GAC sets start dates for hoops, volleyball

Herald Democrat

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. — The Great American Conference announced second-semester start dates for basketball and volleyball.

The league's basketball season will feature a 20-game divisional schedule with an opening night slated for January 7 with six doubleheaders — Arkansas Tech at Arkansas-Monticello, Southwestern Oklahoma State at East Central, Ouachita at Harding, Southern Arkansas at Henderson State, Northwestern Oklahoma State at Southern Nazarene and Southeastern Oklahoma State at Oklahoma Baptist.

Volleyball features a 10-week, 10-match divisional schedule that opens on January 26 and runs through March 30. In the opening slate, UAM visits Harding, Ouachita hosts Arkansas Tech, East Central faces Northwestern Oklahoma State Southern Arkansas travels to Henderson State, defending champion Oklahoma Baptist welcomes in Southeastern Oklahoma State and SWOSU ventures to Southern Nazarene.

Southwestern Oklahoma State hosts the GAC Cross Country Championships on February 27. Formats and dates for the men's soccer regular season as well as the championships for basketball, volleyball, and soccer will be determined at a later date.

Members will play spring sports schedules as previously approved by the conference's Council of Athletic Administrators and Council of Presidents. The GAC will continue to evaluate NCAA, federal, state, and local developments and provide updated revisions as further information becomes available.

Storm women’s hoops adds trio

DURANT, Okla. — Southeastern Oklahoma State head women’s basketball coach Darin Grover has announced the signing of Annie Anderle, Avri Weeks and Kentoya Woods to join the team for the 2021-22 season.

Anderle, a 5-10 guard from Muenster, was a district MVP as a junior, going on to earn all-region and all-state tournament team honors. She averaged 14 points while hitting 131 threes at a 41 percent clip.

“Annie is fast, long, and can really shoot the three,” Grover said. “We love the fact that she has size at the guard position. Muenster has an elite team that made it to the Texas 2A State Championship game last spring. It is always good to get players from well coached high school programs and Chris Hightower does a great job with them. The first time I saw Annie and her team was at our high school team camp in 2019, I immediately knew she could be a really good college player.”

Weeks, a 6-0 post player from Kingston, Okla., was an all-conference selection and made the all-tournament team at the state tournament as a sophomore but saw her junior season interrupted due to injury. As a sophomore she averaged 15.4 points and hauled in 7.8 rebounds per outing.

She will also be joining her brother RJ, who is a redshirt freshman guard for the men’s basketball program.

“We are thrilled to be getting a local player with the ability of Avri,” Grover said. “She will give us needed size in the post, she has with really good hands, and footwork. We see her giving us a presence inside, with the skill to step out and shoot it. Coach Rumer is a demanding coach, it always makes the transition easier when they have been coached with attention to detail. I know that Avri’s family is happy that she will be getting to play at the same school that her brother RJ does.”

Woods, a 5-10 guard/post from Brownsboro, was a district MVP as a junior, going on to earn all-state and all-region honors after averaging 16.7 points and pulling down 8.2 boards per contest.

“Explosive is the word I would use to describe Kentoya” Grover said. “She has the ability to do things at a high level athletically. She can really score around the basket, step out and shoot, plays hard, and also can really rebound. Kentoya played on a really good high school team, but we actually became aware of her through her summer team coach Jay Bruce with Platinum.”