Volleyball goes in for the kill

Austin Lane, Senior Sports Reporter

CWU Athletic Communication

Coming into Thursday night riding a three-match losing streak, the CWU Women’s Volleyball team secured a win against Montana State University Billings’ (MSUB) Yellowjackets. The win puts the Wildcats at 9-7 overall on the season and are now 4-4 in conference play. The Wildcats now sit in sixth in the GNAC out of 11 teams.

 The Yellowjackets struggled against the Wildcats and never managed to find a lead all night. CWU opened up the first set taking four out of the first five points and did not look back from there. The Wildcats took the first set 25-22, second set 25-18 and third set 25-18.

 Wildcat Makala Swart finished the match with 12 kills, seven digs and one block. Ashley Kaufman finished the night with seven kills. Team captain Kyla Morgan ended the match with 21 digs and told the Wildcat Sports website she “thought the team played a lot more connected.”

 Morgan received GNAC Defensive Player of the Week for her efforts and became the only player in school history to amass 200 career digs. Morgan has now received the award twice this season.

 “I really went out and played for my team,” Morgan told the website.  “It’s nice to see things we work on in practice come together in a game.”

 Wildcats Gabrielle Aihara had 21 assists and Sydney Remsberg had 10 assists. Defensively, Bridgette Webb and Diana Fa’amausili had four blocks, while Julia Mellander came away with three blocks.

 Head coach Mario Andaya praised the team for responding to the adversity of riding a losing streak coming into the match and still being able to find a win.

 “This is big. Everything right now for us is critical,” Andaya said. “That was a must win … I think the biggest difference is that we played together as a team.”

 Sophomore Lexi Schamadan returned to the rotation this week and made her presence known on the court in the win with 10 kills and two blocks. Schamadan talked about the mindset Andaya instills on the team when they hit a cold streak.

 “The big thing, especially for the younger players is that he is so confident in us,” Schamadan said. “He is so supportive of us and wants the best for us and he has that full confidence we can get back out there and win some games.”

 The win sets CWU up for their next matchup, which is at home against the Western Oregon University’s Wolves (WOU) (3-12, 1-7) on Oct. 17 at 7 p.m.. This is the first matchup between CWU and WOU on the season. Last year the Wildcats swept the Wolves, taking the match at home 3-0 and winning in Monmouth, Oregon 3-1.

 After the WOU matchup the Wildcats have a home match on Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. against Concordia University’s Cavaliers. The Cavaliers are currently 7-8 overall with a 5-3 record in conference play. This matchup will also be a first for both teams this season. CWU swept the Cavaliers last year as well, winning at home 3-1 and on the road 3-0.