The Oregon City High School graduate is honored as GNAC volleyball co-Rookie of the Year

by: PAUL MCCARTHY, ALASKA ATHLETICS - Sam Harthun (11) of Oregon City battles at the net for the University of Alaska in an Oct. 18 match with Western Oregon. Harthun was honored recently as Great Northwest Athletic Conference volleyball Co-Rookie of the Year.Sam Harthun, a 2012 graduate of Oregon City High School, is making a name for herself playing outside hitter for the University of Alaska-Fairbanks volleyball team.

Harthun was honored recently as Great Northwest Athletic Conference co-Rookie of the Year.

“I’m super excited for Sam,” Alaska coach Phil Shoemaker said. “It’s recognition that is well deserved. It’s an indicator of the season she had and what we think the future holds for her. You can think of the great ones that have come through here, and her name is going to join that list really soon.”

Harthun led the Nanooks and finished the 2012 season ranked fifth in the GNAC, with 3.49 kills per set. She was sixth in the GNAC in points, with 3.89 per frame. She was also 26th in the league, with a .192 hitting percentage.

For the year, the six-rotation hitter accrued 314 kills on 845 attempts, both team highs. The 6-0 freshman outside hitter also tallied 199 digs (2.21 dps), 32 total blocks, 27 assists and 17 aces, while starting in all 24 matches.

Her season highlights included a 31-kill performance in a Nov. 1 match at Simon Fraser, as well as two other 20-plus kill outings; a .654 hitting percentage in an Oct. 20 match with Saint Martin’s and 15 digs in a Sept. 22 match with Western Oregon.

The 31 kills in the five-set win over Simon Fraser tied Harthun for second all-time for most kills in a match at Alaska-Fairbanks.

The .654 hitting percentage in the match with St. Martin’s was only .079 off the GNAC single-match record for hitting percentage with a least 18 kills. The St. Martin’s win (25-19, 25-20, 26-24) marked the first time in over two years that Alaska had swept an opponent.

Harthun had double figure kills in 14 of 22 matches this season. She was GNAC co-Offensive Player of the Week for the week ending Oct. 21, and was honorable mention Player of the Week for the weeks ending Sept. 30 and Nov. 4.

“She was a big part of our success this year and she’s a big part of our optimism for the future,” Shoemaker said. “We’re very proud of her and [the Rookie of the Year honor] was well earned.”

Harthun, who was an Honorable Mention All-GNAC selection as well, shared the top freshman Rookie of the Year honor with Alaska-Anchorage’s Julia Mackey. Mackey was ninth in the league, with 3.13 kills per set, while producing 53 total blocks for the Seawolves.

Sporting a youthful lineup that included eight freshmen and only two seniors, the University of Alaska Nanooks went 4-14 in conference and 6-18 overall over the past season. Western Washington (23-3, 16-2) won the GNAC this fall. Other teams in the conference are Western Oregon, Central Washington, Alaska-Anchorage, Seattle Pacific, Northwest Nazarene and Montana State-Billings.

Harthun is a photojournalism major.

She was a two-time first-team Three Rivers League all-star at Oregon City, where she helped lead the Pioneers to the state quarterfinals her junior year.

Contract Publishing

Go to top
Template by JoomlaShine