Wildcats' Season Ends With Semis Loss To Cal State LA
Marianna Payne (shown) and Ashley Kaufman each had seven kills for the Wildcats.
Marianna Payne (shown) and Ashley Kaufman each had seven kills for the Wildcats.

Friday, November 18, 2022

BELLINGHAM, Wash. – Despite a third-set rally that drove the match to extra points, Central Washington could not rebound from a slow start in the NCAA Division II Volleyball West Regional on Friday, dropping a three-set match to No. 3 seed Cal State LA in the semifinals at Carver Gym.

The No. 7 seeded Wildcats never fully found their offensive touch until late, compiling a .026 hitting percentage in the first set and finishing with a .150 percentage for the night. Cal State LA hit on all cylinders, posting a .279 percentage and 12 team blocks to Central Washington’s three.

Sophomore middle blocker Marianna Payne led the Wildcats with seven kills and a pair of blocks while junior outside hitter Ashley Kaufman added seven kills and six digs. Sophomore libero Hannah Stires added 12 digs. Junior setter Sydney Remsberg had a double-double of 16 assists and 10 digs.

Sophomore right side Emily Elliott led the Golden Eagles with 14 kills to go with seven digs and three blocks. Sophomore middle blocker Haley Roundtree finished with seven blocks with sophomore setter Jaden Grova contributing 15 assists.

Cal State LA opened up as much as a four-point lead early in the first set and closed by winning six of the final nine rallies, which included a pair of kills by freshman outside hitter Iane Henke. The Golden Eagles never trailed in the second set, bolting out to a 20-10 lead on an Elliott kill. The Wildcats responded with a four-point run before the Golden Eagles closed with a four-set run of their own.

The Wildcats bounced back from an early deficit in the third set to tie it at 5-5 on an attack error and built a 23-20 lead on a pair of Payne kills. Cal State LA proceeded to tie it a 24-24 to force extra points and ultimately broke service with an attack error and Elliott’s final kill of the night.

With the win, Cal State LA advances to face Chaminade in the regional final on Saturday night. Central Washington, the last remaining GNAC team in the tournament, ends with a 17-11 record.

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