ALUMNI NOTEBOOK: Area grads help Sierra to playoff victory, spot in Championship Tournament |

ALUMNI NOTEBOOK: Area grads help Sierra to playoff victory, spot in Championship Tournament

Nevada Union graduate Aycee Willis (24), pictured above at a game earlier this season, scored 11 points and pulled down seven rebounds in Sierra College's third round playoff win over Chabot College Saturday.
Submitted photo by Dave Lawicka |

The Sierra College Wolverines played like the No. 1 seed they are Saturday, knocking off No. 9 Chabot College in convincing fashion and advancing to the California Community College Athletic Association’s Women’s Basketball Championship Tournament.

After slipping by No. 16 seed Solano Community College, 59-49, in the second round of the NorCal regional tourney Feb. 24, the Wolverines roughed up Chabot, 99-64, over the weekend.

Aycee Willis, a 2017 Nevada Union graduate, was one of four Wolverines players to score in double figures against Chabot. The freshman guard finished with 11 points, seven rebounds and three steals in the win. For the season, Willis is averaging 10.5 points per game to go with 4.7 rebounds per game.

“It’s so much fun to play with them,” Willis said of her teammates during a January interview. “We have such a great attitude…We just want to win a state championship.”

The Wolverines are now just three wins away from that goal.

Fellow freshman guard Alyssa Pulkinghorn, a 2017 Bear River graduate, saw floor time in the win over Chabot, but did not tally points. Pulkinghorn is averaging 1.9 points per game this season.

The victory sends Sierra College south to Ventura College where the remaining four NorCal teams and remaining four SoCal squads will battle it out for the state title.

Sierra College (29-1) will now face Irvine Valley (26-4), the No. 4 seed from the SoCal bracket, in the tourney quarterfinals at 5 p.m. Thursday in Ventura.


Matt Lopez, a 2016 Bear River graduate, and the Sierra College Wolverines opened conference play with a three-game sweep of Modesto Junior College last week.

Lopez, a freshman first baseman, went 3-for-13 with a double, four RBIs and four runs scored. For the season, Lopez is batting .375 with three home runs, 17 RBIs and 19 runs scored.

Sierra (13-4, 3-0) competes in the CCCAA’s Big 8 Conference.

Three local alumni took the diamond for Yuba College last week and helped the 49ers top Shasta College, 6-4.

Weston Gaddis, a 2016 Nevada Union graduate, played second base and shortstop in the game and went 1-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.

Andrew Schnitzius, also a 2016 Nevada Union graduate, played catcher and went 0-for-3 from the plate.

Bear Belding, a 2016 Bear River graduate, saw game action but did not log an at-bat.

Yuba College (9-6) competes in the CCCAA’s Bay Valley Conference.

Dalton Maxwell, a 2015 Nevada Union graduate, and the Menlo College Oaks had a tough time with William Jessup last week, dropping all three games to their Golden State Athletic Conference opponent.

Maxwell, a junior, played in all three games and went 1-for-8 from the plate. For the season, Maxwell is batting .158 with 10 RBIs and seven runs scored.

Menlo teammate Ryan McCarthy, a 2013 Nevada Union graduate, took the mound in relief once last week.

The 6-foot, 4-inch righty pitched 1.1 innings in Sunday’s 13-8 loss to William Jessup. He tossed 1.1 innings, allowed one hit and one run while striking out one.

Menlo (8-15) is a NAIA school that competes in the GSAC.


Nerissa Eason, a 2016 Bear River graduate, pitched well in her only start for the Oregon State Beavers last week, helping her team to a 4-1 victory over Boston University at the San Diego Classic.

Eason, a hard-throwing sophomore, tossed a complete game, allowing seven hits and one earned run while striking out three. For the season, Eason has appeared in seven games, is 1-0 and has a 3.58 ERA.

The Beavers went 3-2 at the tourney.

Oregon State (13-8) is a Division I school that competes in the Pac-12.

Arielle Koerber, a 2017 Bear River graduate, took the circle twice for Wagner College at the Louisville Slugger Tournament in Stockton last week.

Koerber, a freshman pitcher, tossed a complete game and allowed two earned runs in a loss to San Jose State. She also threw four innings of relief in a loss to University of the Pacific. For the season, Koerber has appeared in five games, is 2-1 overall and has a 3.46 ERA.

Wagner College (2-5) is a NCAA Division I school that competes in the Northeast Conference.

Savannah Ozuna, a 2016 Nevada Union graduate, and the San Francisco State Gators lost three straight to Cal State Monterey Bay last week.

Ozuna, a sophomore first baseman, appeared in one game as a pinch hitter, notching a base hit and an RBI. For the season, Ozuna has played in 10 games, is batting .188 and had four RBIs.

San Francisco State (7-13) is a Division II school that competes in California Collegiate Athletic Association.


Evan Kittle, a 2014 Nevada Union graduate, and the UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs played five straight games in the east coast last week, going 2-3 overall.

Kittle, a senior setter, played in the Banana Slugs’ victory over Wentworth Institute of Technology, and led his team with 33 assists.

For the season, Kittle leads the Banana Slugs in assists with 663.

Santa Cruz (21-9) is a NCAA Division III school that competes independently.

Have we missed anyone? If you know of a college or professional athlete with local ties, email or call 530-477-4232.

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