Prepare for a block party

Photo Illustration by Jack Lambert

Photo Illustration by Jack Lambert

Clayton Huber, Staff Reporter

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Photo Illustration by Jack Lambert
CWU volleyball’s last match of the season is against Western Washington University on Saturday, Nov. 18 at 7 p.m.

“I am counting on a team effort. Sabrina [Wheelhouse] and Sarah [Joffs] are seniors and this is their last shot to play WWU, so I’m sure they want to win pretty bad,” head coach Mario Andaya said.

The match will also see two of the top blockers in the nation go head to head in CWU’s Wheelhouse and WWU’s Joslyn Bopray.

Wheelhouse has been a top 10 blocker in NCAA DII for three years. She also holds the CWU record for most blocks in a game.

“I’m excited going into these last few matches as a Wildcat,: Wheelhouse said. “It hasn’t really hit me yet that these are my last conference games ever.”

Wheelhouse is currently leading the nation in blocks with an average 1.5 per set. As a team, CWU is second in the nation in blocks per set.

Western is currently ranked No. 1 in the conference with a 16-1 GNAC record. They are currently on a 15-game win streak.

“WWU is playing well right now and they have a lot of weapons on offense. If both teams play well it should be a highly contested match,” Andaya said.

Western is currently on top of the conference standings and has the second best blocker in the country in Joslyn Bopray, who averages 1.48 blocks per set. Western is third in the nation in blocks.

“We are improving each week and we really like how we’re playing right now,” Andaya said. “This late in the season we need to be playing our best to have a chance at playoffs so it’s nice to see we are a better team than when we started.”

If the season were to end today, the Wildcats would be in the regional playoffs. With these last few games coming up the Wildcats will try to make a push. Western is the 8th best team in the country, and similar to CWU their team is young. While CWU only has two seniors on the roster, WWU has three.  

“Us and WWU are always a good matchup and I’m looking forward to playing them. It’ll be a strong physical game,” junior outside hitter Madison Weg said.

Western won the first of two matchups against CWU this season with a score of 3-1 both times. CWU led the game in blocks, Weg recorded five blocks and Wheelhouse had four.

Weg is a right side blocker and hitter. Her role is to block the outside hitters, to play smart and make the right hits.

With CWU being so young, the players have time to mesh together and create a chemistry.

“I’m proud of the team and how much we have improved over the season. We have really good team chemistry and have a ton of talent on the team,” Weg said.

These last couple games have a lot of meaning, to them as a win or a loss could move CWU’s ranking. Alaska Anchorage is just one game behind CWU and a win could separate the Wildcats.

A win in the last couple matches will most likely push the Wildcats into the playoffs. A loss could potentially knock them out depending on how the rest of the teams play.

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Prepare for a block party