Sports

A look at the teams in the West Region volleyball tournament

NCAA Division II West Region championships
Thursday's quarterfinal matches at Alaska Airlines Center
(Seeding in parenthesis)

Noon — (6) Cal Baptist (20-8) vs. (3) Western Washington (21-7)
2:30 p.m. — (7) Central Washington (17-11) vs. (2) Cal State San Bernardino (24-4)
5 p.m. — (5) Northwest Nazarene (20-7) vs. (4) Simon Fraser (21-7)
7:30 p.m. — (8) Chico State (23-7) vs. (1) UAA (29-2)

West Region playoff team capsules

UAA Seawolves (No. 1 seed)
Conference: Great Northwest Athletic Conference
2015-16 record: 29-2 overall, 19-1 conference (1st)
2015 postseason: West Region semifinals
Coach: Chris Green (nine years, 188-71 record)
Players to watch: Morgan Hooe (1,152 assists, .396 hitting percentage), Leah Swiss (378 kills, 45 aces)
What to know: The Seawolves are back-to-back GNAC champions for the first time in program history.

[She used to be 'Virgil's kid.' Now Morgan Hooe leads a UAA volleyball team seeking postseason glory.]

Cal State San Bernardino (No. 2 seed)
Location: San Bernardino, California
Conference: California Collegiate Athletic Association
2015-16 record: 24-4 overall, 15-2 conference (1st)
2015 postseason:  West Region championship
Coach: Kim Cherniss (25 years, 575-209 record)
Players to watch: Lauren Nicholson (442 kills, 272 digs), Malika O'Brien (323 kills, 82 blocks)
What to know: Cal State San Bernardino upset UAA in the 2015 West Region tournament in five sets.

Western Washington (No. 3 seed)
Location: Bellingham, Washington
Conference: Great Northwest Athletic Conference
2015-16 record: 21-7 overall, 17-3 conference (2nd)
2015 postseason: NCAA Division II semifinals
Coach: Diane Flick-Williams (18 years, 365-98 record)
Players to watch: Kayleigh Harper (289 kills, 100 blocks), Abby Phelps (420 digs, 297 kills)
What to know: Western Washington is the only GNAC team to beat UAA this season.

Simon Fraser (No. 4 seed)
Location: Burnaby, British Columbia
Conference: Great Northwest Athletic Conference
2015-16 record: 21-7 overall, 14-6 conference (3rd)
2015 postseason: None
Coach: Gina Schmidt (four years, 64-42 record)
Players to watch: Alison McKay (653 digs, 27 aces), Tessa May (114 blocks, 274 kills).
What to know: Simon Fraser's Alison McKay is a two-time GNAC Defensive Player of the Year.

Northwest Nazarene (No. 5 seed)
Location: Nampa, Idaho
Conference: Great Northwest Athletic Conference
2015-16 record: 20-7 overall, 13-7 conference (4th)
2015 postseason: None
Coach: Doug English (Four years, 81-25 record)
Players to watch: Madi Farrell (334 kills, 126 blocks), Kendra Bodine (399 kills, 314 digs)
What to know: The Crusaders won the GNAC title in 2014 — the last time a team other than UAA won it.

Cal Baptist (No. 6 seed)
Location: Riverside, California
Conference: Pacific West Conference
2015-16 record: 20-8 overall, 15-5 conference (2nd)
2015 postseason: None
Coach: Branden Higa (Five years, 93-46 record)
Players to watch: Lauren Hackett (411 kills, 31 aces), Jenna Perry 339 kills, 315 digs)
What to know: The Lancers missed out on the postseason last season despite posting a 21-7 record.

Central Washington (No. 7 seed)
Location: Ellensburg, Washington
Conference: Great Northwest Athletic Conference
2015-16 record: 17-11, 13-7 conference (5th)
2015 postseason: West Region first round
Coach: Mario Andaya (21 years, 337-239 record)
Players to watch: Sabrina Wheelhouse (150 blocks, 144 kills), Kyla Morgan (487 digs, 76 assists)
What to know: The Wildcats have made the West Region tourney for five straight seasons.

Chico State (No. 8 seed)
Location: Chico, California
Conference: California Collegiate Athletic Association
2015-16 record: 23-7 overall, 15-3 conference (2nd)
2015 postseason: None
Coach: Cody Hein (14 years, 234-168)
Players to watch: Torey Thompson (1,138 assists, 26 aces), Olivia Mediano (372 kills, 295 digs)
What to know: Coach Cody Hein was named 2016 West Region Coach of the Year by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.

Stephan Wiebe

Stephan Wiebe writes about all things Alaska sports.

Sponsored