WWU opens season with 3-1 victory over Florida Southern
Aug. 30, 2012
MONMOUTH, Ore. - Outside hitter Marlayna Geary (Sr., Tacoma/Bellarmine Prep) and middle blocker Kayla Erickson (So., Gig Harbor/Peninsula) each had 16 kills as Western Washington University opened its season with a 25-19, 25-27, 25-17, 25-18 victory over Florida Southern College to begin first-day action at the Western Oregon University Invitational Volleyball Tournament on Thursday at the New P.E. Building on the WOU campus.
It is the seventh straight year that the Vikings, picked as the Great Northwest Athletic Conference preseason favorite, have opened with a victory.
FSC, which reached the South Regional semifinals in 2011 with its 25th post-season appearance in 30 years, was led by Gabby Fernandez with a match-high 20 kills.
"It was a typical first match," said WWU head coach Diane Flick (13th year), who notched the 250th victory of her 13-year career. "We had runs of good things and runs of not so good things. It was just a matter of steadying out things and getting rid of the jitters."
Geary also had 15 digs and Erickson added five block assists.
"The good thing was that we were very balanced," Flick said. "Marlayna (Geary) struggled the first two games, but even with that we still performed very well. We need to have a lot of balance in our offense and Laurie (Yearout) did a good job of making sure everyone was involved."
WWU did not trail in the first set. Leading by one, 17-16, the Vikings took a timeout and scored eight of the final 11 points. McPherson had three kills and one block assist during that stretch.
Trailing 20-15 in the second set, WWU rallied to tie the match at 23-all and had a set point at 25-24 before FSC rallied for three points to tie the match at one set apiece.
The Vikings took the third set, scoring eight straight points to take an early 9-3 lead. Geary had three kills and Erickson two during that span. WWU upped its lead to as many as nine points twice, 21-12 and 22-13.
In the fourth set, an eight-point WWU lead was trimmed to four, 20-16. But the Vikings scored five of the last seven points, Moore having three kills.
WWU meets Cal State L.A. at 5 p.m. today. On Friday, the Vikings face Grand Valley State University at 2:30 p.m. and they play Missouri Tech on Saturday at 5 p.m.
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