CWU News

Andaya Picks up 300th Victory as Volleyball Sweeps MSUB

The Central Washington University volleyball team extended its win streak to five games, and head coach Mario Andaya picked up his 300th career victory as the Wildcats defeated Montana State Billings University 3-0 Saturday night.

Andaya, in his 19th season at the helm for CWU is now 300-218 in his career with the Wildcats.

"I feel blessed to have been apart of this institution for this long," Andaya said.  "With the type of institution like CWU, it was just a matter of time, a lot of credit goes to the people I have around me who support the program year in and year out."

Central Washington improves to 19-6 on the season, 12-5 in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.  Montana State Billings falls to 11-14, 6-10 in the GNAC.

Central Washington jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in set two behind two kills by Linden Firethorne.  The Yellowjackets stormed back by taking a 7-6 lead, but another kill by Firethorne game the Wildcats an 11-10 advantage, a lead the Wildcats would hold onto for the remainder of the set.  The Wildcats used an 8-1 run to gain separation in the set as the visitors finished the frame with a 25-17 set victory.

After a short 2-0 lead by CWU, MSUB battled its way to a 20-14 lead over the Wildcats late in set two.  A handful of Yellowjacket attack errors and a couple kills by Kaitlin Quirk helped the Wildcats regain the lead at 23-22, and Firethorne closed the match with a big kill off an assist from Catie Fry.

Again the Wildcats fell behind early in the third set with MSUB racing to a 7-4 lead. The Wildcats used a trio of consecutive kills by Jordan Deming, Kiah Jones and Fry to get back into the game.  The two teams traded points until CWU used a 5-0 run aided by a kills from Fry and Firethorne and a block from Fry and Julie Hulbert.  With an 18-13 lead, CWU cruised to the 25-18 set victory.

Firethorne had an impressive outing with 21 kills while hitting .400.  Deming finished with 10 kills while Quirk and Hulbert both had seven.  Fry again facilitated the Wildcat offense that hit .265 on the evening by handing out 42 assists on 52 Wildcat kills.

"Linden did what she does best tonight," Andaya said about his senior outside hitter. "She was available, and when her number was called she came through.  She has really established herself as one of the best hitters in the conference."

Up next, the Wildcats play their last regular season matchup as they host conference leading Northwest Nazarene next Saturday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m.

"We are looking forward to next week, its our last opportunity for our seniors to play in front of our home crowd," Andaya said.  "NNU will be a big test and a good challenge going forward. If we are fortunate to have our number called for regionals, this will be a good test for us."

The Wildcats are currently ranked fifth in the NCAA Division II West Regional poll, and NNU comes into the week as the regions top ranked team.