Balanced Offensive Attack Puts Wildcats Past Vikings
Emma Daoud-Hebert (center) had 16 kills and four blocks for CWU while Calley Heilborn (left) had 11 kills and 28 digs for WWU.
Emma Daoud-Hebert (center) had 16 kills and four blocks for CWU while Calley Heilborn (left) had 11 kills and 28 digs for WWU.

Friday, November 18, 2022

BELLINGHAM, Wash. – Sophomore Emma Daoud-Hebert led a balanced offensive attack that saw four Central Washington players finish with double-digit kills as the No. 7 seeded Wildcats stunned No. 2 seeded Western Washington in four sets in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division II Volleyball West Regional at Carver Gym.

Daoud-Hebert finished with 16 kills, four blocks and a .593 hitting percentage as the Wildcats (17-10) advanced to the regional semifinals for the second straight season. Junior setter/outside hitter Tia Andaya registered a triple-double of 11 kills, 22 assists and 16 digs while sophomore outside hitter Kylie Thorne added 11 kills and 10 digs.

Western Washington, which reached the Division II semifinals last year, saw its season come to an end with a 21-6 record. Senior outside hitter Calley Heilborn led the way with her double-double of 11 kills and 28 digs. Senior outside hitter Gabby Gunterman added 11 kills and 11 digs while senior middle blocker Chloe Roetcisoender added 11 kills.

With the win, Central Washington advances to play No. 3 seeded Cal State LA in the semifinals on Friday at 7:30 p.m. The Golden Eagles downed No. 6 seeded Sonoma State in four sets in their semifinal match.

The Wildcats trailed much of the first before rallying to take a 21-16 lead on a WWU attack error. The Vikings battled back to it tie at 24-24 on Roetcisocender’s kills before two Andaya kills and a block by Andaya and Daoud-Hebert closed the frame in favor of CWU.

Central Washington never trailed in the second set, building a 15-10 lead on an attack error before holding off another Vikings’ rally for the victory. Likewise, Western Washington never trailed in the third set, pulling away from a 16-16 tie behind two kills and three blocks from senior middle blocker Olivia Fairchild to secure the win.

The fourth set started close before a CWU run that culminated on an Alyssa Smith block built a 17-11 Wildcat lead. The Vikings pulled back close, coming within two points on four occasions before Daoud-Hebert’s final kill of the night closed out the match.