ALUMNI NOTEBOOK: Willis helps Sierra to playoff win; Menary earns all-conference honors |

ALUMNI NOTEBOOK: Willis helps Sierra to playoff win; Menary earns all-conference honors

Aycee Willis and the Sierra College women’s basketball team took care of business in the second round of the California Community College Athletic Association playoffs, beating No. 16 seed Solano Community College, 59-49, Saturday.

Willis, a 2017 Nevada Union graduate, started the game, scored six points and pulled down three rebounds in the win.

The freshman guard worked her way into the starting lineup midway through the season and is averaging 10.5 points and 4.6 rebounds per game.

Sierra College (28-1) is the No. 1 seed in the CCCAA’s NorCal playoff bracket and had a bye through the first round of games. The Wolverines will now face No. 9 Chabot College this upcoming Saturday in the third round.

Alyssa Pulkinghorn, a 2017 Bear River graduate, is also a member of the Sierra College team, but did not play in the win over Solano. For the season, Pulkinghorn is averaging 2.1 points per game.

Kaitlyn Reina, a 2014 Bear River graduate, and the Cal State San Marcos Cougars split their final two games of the season.

Reina, a senior forward, scored six points and pulled down eight rebounds in a win over Cal State Los Angeles. She then notched three points and nabbed four rebounds in a loss to Cal State Dominguez Hills.

For the season, Reina is averaging 3.6 points per game and 3.2 rebounds.

San Marcos (8-18) is a NCAA Division II team that competes in the California Collegiate Athletic Association.


David O’Brien, a 2016 Bear River graduate, and the No. 11 seed Shasta College Knights came up just short of pulling off an early round playoff upset.

Facing the No. 6 seed College of the Sequoias, the Knights trailed by five at halftime and rallied to tie the game with a minute left before losing, 75-72.

O’Brien, a sophomore guard, scored 10 points in the game, going 4-for-5 from the field and 2-for-2 from 3-point range.

For the season, O’Brien averaged 5.5 points per game.

Shasta (18-10) concludes a season in which they won the CCCAA’s Golden Valley Conference Championship for the first time in 12 years.

David Menary, a 2016 Nevada Union graduate, and the University of Redlands Bulldogs closed their season last week with an 89-69 loss to Occidental College.

Menary led the Bulldogs with 22 points and seven rebounds in the loss.

The sophomore forward was a standout for Redlands all season and was named to the 2018 All-Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Second Team.

In conference play, Menary averaged 19.3 points and 8.1 rebounds per game, both of which ranked second in the SCIAC.

Redlands (7-18) is NCAA Division III school.


Melanie O’Brien, a 2014 Nevada Union graduate, won the heptathlon at the 33rd annual Chico Multi Classic.

O’Brien, a senior, won the event with a score of 4,395, besting the next closest competitor by 336 points. She won the long jump and 200-meter, was second in 100m, third in the javelin and shot put, and fourth in the high jump and 800m.

During O’Brien’s time at NU she played varsity softball (freshman year only), volleyball, basketball and track. She was an All-Sierra Foothill League selection in basketball and track. She was also selected as the Albert Ali Award recipient (Nevada Union’s Female Athlete of the year) after her senior year.

While at Chico State she has set the all-time heptathlon freshman record, was nationally ranked last season and finished second in the CCAA Division II Championships.


Logan Lowe, a 2015 Nevada Union graduate, helped the George Washington University golf team place fifth at the Atlantic Match Play Championships held at Weston Hills Country Club in Florida.

Lowe, a junior, won two of his matches and tied the other.

George Washington is a Division I school that competes in the Atlantic 10.


Matt Lopez, a 2016 Bear River graduate, and the Sierra College Wolverines won both their games last week, topping Shasta College and Yuba College.

Lopez, a freshman first baseman, went 4-for-6 with two doubles and two RBIs in the win over Shasta. He was 0-for-3 with an RBI in the victory over Yuba.

For the season, Lopez is batting .412 with three home runs, 13 RBIs and 15 runs scored.

Sierra (10-4) competes in the CCCAA’s Big 8 Conference.

Three local alumni suited up for the Yuba College last week and helped the 49ers split a pair of games.

Bear Belding, a 2016 Bear River graduate, went 1-for-3 with a triple and an RBI in a win over College of the Siskiyous. He then was 1-for-4 in a loss to Sierra.

Andrew Schnitzius, a 2016 Nevada Union graduate, played catcher and was 2-for-3 with an RBI against Sierra.

Weston Gaddis, also a 2016 Nevada Union graduate, scored a run in the win over Siskiyous.

Yuba College (8-6) competes in the CCCAA’s Bay Valley Conference.

Hayden Piner, a 2015 Forest Lake Christian graduate, got the start for William Jessup in its 7-3 victory over Arizona Christian University.

Piner, a sophomore left-handed pitcher, threw 1.2 innings, allowed three hits and one earned run before departing. He did not figure into the decision.

William Jessup (19-5) is an NAIA school that competes in the Golden State Athletic Conference.

Garrett O’Callaghan, a 2014 Nevada Union graduate, got his third start for the Holy Names University baseball team last week.

O’Callaghan, a 6-foot, 5-inch starting pitcher, pitched five innings in a 10-9 loss to Concordia (Oregon). O’Callaghan allowed eight hits and three earned runs while striking out three. He did not factor into the decision.

Holy Names (4-5) is a Division II school that competes in the PacWest Conference.


Nerissa Eason, a 2016 Bear River graduate, and the Oregon State Beavers went 3-2 overall at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Tournament held in Palm Springs.

Eason, a sophomore pitcher, took the circle in three different games throughout the tourney. She pitched 6.1 innings in a win over Oklahoma State. She tossed three innings in a loss to Tennessee and another 3.2 innings in a loss to Auburn. She did not factor into the win/loss decision in any of the games.

Oregon State (10-6) is a Division I school that competes in the Pac-12.

Savannah Ozuna, a 2016 Nevada Union graduate, and the San Francisco State Gators won both of their games with Notre Dame de Nemur and dropped a pair of games to Academy of the Arts last week.

Ozuna, a sophomore first baseman, played in three of the four games and went 1-for-7 from the plate with an RBI.

San Francisco State (7-10) is a Division II school that competes in CCAA.

Mikayla Laymance, a 2015 Bear River graduate, and the William Jessup University Warriors went 2-2 last week splitting two game series’ with Southern Oregon University and the Oregon Institute of Technology.

Laymance, a junior catcher, started behind the plate in both the Warriors’ wins but did not log an at-bat.

William Jessup (13-8) is a NAIA school that competes in the GSAC.

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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