Coming off their first ever GNAC championship, the Central Washington Wildcat women enter the 2022-23 season picked to finish 4th in the conference thanks in large part to second-team All American Samantha Bowman.

The Zillah alum has already placed her mark on the season winning the first conference player of the week.

But she has her sights on a much loftier goal.

"I wanted to keep the same goals I had last year, making sure I get a double-double every game is a big one. I'd say my most, my toughest goal that I'll have this year is to be national player of the year."

And coming off a season where she averaged a double-double and was conference tournament MVP in addition to the All-American, she's off to a great start but acknowledges it's on her to put in the work.

Bowman says this year's squad is young but has a lot of promise with Claire Heitschmidt among those looking like future leaders.

The remodeling of Nicholson Pavillion has presented challenges, but Bowman is trying to find the positive.

"It's different for sure but I think we're adjusting pretty well to it and it's making us more versatile anyway, just to be able to play in any environment regardless. I think it's almost beneficial even though it is kind of disappointing."

CWU is scheduled to play at Ellensburg High, Yakima Valley Community College and Big Bend Community College in the first half of the season.

This is Bowman's final year and she's working on what the next steps are including being a grad assistant at Central, playing overseas or maybe playing a season of volleyball.

Central is 2-0 and on the road this weekend in Salt Lake City for the Westminster tournament.