Vikings, Wildcats Lead Volleyball All-Conference Selections
Gabby Gunterman is the offensive spark plug for the Vikings, ranking sixth in the conference in both kills per set, digs per set and hitting percentage.
Gabby Gunterman is the offensive spark plug for the Vikings, ranking sixth in the conference in both kills per set, digs per set and hitting percentage.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

PORTLAND, Ore. – Riding her team’s 16-match win streak and fourth consecutive conference championship into the postseason, Western Washington’s Gabby Gunterman leads the 2021 Great Northwest Athletic Conference Volleyball All-Conference Team.

The junior outside hitter was selected as the Player of the Year and is among three first-team selections and four overall selections for the Vikings, which finished the regular season with a 15-1 conference record. A starter in all 25 of the team’s matches, Gunterman finished sixth in the conference with 3.21 kills per set, 3.86 points per set and a .308 hitting percentage.

Gunterman has 16 double-doubles on the season, including a 22-kill, 22-dig performance at Alaska on October 28.

Vikings head coach Diane Flick-Williams was named the Coach of the Year for the 11th time in her career. In leading her team to a 21-4 overall record and a ninth straight NCAA postseason appearance, Flick-Williams mentors a program that enters the postseason ranked third in Division II with 2.73 blocks per set, 31st with 12.55 assists per set and 32nd with a .240 hitting percentage. The Vikings lead the GNAC in all three categories while also ranking second with 13.41 kills per set and a .160 opponent hitting percentage.

Gunterman was joined on the first team by sophomore outside hitter Calley Heilborn and junior middle blocker Olivia Fairchild. Heilborn is averaging 3.26 kills and 4.29 digs per set, ranking fifth in the GNAC in both categories. Heilborn has double-doubles in all but six matches this season with season highs of 26 kills at Alaska on October 28 and 29 digs against Cal State San Bernardino on September 11.

Fairchild leads the conference and ranks seventh in Division II with 1.38 blocks per set. Her .330 hitting percentage is second in the league while averaging 2.46 kills per set. Fairchild has double-digit kills in 13 matches and had a double-double of 19 kills and 10 blocks against Cal State San Bernardino on September 11.

Central Washington freshman libero Hannah Stires was named the Defensive Player of the Year. Stires leads the GNAC with 4.67 digs per set in helping lead the Wildcats to a tie for second place in the conference standings and a ninth straight NCAA regionals appearance. Stires has double-digit kills in all 23 matches so far and 20 or more digs in 10 matches, led by her 27 at Western Oregon on November 13.

Wildcats sophomore Tia Andaya was the coaches’ choice for Newcomer of the Year. The sophomore transfer from Gonzaga was potent in a dual role at setter and outside hitter, averaging 2.25 kills, 5.07 assists, 0.29 aces and 2.24 digs per set. Andaya broke the GNAC single-season record with six triple-doubles on the year, marking the first time since 2012 that a GNAC player has had more than two.

The Wildcats’ duo was joined on the first team by sophomore outside hitter Ashley Kaufman. She finished the regular season ranked seventh in the GNAC with 3.11 kills per set and finished with double-doubles in seven matches. She had a season-high 19 kills against Chaminade on September 5.

Simon Fraser opposite Brooke Dexter was named the Freshman of the Year after she finished the regular season leading the GNAC and ranking 15th in Division II with 4.08 kills per set. She also ranks second in the GNAC and 16th in Division II with 4.62 points per set. Dexter has double-digit kills in all but three matches this season and seven double-doubles. She posted a season-high 27 kills against Western Washington on September 18.

Dexter is joined on the first team by senior setter Julia Tays, who leads the GNAC and ranks 11th in Division II with 11.14 assists per set. Tays finished with double-doubles in 14 matches this season, posting season highs of 62 assists and 22 digs against Northwest Nazarene on October 23.

Alaska Anchorage landed a pair of first-team selections in junior opposite Eve Stephens and junior setter Ellen Floyd. Stephens earned her third consecutive first-team nod after leading the conference and ranking 13th in Division II with 4.67 points per set. She also ranks second in the GNAC and 31st in Division II with 3.83 kills per set and is fourth in the conference with 0.42 aces per set. Stephens had double-doubles in 11 matches and posted a high of 26 kills against Central Washington on October 7.

Floyd earned her second consecutive first-team selection after averaging 10.14 assists per set while leading the conference and ranking 33rd in Division II with 0.49 aces per set. She has 16 double-doubles on the season, finishing with season highs of 52 assists against Biola on September 2 and 21 digs at Western Washington on November 8.

Alaska senior setter Cate Whiting also earned her third straight first-team award. Whiting averaged 9.59 assists per set, fourth in the GNAC, and was a double-double performer in 20 matches. She finished with season highs of 55 assists against Central Washington on October 9 and 25 digs at Western Washington on October 2.

Montana State Billings senior opposite Bayli Monck was named to the first team for the second consecutive season. Monck ranks fourth in the GNAC with 3.51 kills and 4.03 points per set. Monck had 15 double-doubles on the season, including in seven of the last eight matches. She had a season high 21 kills against Western Oregon on September 30 and against Simon Fraser on November 13.

Seattle Pacific sophomore middle blocker Hannah Hair earned first-team honors after ranking second in the GNAC and eighth in Division II with 1.35 blocks per set while leading the conference with a .333 hitting percentage. Hair averaged 2.55 kills per set and paced her year with highs of 14 kills in four different matches and 11 blocks against Central Washington on September 18.

Northwest Nazarene junior outside hitter Natalie Sullivan rounds out the first team. Sullivan led the Nighthawks and ranked third in the GNAC with 3.66 kills per set. Her ledger included 14 double-doubles and six matches with 20 or more kills, topped by her 29 against Simon Fraser on September 23.

The Volleyball All-Conference Team included seven unanimous selections in Gunterman, Stephens, Dexter, Andaya, Heilborn, Whiting and Hair.

Player of the Year:
Gabby Gunterman, Western Washington
Coach of the Year: Diane Flick-Williams, Western Washington
Defensive Player of the Year: Hannah Stires, Central Washington
Freshman of the Year: Brooke Dexter, Simon Fraser
Newcomer of the Year: Tia Andaya, Central Washington

FIRST TEAM          
Name School Pos. Ht. Yr. Hometown (Previous School)
*+ Gabby Gunterman Western Washington OH 5-10 Jr. Lake Stevens, Wash. (Lake Stevens)
*+# Eve Stephens Alaska Anchorage OPP 6-1 Jr. Palmer, Alaska (Colony)
* Brooke Dexter Simon Fraser OPP 6-2 Fr. Anchorage, Alaska (West Anchorage)
* Tia Andaya Central Washington S/OH 5-9 So. Ellensburg, Wash. (Ellensburg)
+$ Julia Tays Simon Fraser S 5-10 Sr. Winnipeg, Man. (St. Mary’s Academy)
*+ Calley Heilborn Western Washington OH 6-1 So. Auburn, Wash. (Auburn Riverside)
*+# Cate Whiting Alaska S 5-10 Sr. Rapid City, S.D. (Rapid City Stevens)
* Hannah Hair Seattle Pacific MB 6-1 So. Walla Walla, Wash. (Walla Walla)
+ Bayli Monck Montana State Billings OPP 5-10 Sr. Colorado Springs, Colo. (Vista Ridge)
Ashley Kaufman Central Washington OH 5-8 So. Hayden, Idaho (Lake City)
Natalie Sullivan Northwest Nazarene OH 6-0 Jr. Boise, Idaho (Bishop Kelly)
+ Ellen Floyd Alaska Anchorage S 5-10 Jr. Pensacola, Fla. (Pensacola Catholic)
Olivia Fairchild Western Washington MB 6-2 Jr. Olympia, Wash. (North Thurston)
Hannah Stires Central Washington L 5-5 Fr. Nine Mile Falls, Wash. (Lakeside)
Name School Pos. Ht. Yr. Hometown (Previous School)
Sophie Schilling Alaska MB 6-1 So. Berlin, Germany
(SG Rotation Prenziauer Berg)
Vera Pluharova Alaska Anchorage MB 6-2 Sr. Nechanice, Czech Republic
(Biskupské Gymnázium Bohuslava Balbína)
Marianna Payne Central Washington OH 6-0 Fr. Camas, Wash. (Central Catholic)
Leanna Shymanski Central Washington MB 6-0 Sr. Kennewick, Wash. (Kamiakin)
Joelle Mahowald Montana State Billings MB 6-1 Sr. Nine Mile Falls, Wash. (Spokane Falls CC)
Kylie Alos Saint Martin’s L 5-3 Jr. Mililani, Hawaii (Mililani)
Emily Gooding Saint Martin’s RS 5-11 Sr. Renton, Wash. (Kentridge)
@ Maddie Batiste Seattle Pacific OH 6-0 Sr. Portland, Ore. (Central Catholic)
Emily Tulino Seattle Pacific S 5-7 Fr. Carlsbad, Calif. (La Costa Canyon)
Kalyn Hartmann Simon Fraser MB 6-2 So. Langley, B.C. (Langley)
Bianca Te Simon Fraser L 5-7 Sr. Burnaby, B.C. (St. Thomas More)
@ Malia Aleaga Western Washington S 5-7 So. Burien, Wash. (Kennedy Catholic)
* - Unanimous Selection   
+ - First Team In 2019
@ - Honorable Mention In 2019
# - First Team In 2018
$ - Honorable Mention In 2018