Wildcat volleyball hits the road

Setter+Niki+Cook+makes+a+successful+dive+against+University+of+Alaska%2C+Fairbanks+on+Sept.+28.
Setter Niki Cook makes a successful dive against University of Alaska, Fairbanks on Sept. 28.

Setter Niki Cook makes a successful dive against University of Alaska, Fairbanks on Sept. 28.

Photo by Xander Fu

Photo by Xander Fu

Setter Niki Cook makes a successful dive against University of Alaska, Fairbanks on Sept. 28.

Jack Belcher, Staff Reporter

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Photo by Xander Fu
Setter Niki Cook makes a successful dive against University of Alaska, Fairbanks on Sept. 28.

“Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles plays through the speakers as the women’s volleyball team practices for two away games on Oct. 5 and Oct. 7, against Saint Martin’s University and Seattle Pacific University (SPU).

With a 10-4 record, CWU women’s volleyball sits in third place in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC), behind Western Washington University (WWU) and Northwest Nazarene University (NNU).

“We are doing really well and learning a lot,” said setter Niki Cook. “We have stuff to improve on, but are getting better.”

Head coach Mario Andaya believes that the team needs to work on things that will improve their digs and get better at their core defense.

“I know that Saint Martin’s has a lot of new personnel, players that we have to scout up, see what kind of things that they have, but right now we know that they are playing well,” Andaya said. “They played a tough schedule so they are going to be prepared, and they are well coached so we know it is going to be a good battle.”

In their last meeting, CWU fell to SPU 3-2, under former coach Chris Johnson on Oct. 27, 2016. This year, SPU brings new coach, Abbie Wright and what Andaya calls “a good blocking team.”

“They have some power to score points with some new hitters,” Andaya said. “They also have a good setter so they are going to be a good puzzle to figure out.”

Andaya and the team prepare for each game by watching game film and looking for what they need to improve on both their offensive and defensive play.

“Right now, I think early on in the conference we need to focus on our side of the net more, and be really sound on controlling our side and being tough to handle,” Andaya said. “We will make some adjustments, but right now we just really need to focus on our side of the net.”

Andaya believes that SPU is going to be a lot more physical at the net and a little bit more balanced offensively. In order to defend against this, the team is going to have to be a little bit more spread out.

“Saint Martins I think have a couple of key hitters that take the bulk of their swings so we are really going to have to focus on a couple of those kids,” Andaya said.

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Wildcat volleyball hits the road