McPherson has match-high 12 kills as No.17 WWU opens season with sweep of Cal State East Bay
Sep 5, 2013
MONMOUTH, Ore. - Opposite-side hitter Jennica McPherson (So., Seattle/Kennedy) had a match-high 12 kills and a .458 attack percentage as Western Washington University won a marathon first game in sweeping Cal State East Bay, 34-32, 25-18, 25-9, in opening-day action Thursday at the fourth annual Western Oregon University Invitational Tournament being held at the New P.E. Building on the WOU campus.
The match was the season opener for the Vikings, ranked No.17 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association/NCAA Division II Preseason Top 25 Poll. They meet Holy Names tonight at 7:30 p.m.
It was the ninth straight season opening win for WWU, which has now won eight of nine matches at the WOU tourney over the last three years.
"Jennica had just an awesome match," said WWU coach Diane Flick (14th year, 274-74). "Her hitting totals were outstanding, but it's the little things that she did that were huge for us as well. She played a really great steady match for us."
The first game had 27 ties and 13 lead changes. The biggest lead by either team was just two points on three occasions.
"We had some first-game jitters," Flick said. "They were trying to play faster and bigger than we needed to as opposed to calmer and steady."
Two straight service aces by All-America libero Samantha Hutchinson (Jr., University Place/Curtis) helped the Vikings break away in the second game and Dillard had three consecutive aces in the runaway third game.
Erickson finished with nine kills and Kelsey Moore (Jr., Bellevue/Newport) had eight. Besides her trio of aces, Dillard had 26 assists, six kills and six digs, and Hutchinson tied for match-high honors with 11 digs.
WWU had a 9-2 advantage in aces and a 10-2 edge in blocks.
The Vikings play Minnesota State Mankato on Friday (12:30 p.m.) and Metro State on Saturday (12:30 p.m.).
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