Western Washington pin hitter Gabby Gunterman, a Lake Stevens graduate. (Western Washington University photo)

Western Washington pin hitter Gabby Gunterman, a Lake Stevens graduate. (Western Washington University photo)

Community sports: Gunterman leads WWU volleyball to final 8

Plus, former local standouts earn athlete of the week honors and Edmonds College posts coaching openings.

Gabby Gunterman is swinging for a national championship.

The Lake Stevens High School graduate, now a junior pin hitter on the Western Washington University volleyball team, and the Vikings are aiming for a national title when they head to the NCAA Division II National Championships, which take place Thursday through Saturday in Tampa, Florida.

The Vikings won the West Regional over the weekend with victories over Simon Fraser, Central Washington and Cal State Los Angeles, stretching Western’s winning streak to 19 matches and earning the Vikings a spot in the elite eight. Gunterman, who was named the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Player of the Year, amassed 42 kills and 29 digs over the three matches as she was named to the all-tournament team.

Western entered the NCAA tournament ranked No. 13 in the AVCA national poll, but because of a spate of upsets at regional tournaments — none of the top seeds escaped from the eight regionals — the Vikings (24-4) are the No. 2 seed at nationals. They open against seventh-seeded Daemen (25-7) at 11:30 a.m. (Pacific Time) Thursday. Western has never won a national championship, though the Vikings finished as runners-up in both 2007 and 2018. Gunterman was a part of the 2018 team.

Karli Tri, a first-year middle blocker who’s a fellow Lake Stevens graduate, is also on Western’s roster, but is redshirting this season.

Cummings earns athlete of the week honor

Arlington High School graduate Cooper Cummings, now a junior on the Western Washington men’s track and field team, was named the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Men’s Track Athlete of the Week for Nov. 29-Dec. 5. Cummings opened the indoor season by placing second in the heptathlon at the Candy Cane Multis on Saturday in Cheney. Cummings’ top events were the pole vault (13 feet, 9 1/4 inches) and the 1,000 meters (3 minutes, 2.01 seconds), as he finished second in both.

Collins honored yet again

Glacier Peak High School graduate Aaliyah Collins, now a first-year on the Chicago State University women’s basketball team, was named the Western Athletic Conference Freshman of the Week for the third consecutive week. Collins averaged 16.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.0 steals over the course of two games during the week of Nov. 29-Dec. 5.

Coach openings at Edmonds College

Edmonds College is looking to fill coaching vacancies in women’s soccer, men’s soccer and cross country. More information can be obtained on the Edmonds College athletics website.

If you have an item for the community sports roundup, email Nick Patterson at npatterson@heraldnet.com.

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