ALUMNI NOTEBOOK: NU grad Nora Pizzella helps Chico win NCAA West Regional |

ALUMNI NOTEBOOK: NU grad Nora Pizzella helps Chico win NCAA West Regional

Nora Pizzella
Courtesy of Chico State Athletics/

Nora Pizzella, a 2016 Nevada Union graduate, logged a career best time and helped the Chico State women’s cross country team run down the NCAA Division II West Regional Championship.

Competing in Monmouth, Oregon on Saturday, Pizzella notched a time of 21 minutes, 16.3 seconds on the 6K course to finish fourth among Chico State runners and 20th overall.

The team win at the West Regionals is the sixth in Chico State program history and first since 2016.

With the effort, Pizzella earned All-West Regional honors for the third time in her college career.

While at Nevada Union, Pizzella was a star on the cross country team, placing sixth at the Sac-Joaquin Section finals, and taking 25th at the state championships with a time of 18:20, which set a school record.

Next up for Pizzella, a senior, and the Wildcats is the NCAA DII Championships set to be held Nov. 23 in Sacramento.


Garrett Gough, a 2019 Nevada Union graduate, is making an immediate impact at the college level.

The freshman harrier helped the Army West Point men’s cross country team win the Patriot League Championship Nov. 2.

Gough earned All-Patriot League Second Team honors after finishing ninth individually with a time of 25:39.1 on the 8K course. Gough also nabbed Most Outstanding Freshman at the Meet honors.

Next up for Gough and the Army cross country team is the NCAA Northeast Regional Championships Friday in Buffalo, New York.

Wyatt Gough, a 2019 Nevada Union graduate, put in a strong performance for American River College at the Big 8 Conference Championships Nov. 1.

Gough, a freshman, finished 15th individually at the meet with a time of 20:35.5 on the 4-mile course.


The streak continues for Danica Minard and the American River women’s volleyball team as they made it 14 straight wins.

Minard, a 2018 Nevada Union grad, helped the Beavers earn victories over Santa Rosa Junior College and Sacramento City College last week.

Minard, a sophomore, tallied two kills in the win over Sacramento, and put down four kills in Friday’s win over Santa Rosa.

For the season, Minard is fifth on her team in kills with 110.

American River (20-6, 12-1) competes in the CCCAA’s Big 8 Conference.

Bekah McGill, a 2019 Nevada Union graduate, and the Sierra Wolverines won their only match last week, topping Sacramento City in four sets.

McGill, a freshman setter, led the Wolverines in assists with 28 in the victory.

For the season, McGill leads the team in assists with 520. She’s also fifth on the team in digs with 135.

Sierra (18-7, 11-2) competes in the CCCAA’s Big 8 Conference.

Kaely Rath, a 2016 Bear River graduate, and the Southern Virginia University Knights had their season come to a close last week after a straight set loss to Christopher Newport University in the Capital Athletic Conference semifinals.

Rath, a junior outside hitter, led her team in kills with seven in the match. She finishes the campaign as the Knights’ leader in kills for the season, scoring 278 in 24 matches played.

Southern Virginia (16-13) is a Division III school.


Aycee Willis, a 2017 Nevada Union graduate, and the William Jessup Warriors won their only bout last week, topping University of California, Merced, 67-58.

Willis, a junior guard, scored a team-high 18 points, going 7-for-13 from the field and 2-for-3 from 3-point range. For the season, Willis is averaging 11.3 points per game.

William Jessup (3-1) is a NAIA school which competes in the Golden State Athletic Conference.


David Menary, a 2016 Nevada Union graduate, and the University of Redlands men’s basketball team opened the season at the Bulldog Tip-Off Classic last week.

Redlands fell to University of Texas, Dallas, 74-71 in overtime in their opener, but finished with a 94-69 victory over Linfield College.

Menary, a senior forward, started in the win over Linfield, notching 12 points, seven assists and four steals.

Redlands teammate and younger brother Gary Menary, a 2017 NU graduate, started both games for the Bulldogs.

The junior contributed 11 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in the loss to UT Dallas, and scored 10 points in the win against Linfield.

Redlands (1-1) is NCAA Division III school that plays in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

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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