Friday, April 18, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Former Lady Blue Devil’s journey leads to NCAA berth

DHS graduate Nikol Allison cuts down the net after helping Cal Poly win the Big West Tournament Championship on Saturday in Anaheim. The Mustangs found out Monday that they will face Penn State next Sunday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Courtesy photo

Nikol Allison is headed to The Dance.

The former Davis High basketball star has been an inspirational mainstay of Big West Tournament champion Cal Poly’s season-long surge — and now Allison finds herself headed to Baton Rouge, La., for an NCAA first-round game against Big 10 regular-season winner Penn State.

Listen to Nikol’s mom, Helena. She knew her daughter’s Mustangs were going places — and now, according to Mom, Penn State is in big trouble.

Camped out at The Graduate restaurant on Monday afternoon, Helena, her son Michal, husband Mike Goodison and friend Lorrie Thornton were chatting with the media:

“We’ll beat anybody, anywhere (in) that first game,” reported Nikol’s upbeat mom — even before finding out what opponent lay in wait.

Helena didn’t know where the Mustangs would go next weekend, but she was confident. Cell phone in hand, Mom waited for the ESPN selection show to begin on the big screen at the popular student hangout.

Nikol’s family didn’t have to wait long …

Just five minutes into the ESPN program came the announcement: As part of what’s known as the Spokane Regional, Cal Poly earned a No. 14 seed and meets the No. 3 Nittany Lions on Sunday.

Helena, jumping for joy at the location (Michal, a footballer and rugby maven for DHS wants to play for LSU someday), was immediately busy on her phone: a message to Nikol, a quick look at flights to Louisiana, well-wishing texts to which she was busy replying.

The Goodisons traveled to Anaheim on Saturday when Cal Poly beat Pacific for the league crown. Helena is overflowing with positive energy at the realization that the journey has yet to end for her courageous senior offspring Nikol.

Battling a nagging back injury that robbed the 2009 DHS graduate of most of her first three seasons down south, Allison bucked the odds and returned to average 6.5 ppg and be the third-leading rebounder for Cal Poly.

The Mustangs went 21-10 (13-5 in the BWC) this winter. Allison led her team in scoring four times this winter — including a career-high 22 points in a 79-69 loss at UC Davis on Feb. 9. The 6-foot-2 forward also paced Cal Poly in rebounding on six occasions.

Nikol’s dad Craig and sister Rachael (a Lady Blue Devil freshman standout) won’t get a chance to attend the Louisiana openers, but if Cal Poly advances, the pair hopes to be there.

“I’m so proud of Nikki. How hard she’s worked,” Dad says of his daughter. “We always knew basketball was her passion. And she worked so hard to overcome the injuries … and now to join those student-athletes that get to go to an NCAA (tournament), it’s rarified air.

“I was thinking this first round might see us with a Baylor or Connecticut. We have the potential to compete with this team. To Penn State I’d say, ‘Better not overlook Cal Poly.’ ”

Allison, who replaced Kayla Griffin (knee injury) just minutes into the second half of the Mustangs’ 63-49, title-game win over Pacific on Saturday, scored 10 points and grabbed three offensive rebounds. There’s no word yet, but if Griffin is out next week, Allison could get the start against Penn State.

Meanwhile …

“Mom’s been frantically looking for flights out,” Nikol told The Enterprise shortly after talking with Helena on Monday afternoon.

Will the family get to spend any time with their daughter?

“I’m not really sure. I don’t know what the rules are … or what the coaches have in store for us. But I hope so,” Allison said, adding, “I’m sure we’ll be able to go to dinner, or something.”

Asked about how her back is feeling, Nikol said “it is still painful,” but reminded fans, “Saturday was the best day of my life. How happy I am in so many ways. I dreamed that I would have just one good year (in which) I’d be healthy. (The NCAA tournament) was not necessarily where I thought I was going … it’s just amazing that we’re going and that I can contribute to this team.

“I know my team’s been waiting — and we’ve been so close every year — and finally got it and I was actually able to be out on the court for it. That’s like the best feeling ever. I can’t even put into words how excited I am.”

Now what?

Helena and Mike are keeping the next two weeks open.

“You just never know,” the super-positive Helena explains, continuing:

“I am just so proud of her… What she has overcome and how she has helped lift her team. This is all so exciting.”

Notes: Nikol Allison becomes the first former Blue Devil to appear in the NCAA Women’s Tournament. Legendary Denise Curry (Class of 1976) led UCLA to the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women title in 1978, but the inaugural NCAA tournament wasn’t played until 1982. … Penn State (25-5) and Cal Poly meet at 2 p.m. Sunday in the Maravich Center on campus at LSU. Should Cal Poly beat the Lions, it will get — gulp — the home-standing SEC runner-up Tigers (20-11) on Tuesday. Michigan State knocked PSU from the Big 10 postseason event, which eventually was won by upstart Purdue. … UCD won the Big West in 2011 and was greeted by a road game at No. 1 Stanford. The Aggies lost. The Cardinal is the No. 1 seed again in Cal Poly’s regional (with Cal seeded second at the opposite end of the bracket). … One of Nikol’s brothers, David,  is a 2006 DHS graduate and former basketball player. Her oldest sibling, Jakub, was a member of the 2002 U.S. Olympic ski team.

— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at bgallaudet@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8047.

Bruce Gallaudet

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

     
    Chuck Rairdan joins school board race

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1, 2 Comments

    Going green at church, school, everywhere

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Former caretaker convicted of murder, elder abuse

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1, 4 Comments | Gallery

    Old friend helps Brad and others find kidneys

    By Dave Jones | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Ukraine insurgents reject call to quit buildings

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2, 4 Comments

     
    For the record

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

    UCD to host Global Health Day event

    By Cory Golden | From Page: A2

     
    ‘Hitchhiking’ dog looking for new home

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Need a new best friend?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Online K-12 school holds info night

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Volkssporting Club plans North Davis walks

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Schwenger lawn signs available

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

    Volunteers needed for Grad Night

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Davis grad makes rain collection a business

    By Jason McAlister | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    A few spots left on history tour

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Chipotle fundraiser boosts Emerson tech upgrade

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Event to provide nature scholarship

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Students have new options on leasing front

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Groups join for a day of service

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

     
    NAMI backers walk in Sacramento

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    Food for the hungry

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10

    .

    Forum

    Dad makes mom look bad

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

     
    Early help is a great investment

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    More tax money? Answer the question

    By Rich Rifkin | From Page: A6, 4 Comments

     
    UCD IS responsible for students

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 4 Comments

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

    In search of great ideas

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

     
    Please keep the nursery open

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

    .

    Sports

    Sharks double up Kings in Game 1

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Aggies lose a slugfest in opener at Riverside

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Fox coming to UCD; Riffle heads to Florida

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

     
    DHS’ Golston goes full-bore on the diamond

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Devils show more life in loss to Mitty

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    DYSA roundup: Intensity has big week; 10U games dominate schedule

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Sports briefs: Aggies set the academic bar high

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

     
    Pro baseball roundup: Susac sends Sacramento to a rare loss

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    ‘Transcendence’: A whole new level of tedium

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    ‘The Bloom’ paves way for Whole Earth Festival

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    DHS tribute to Tony Fields slated for April 25-26

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    UCD, city team up for Music on the Green

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    .

    Business

    Ford turns its Focus to domestic market

    By Ali Arsham | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, April 18, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Real Estate Review

    Featured Listing

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER1

    Professional Services Directory

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER2

    Lyon Real Estate

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER3

    Acacia at Huntington Square

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

    Jamie Madison

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

    Yolo FCU

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

    Travis Credit Union

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER5

    Kim Eichorn

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER6

    Suzanne Kimmel

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER6

    Lynne Wegner

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER7

    Kim Merrel Lamb

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER7

    Patricia Echevarria

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER8

    Chris Snow

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER8

    Andrew Dowling

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

    Sheryl Patterson

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

    Don Guthrie

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

    Coldwell Banker

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER10

    Coldwell Banker

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER11

    Heather Barnes

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER12

    Julie Partain & Dick Partain

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER12

    Malek Baroody

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER13

    Karen Waggoner

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER14

    Willowbank Park

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER14

    Team Traverso

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

    Julie Leonard

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

    Tim Harrison

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

    Tracy Harris

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER16

    Lori Prizmich

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER16

    Joe Kaplan

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER17

    Raul Zamora

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER17

    Coldwell Banker

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER18

    Open House Map

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER19

    F1rst Street Real Estate

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER20