No.23 Vikings open with split at SoCal Classic
Aug. 28, 2009
CARSON, Calif. - A young Western Washington University volleyball team made its season debut Friday, splitting a pair of matches at the Southern California Classic.
The Vikings, rated No.23 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association NCAA Division II Preseason Top 25 Poll, were swept by No.2-ranked Cal State San Bernardino, 25-14, 25-19, 25-23, in the evening following a 22-25, 25-18, 25-19, 25-20 victory over Cal State Dominguez Hills earlier in the afternoon.
Freshman outside hitter Marlayna Geary (Tacoma/Bellarmine Prep) made an outstanding collegiate debut against CSUDH as she tied for match-high honors with 18 kills along with eight digs and libero Allison Gotz (Jr., Bothell/Archbishop Murphy) had match highs of 13 digs and five service aces.
The Vikings had a .377 attack percentage and eight service aces.
CSUDH, which fell to 0-2, got 18 kills from both Ashley Clark and Samantha Maxwell.
Geary hit for a .342 percentage with five errors in 38 attempts.
Western middle blocker Emily Jepsen (So., Kennewick/Kamiakin) had 14 kills and a .444 percentage with just two errors in 27 attempts, and outside hitter Megan Amundson (Jr., Stanwood) had 11 kills (.320) and eight digs.
"We obviously came out with some jitters and were tentative, but I felt we kept getting better throughout the match," said Western coach Diane Flick. "I liked out hitting efficiency, but I would like to see our kill total increase."
Western never led in the first set, being tied only once at 18-all before the Toros scored seven of the last 11 points for a 1-0 lead.
But CSUDH led only four more times in the match, 10-9 in the second, 9-8 in the third and 1-0 and 2-1 in the fourth as the Vikings took control and rallied for the victory.
Geary paced Western with 10 kills against CSUSB, which won the West Regional title last year and was the national runner-up. The Coyotes improved to 3-0.
The Vikings never led in either the first or third sets and only briefly in the early going of the second set.
"The best thing was that it exposed some things that we need to work on," Flick said. "We certainly didn't play up to our full potential."
Tied at 7-7 in the first set, CSUSB closed it out with an 18-7 run. The second set was tied at 11-11, when the Coyotes went on a decisive 10-3 run.
Western was within one point, 24-23, before a service error ended the third set and the match.
Jane Chafeh led CSUSB with match-highs of 15 kills and nine digs.
The Vikings hit just .078 to .310 for the Coyotes.
Western closes out the tourney Saturday at Los Angeles, meeting Ashland OH at 12 noon and Cal State L.A. at 7 p.m.
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