Being named to the all-tournament team at the Lynda Goodrich Classic last weekend had added significance for Western Washington women's...
Being named to the all-tournament team at the Lynda Goodrich Classic last weekend had added significance for Western Washington women’s basketball guard Kelly Dykstra.
The 5-foot-10 senior had last seen action for the Vikings nearly two years ago — on Jan. 24, 2004, when a torn ACL ended her season.
A lot happened during the ensuing 22 months.
In addition to going through rehabilitation on the knee, the former Whatcom Community College transfer married Greg Dykstra, a former all-star wide receiver for the Vikings’ football team, and on Dec. 19, 2004, gave birth to their daughter, Demi.
Last spring, when Western coach Carmen Dolfo was looking for a shooting guard to replace Jodi Gerald, her only graduating starter from a 24-5 squad, she immediately thought of Dykstra, who had a year of eligibility remaining.
“Sara [Nichols, Vikings assistant coach] and I were driving down to watch the title game of the West Regional at Seattle Pacific,” said Dolfo, “and we were talking about how we needed to replace Jodi, and we both said we had to call Kelly. Kelly must have been thinking about it, too, because she was excited about it when we called.
“Leaving Demi is tough for her, but she’s worked out a schedule, and I think it’s awesome that she’s able to do both and have the great family support for it to be possible.”
Seattle Pacific vs. Nebraska-Omaha,
11 a.m. Saturday, NCAA Division II championship game, Wichita Falls, Texas.
The scoop: The unbeaten Falcons are one victory from their first national title.
Dykstra, who was a two-time all-region pick at Whatcom and a first-team Class 2A all-state selection as a senior at Elma High School, said she had considered returning to the court, but never seriously thought it could happen.
“I had called my mom two days before they called and just said, ‘I wonder if it would be possible if I wanted to play.’ I needed to close that chapter of my life. The fact that it was a good team and everyone got along entered into it, but mostly I wanted some closure.
“Time and leaving Demi was a huge concern of mine, not being around for every little thing that she does. Another concern was if I’d be able to get my body back in shape, and I didn’t know if the knee would work.”
Before her injury during the 2003-04 season, Dykstra was averaging 11.4 points, 4.1 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.4 steals. She shot 47.1 percent from the floor and 37.7 percent from three-point range.
“It was tough at first,” Dykstra said. “My knee was swollen and I had to take some time off to get it back to normal. But in the fall, everything started to come together.”
Dykstra, who is completing her degree in education, averaged 15.5 points on 50 percent (10 of 20) shooting as Western opened its season with two wins at the Goodrich Classic. She had 18 points and six rebounds in an 88-44 rout of Northwest, and 13 points and five assists in an 82-65 win over Grand Canyon.
“Certainly she’s an outstanding shooter, but she’s a good defender and passer as well,” said Dolfo. “And she brings us maturity and focus. She’s come back for a reason — to finish her career with a good year and have the team be successful.”
Joining four starters from a team that advanced to last season’s NCAA Division II West Regional quarterfinals — along with several reserves that could start for most teams — Dykstra is excited about the season.
“I have huge expectations,” she said. “If we come up anything short of the best, it will be a letdown.”
Other WWU sports
Men’s basketball: Point guard Kyle Jackson (Sehome of Bellingham) had 21 assists and just one turnover after four games, with the No. 4 Vikings winning three of those.
Men’s basketball: Robbie Will (O’Dea), a transfer from Bellevue Community College, is coming off two victories in which he totaled 34 points, hit 15 of 20 shots, and had 16 rebounds and five blocked shots. SPU is off to its best start since 1998-99 and is ranked No. 11 nationally.
Women’s basketball: No. 3 Seattle Pacific (3-0) returns from a 13-day layoff and goes for its 64th straight regular-season home win Saturday vs. unbeaten Lewis-Clark State.
Women’s soccer: Entering Thursday’s victory over Carson-Newman in the NCAA Division II semifinals, the Falcons (19-0-4) had not allowed a goal in four games and more than 435 minutes. SPU had 13 shutouts this season.
Men’s basketball: The Redhawks’ 3-0 record is tied for the best start in 21 years.
Women’s basketball: Seattle University’s defense has forced 33 turnovers against two opponents, and teams are averaging 25.8 turnovers per game against the Redhawks.Washington St.
Swimming: Erin McCleave (Rutherglen, Australia) was named national swimmer of the week by CollegeSwimming.com. McCleave won four events and set three WSU individual records and two meet records at the Minnesota Invitational.
Swimming: The Huskies are hosting the 57th annual Husky Invitational, which runs through Sunday at the King County Aquatics Center in Federal Way. The meet features more than 500 swimmers from more than 60 club and college teams. Last season, the Huskies won both college division titles.
Volleyball: The No. 3 Washington volleyball team (26-1, 17-1 Pac-10) will face Siena in the NCAA first round at 4 p.m. today in Fort Collins, Colo. The Huskies’ No. 3 seed is their highest ever, and Washington is 14-9 all-time in the NCAA tournament.
Eastern Washington: Sophomore Brittney Osborn (Enumclaw), a starting guard on the women’s basketball team, missed last week’s trip to the Ohio State Buckeye Classic to have her gall bladder removed. Osborn, who averaged 6.7 points and 4.0 rebounds in Eastern’s first three games, also missed Wednesday’s victory over Cal State Northridge.
Gonzaga: Adam Morrison (Spokane, Mead) became the 28th player in Gonzaga men’s basketball history to score 1,000 career points with his 43 points against Michigan State in the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational. Morrison now has 1,076 career points.
Pacific Lutheran: Jim Johnson , head coach of the men’s and women’s swim teams, recently surpassed 300 wins. Johnson, in his 28th season at PLU, has a combined dual-meet record of 302-231.
Puget Sound: The Loggers are averaging 11 three-pointers per game as they head into Northwest Conference games this week.
Saint Martin’s: Point guard Beth Layton (Toledo) needs 52 points to reach 1,000 for her career. She ranks fourth in GNAC history in points per game (16.1), seventh in three-pointers made (161) and first in three-pointers per game (2.73).
Whitman: Point guard Greg Ricker (Seattle Prep) totaled 35 points, 12 assists, nine rebounds and five steals in two games to earn a spot on the all-tournament team at Whitman’s annual Wildhorse Resort Classic. Teammate Matt Kelly (Walla Walla) also made the all-tournament team, combining 37 points with 13 rebounds and six assists.
Sports information directors
contributed to this notebook.