Kayla Hensely's two-run shot in the 4th -- her second home run of the tournament -- that put Edmonds ahead for good. Robbins tossed a complete game, scattering 3 hits to notch her third win of the tournament.

Rhilmina Sagapolutele plated Hensely in the 6th on a double that was lined into the left-center gap, giving the Tritons a 3-run cushion into the 7th. Sagapolutele fouled off 7 pitches in the at bat before delivering. Chantelle Shimabukuro was 2-for-3 in the game and had one double. Shimabukuro turned a nice unassisted double play in the 2nd, and center fielder Shanelle Lum made a great grab in center field to end the Royals' threat in the 4th.

Edmonds (40-8) wins their 14th in a row and gets defending NWAC champion North Idaho (36-9) next in a battle of the two unbeaten teams left. The Cardinals have a 15-game winning streak of their own headed into the showdown. They beat Walla Walla 4-0 to advance. The winner of tonight's 6 p.m. game will assure themselves a spot in the NWAC Championship Game on Monday.

Livestream for Edmonds vs. North Idaho >>

Douglas box score >> | Bracket | Triton Athletics Twitter

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Tritons mount comeback to advance in winner's bracket

SPOKANE -- It wasn't easy, but it usually isn't at the NWAC Championship Tournament. Edmonds CC softball earned its second one-run victory on Saturday, edging Olympic 5-4. The Rangers scored one run in the first; the Tritons answered with a run of their own on Kayla Hensley's RBI single up the middle. Olympic added a run in the 3rd, and two in the 4th to take a 4-1 lead. Cecilia Robbins entered the circle in the 4th with 2 outs and a runner on third base and fanned Shanya Nisbet, a 1st-team North Region selection, to end the threat.

Kalei Cacho-Kekahuna
Edmonds was down 4-1 heading to the bottom half of the 5th, and that's when the momentum shifted. Kalei Cacho-Kekahuna slapped her second hit of the game into right field with 1 out, and Taylor Shigeta bunted her over to second for the second out. Shanelle Lum promptly doubled over the right fielders head scoring Cacho-Kehahuna. Ciena Kauhi followed with an RBI single to the right-center gap, driving in Lum and pulling the Tritons within one run. Kauhi stole second base and moved up to third on a passed ball. Chantelle Shimabukuro kept the two-out rally rolling with a double to the left-center gap to plate Kauhi and tie the game at 4.

The Tritons pushed across the winning run in the sixth with a two-out rally. Staisa Micky walked, and Liliola Vehikite, a pinch-runner, stole second and scored when Cacho-Kekahuna's drive to the right-center gap was mishandled.

Ciena Kauhi
Photo by Dan Acosta
Robbins held the Rangers' offense at bay for 3 1/3 innings, allowing no runs, 1 hit, and no walks to tally her second win of the day. Cacho-Kekahuna and Kauhi were both 2-for-3 in the game.

The Tritons extended their winning streak to 13 games. Five of their last 10 wins have been one-run triumphs (all of them in May). Edmonds (39-8) faces another familiar opponent in Douglas College (35-10) tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. Douglas, the No. 7 seed, knocked off upstart Spokane 4-3 in their second tilt on Saturday. With a win Edmonds would become one of two unbeaten teams left in the winner's bracket.

Olympic box score >> | Softball Championship website | Bracket | Triton Athletics Twitter