Gunterman, Fairchild Lead Volleyball West Region Honorees
Gunterman (left) was also named the GNAC Player of the Year. She and Olivia Fairchild are among three WWU All-West Region selections.
Gunterman (left) was also named the GNAC Player of the Year. She and Olivia Fairchild are among three WWU All-West Region selections.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

PORTLAND, Ore. – Led by consensus first-team selections for Western Washington’s Gabby Gunterman and Olivia Fairchild and a Freshman of the Year nod for Simon Fraser’s Brooke Dexter, eight GNAC volleyball players have been selected for All-West Region honors by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) and the Division II Conference Commissioners Association (D2CCA).

Two GNAC players were named to the D2CCA first team and six were selected to the AVCA first team, with Gunterman and Fairchild honored by both organizations. Dexter was selected by the AVCA as the West Region Freshman of the Year while also earning first-team honors.

Also selected to the AVCA All-West Region First Team were Central Washington’s Tia Andaya, Alaska Anchorage’s Eve Stephens and Simon Fraser’s Julia Tays. Both Gunterman and Stephens made the AVCA All-West Region First Team for the second time.

Stephens and Dexter were also named to the D2CCA second team along with Seattle Pacific’s Hannah Hair. Hair and Western Washington’s Calley Heilborn earned honorable mention nods from the AVCA.

The six first-team selections and eight overall selections on the AVCA All-West Region Team for the GNAC was the most of the three West Region conferences.

Gunterman and Fairchild led Western Washington to its fourth consecutive GNAC championship and ninth consecutive NCAA West Regional appearance. Gunterman, a junior outside hitter, was the GNAC Player of the Year. She has started all 25 matches for the Vikings and ranks sixth in the conference with 3.21 kills per set, 3.86 points per set and a .308 hitting percentage. She has 16 double-doubles on the season, including a 22-kill, 22-dig performance at Alaska on October 28.

Fairchild, a junior middle blocker, 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 this season and had a double-double of 19 kills and 10 blocks against Cal State San Bernardino on September 11.

Dexter, a freshman opposite, adds AVCA West Region Freshman of the Year honors to her GNAC Freshman of the Year award. Dexter is 15th in Division II with a conference-leading 4.08 kills per set while ranking second in the GNAC and 16th in Division II with 4.62 points per set. Dexter had double-digit kills in all but three matches this season, capped by a 27-kill performance against Western Washington on September 18.

Andaya, a sophomore setter/outside hitter, was named the GNAC Newcomer of the Year after excelling as a threat on all parts of the floor for Central Washington. A transfer from Gonzaga, Andaya is averaging 2.24 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.

Stephens, a junior opposite, became a three-time First Team All-GNAC selection 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 has double-doubles in 11 matches this season and posted a high of 26 kills against Central Washington on October 7.

Tays, a senior setter, leads the GNAC and ranks 11th in Division II with 11.14 assists per set. She finished the regular season with double-doubles in 14 matches, posting season highs of 62 assists and 22 digs against Northwest Nazarene on October 23.

Hair, a sophomore middle blocker, finished 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.

Heilborn is averaging 3.26 kills and 4.29 digs per set, ranking fifth in the GNAC in both categories. She 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.

The first team selections will now be considered for the AVCA All-America Team, which will be announced on December 7, and the D2CCA All-America Team, which will be announced on December 8.