From the court to recovery: meet All-American volleyball player Emma Herbert

Daoud-Herbert with her teammates. Photo by Jacob Thompson / Thompson Sports Media

Daoud-Herbert with her teammates. Photo by Jacob Thompson / Thompson Sports Media

Hunter Rhea, Staff Reporter

Emma Daoud-Herbert, the junior middle blocker from Woodinville High School, is a multi-award winning player, most recognizable title being named an All-American volleyball player. As a role model and a dominant player, the Wildcat’s actions speak louder on the court.

High school career

Herbert spent her teenage years playing for Academy Sports Center at Wahba Washington Volleyball Academy. Finding more success in her club team compared to Woodinville High School, the French-Canadian continued to make an impact on her team. Grinding through the club season as a middle blocker and a right-side hitter, the young Herbert would find success in her club team 18-Adidas, Washington Volleyball Academy. Coming into college, she ended her high school career with an All-League Honorable Mention for the 2017-2018 season. Continuing to be a leader on the court, she helped coach at the Washington Volleyball Academy. 

College career: stats

Herbert came into college in 2019 where she spent her freshman year on the bench. With time and training, her debut in 2020 came with four games, 18 kills, hitting 0.256, two digs and posting 15 blocks for the Wildcats.

In the 2021 season, Herbert would start in 15-17 games, with 74 kills, three assists and 11 digs. Most memorable stats would have Herbert conducting 13 solo blocks and 62 block assists while becoming the GNAC Defensive Player of the Week for October 11-17, 2021, alongside her accomplishment for the GNAC All-Academic team.

Herberts’ breakout season would land her on the All-American list. Starting 28 matches and 107 sets, Herbert would go on and lead all of NCAA Division II with 106 blocks.

Herbert went on to lead the GNAC hitting percentage while being 13th in Division II. Season-high blocks against Seattle Pacific on Sept. 24 and her best performance in the NCAA West Regional game against Western Washington University with 16 points on Nov. 17. 

Landing the win with the Wildcats in the NCAA West Regional Tournament, her performance would earn her the title of All-American in NCAA DII Second Team. 


Herbert attributes her success to hard work and dedication; through the off-season and pre-season, the coaching staff around her would inspire and push Herbert beyond her limits to continue to chase personal accomplishments and eventually break her own season high and GNAC records.

“For me, just getting in the gym every day and proving something to myself that I could achieve whatever I could do at the highest level possible,” Herbert said, “So me versus myself, every day.” 

Contributing her team to her success, the support system Herbert has is something she said she would do anything for. Herbert believes her averages and statistics will improve moving toward the following seasons. 

“Working a lot on drills and practice, Coach Mario Andaya constantly pushing me to be better, jump higher, reach higher, swing harder and never being satisfied with what I had,” Herbert said. 


After the Wildcats 2022-23 season, Herbert decided it was time to get shoulder surgery once she found out her labrum was torn throughout the current season. She got her shoulder operated on in Jan. 2023. The middle blocker does not see this time off the court as a setback, and working alongside her physical therapist she is persistent to get better.

“I was really proud of the year I had and I know it’s just the start,” Herbert said. ”In terms of recovery from surgery, I’m getting there month by month, but I have the support of my team who I would do anything for. They’ve been there for me the whole time alongside Coach Mario Andaya, Coach Leeanna Shymanski along with Coach Lauren Herseth, they’ve been helping me since day one.”

Graduate school aspirations

Herbert is majoring in psychology and will be continuing her higher education at CWU. Recently accepted into the master’s program for Public Health, Herbert still has two years of eligibility through the NCAA. 

List of Accomplishments

Honorable mention for AVCA All-American

AVCA All-West Region First Team

D2CCA All-West Region First Team

NCAA Division II West Region All-Tournament Team

GNAC ALL-Conference First Team Honors

GNAC Defensive Player of the Week two times in Aug. 29-Sept. 4 and Oct. 24-Oct. 30 2022 GNAC All-Academic team.