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The Observer

Volleyball aims to build off successful season

Aaron Zewdie, Staff Reporter

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On Thursday Nov. 8 inside Nicholson Pavilion, the Wildcats had their second to last home game against the University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolves. The Wildcats are 21-5 overall after sweeping the Seawolves 3-0.

Senior outside hitter Madison Weg stood out in the game. She finished the game against the Seawolves with nine kills and three blocks. Weg also had a pair of crucial kills that put the Wildcats ahead during the matchup.

As a senior, this is Weg’s last year as a Wildcat. She is studying public health and has a 3.59 GPA. She has also earned her way onto the GNAC All-Academic team this year as a student athlete.

“I’m trying to play in the moment and enjoy the rest of the time I have with the team and embrace all the good times we have together,” Weg said.

Weg stated that the team has been doing great this year, with their offense and defense getting better after each game. She mentioned that the team has been doing a better job at communicating with each other.

One of the team’s big goals this season was for their communication to get better. Weg stated the team was able to achieve this goal because they connected together on and off the court. This includes hanging out a lot outside of team practice, after games and during the weekend. They do fun team activities together, so they can create that team bond.

Another player to look out for is junior outside hitter Bridgette Webb. Webb had a huge block against the Seawolves that switched the momentum of the game. Webb also stands alongside Weg as a part of the GNAC All-Academic team this year. She is an accounting major with a 3.75 GPA.

Webb is excited that the regular season is almost over, but she still has high expectations for this year’s team. Webb explained that she expects the team to play hard and finish strong in the regular season since they have a great winning streak going. She is also excited for the seniors since it’s going to be the last game they will be playing at Nicholson Pavilion in front of the home fans.

As a junior, Webb feels she is one of the players that has stepped up and taken on a leadership role with the team this season. Webb attributes this role to what the seniors on the team have taught her throughout past seasons, and she feels that setting the tone for next year is important for the team’s success.

“I love this year’s team. We all have great attitudes, we all want the best for each other and the team,” Webb said.

Head coach Mario Andaya mentioned that the team has been getting better every week. He says the team’s offense is good and is steadily getting better as the team heads into the playoffs. That improvement is showing results as the Wildcats last six games have been 3-0 sweeps.

“Our focus right now is just to finish strong, to us we just need to make sure we play our best on Thursday and Saturday,” Andaya said.

Andaya said that the team can still get better and that in volleyball one of the most important elements is the serve and receive game. The Wildcats hope to continue improving on these aspects because every team in the playoffs is a good team.

“We are a better team than we were in August. We are scoring more points, we are getting more kills and defensively we are a lot better,” Andaya said.

The Wildcats earned their seventh-straight NCAA postseason selection by the NCAA committee. They finished their season with a record of 22-5, including a 16-4 record in GNAC. The team enters the playoffs as the number six seed and will be playing against the number three seed California State Los Angeles. The Wildcats will face off with the Golden Eagles at Bellingham, Washington, on Thursday, Nov. 15.

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Volleyball aims to build off successful season