WWCC win; Wolves issue in new era

The Warriors down WWU in three sets, and the Wolves welcome new coach Sara Todorovich.

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Walla Walla Community College's Reese Amy (No. 14) and Brittany Dominguez (No. 4) guard aganist Walla Walla University's Heather McFadden spike during the second set Monday night.

WALLA WALLA - Halloween was celebrated in different ways by the Walla Walla Community College and Walla Walla University volleyball teams.

The Warriors picked up a three-set victory over the Wolves, 25-15, 25-16, 25-18.

And the Wolves said farewell to their longtime coach and welcomed a hometown volleyball standout as the new WWU coach.

"Don Hepker's coached 15 years in the Walla Walla University athletic department," WWU athletic director Tim Windemuth said, noting that Wa-Hi graduate Sara Todorovich, a Wa-Hi graduate and Wolves assistant this season, is taking over.

The non-conference victory Monday night improves WWCC's record to 29-7 overall. The Warriors are 9-2 in NWAACC East Region play and ranked No. 4 in the NWAACC.

"Twenty-nine wins this season is an amazing accomplishment, and we still have some matches left," WWCC coach Tim Toon said.

The Warriors host Treasure Valley at 6 p.m. Wednesday, travel to Big Bend on Friday, and celebrate Sophomore Night Nov. 9 against top-ranked Spokane. They could earn a share of the East Region title with victories in the final three matches.

"This team figures out ways to win and tonight we received quality contributions from a lot of players," Toon said. "I hope we can carry this momentum into our two conference matches this week."

Brittany Dominguez led the Warriors with 17 kills and two blocks.

"We've come to expect these amazing numbers from Brittany," Toon said. "She is having a great season."

Desiree Nielson had seven kills and seven blocks in "a preview for next year when she will be in the middle position full time," Toon said. "Her blocking was impressive."

Tiffany Cain recorded four kills, four digs and two blocks with "spirited play with some quality touches on the ball."

Maggie Reynolds "played a solid left back" with 12 digs, Devin Casterline's "quickness earned her some tough digs" en route to 10 digs, and Kayla Hanus had "another high quality match" with 19 setting assists, two aces and seven digs, Toon said.

Courtney Cosdon picked up 12 setting assists and two aces despite not having her contact lenses in because of an eye irritation, and Reese Amy "played well coming off a back injury" with four kills and two blocks, Toon said.

On Walla Walla University's side, the match ended the Wolves season. Hepker is stepping down as Wolves coach, but will remain in his position as student activities director at WWU. He began his coaching career at WWU with the Wolves' men's club volleyball team, and has spent the last 13 years with the women's varsity team.

Under his tutelage, the Wolves finished fourth at the United State Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) championships in 2005, and fifth in 2006. In 2009, WWU was fourth at the Association of Independent Institutions' championships.

"He had numerous players named all-Americans and Academic All-Americans," Windemuth said. "He had a great impact on the players in our women's program. We're sad to see him go and wish him the best."

Todorovich comes full circle to WWU, as her parents graduated from Walla Walla College. She was a standout at Wa-Hi, earning Most Valuable Player her freshman and junior seasons, and named second-team All-Big Nine her sophomore season as well as first-team all-conference her junior and senior seasons. She earned second-team all-state honors her senior year.

She also played two seasons of varsity basketball at Wa-Hi, earning defensive player of the year her junior year.

Todorovich earned a full-ride volleyball scholarship to Arizona State, and was a top middle blocker in the Pac-10 her two seasons there.

She transfered to Eastern Washington for her junior season, and entered the NCAA record books for a perfect hitting performance against Northern Arizona.

Todorovich is finishing her undergraduate degree at Washington State University.

"Sara brings an abundance of experience to our women's team," Windemuth said. "She is definitely the right fit for us. She's a great role model and leader. Sara's a well-rounded person who will have a great impact on our program. She wants to keep building on what we had with Don, and we couldn't be happier to have her on board."

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