Winter sports take over CWU athletics

Natalie Hyland, Sports Editor

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Graphic by Jack Lambert
As many students left for the holidays, the winter athletes of CWU hunkered down and focused on their craft with the help of coaches, trainers and a new smoothie stand to fuel their bodies.


Before the break began, CWU volleyball wrapped up its season after falling three sets to two to Northwest Nazarene University (NNU) in the NCAA DII Western Regional match on Nov. 30. The Wildcats and the Crusaders traded matches during the regular season, going 1-1 in their meetings.

Throughout the season, Sabrina Wheelhouse led not only the Wildcats, but the entire NCAA DII in blocks averaging 1.5 blocks per set. The senior midblocker is one of two seniors graduating this year who will not return to CWU next year. The other is midblocker Sarah Joffs.

Women’s Rugby

Also closing out their season was Wildcat women’s rugby, which finished its 15s season on Nov. 18 after falling to longtime rival Quinnipiac University 41-26. The Wildcats recorded a 5-4 record on the season, largely in part to seniors like Samantha Pinson and Emma Leonard. Joining Pinson and Leonard are eight additional seniors that will be graduating come spring.

Women’s rugby will also continue its search for a head coach following Mel Denham’s departure in August. Athletic Director Dennis Francois said the search for the right coach will continue following the end of the winter and spring tournaments. In the meantime, men’s rugby assistant coach Trevor Richards will remain interim head coach.

Men’s Rugby

During an arguably short 7s season before the break, CWU recorded a 10-0 record over the course of two tournaments. When classes resumed, the men began their 15s season falling in their first two matches to the University of California Davis and Saint Mary’s College of California on Jan. 5 and 6.

At the West Coast 7s tournament, the Wildcats topped six schools. including the likes of University of California Los Angeles, which they narrowly defeated 24-21, and the University of Arizona which they faced in the finals claiming a 17-15 win.

Women’s Basketball

Before the break, Wildcat basketball opened its season and amassed a 5-5 record up to the Dec. 2 game against Alaska Fairbanks which CWU won 81-72. Once school resumed, the Wildcats held a 7-7, record including a 3-3 conference record, after topping Western Oregon University 72-65 on Dec. 19 and Saint Martin’s University 49-46 on Jan. 4  in addition to the win against Alaska Fairbanks.

The women’s roster boasts five seniors, including guard Jasmin Edwards, who holds the CWU record for most steals, and Southern Utah transfer Taylor Baird, who also made a huge impact on the team in her first season last year.

Men’s Basketball

Like women’s basketball, the CWU men’s team opened its season before the break with a 4-4 record after beating the likes of Monterey Bay and Hawaii Hilo. After the break, the Wildcats held a 7-6 record and 2-4 conference record after topping Montana State University Billings on Dec. 14 and NNU on Dec. 19.

Assistant coach Drew Harris also reported younger players like freshman Khalil Shabazz performing better than hoped in the wake of injuries that leave junior forward Drake Radmacher out for the season and senior point guard Marc Rodgers out for a number of weeks.

Shabazz has amassed 183 points in 15 games for the Wildcats so far this season.

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The student news site of Central Washington University
Winter sports take over CWU athletics