Sept. 14, 2012
BELLINGHAM, Wash. -
Opposite-side hitter Jennica McPherson (R-Fr., Seattle/Kennedy) had six kills, 11 digs, five service aces and one block, as Western Washington University swept Montana State University Billings, 25-16, 25-20, 25-10, in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference volleyball opener for both schools Friday at Sam Carver Gymnasium on the WWU campus.
The Vikings, ranked No.14 in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association NCAA Division II Coaches' Poll, improved to 8-1 overall with their fourth straight victory.
"I was really pleased with how we finished every game and got better with every set," said WWU head coach Diane Flick (13th year, 257-71).
It was the 17th straight home-opening win for the Vikings, who are 21-1 at Carver Gym over the last three seasons.
MSUB, which was led by the match-high 12 kills of Monica Grimsrud, fell to 3-6. Erin Compton had a match-best 20 digs for the Yellowjackets.
WWU had strong finishes in the first two games. The Vikings closed out the first set with an 11-5 run. Trailing 20-18 in set two, they scored the last seven points, six on the serve of McPherson, who had four aces.
"In a tight situation, Jennica really stepped it up from the service line," Flick said.
WWU never trailed in the third set, scoring the first five points and going out to a 15-point advantage, 19-6.
Outside hitter Marlayna Geary (Sr., Tacoma/Bellarmine) led the Vikings with 10 kills and Emily Boerger (Jr., Marysville/Marysville-Pilchuck) added nine. Middle blocker Kayla Erickson (So., Gig Harbor/Peninsula) contributed seven kills and a match-high five blocks.
Libero Samantha Hutchinson (So., University Place/Curtis) had 17 digs and setter Laurie Yearout (Sr., Spokane/Lewis & Clark) a match-high 34 assists.
WWU remained perfect in 14 series meetings with MSUB, sweeping the last 12.
The Vikings entertain defending GNAC champion Seattle Pacific on Saturday (7 p.m.).