Sept. 14, 2013
ROHNERT PARK, Calif. -
Western Washington University suffered its first loss of the season, falling 20-25, 25-22, 25-14, 25-22, to host Sonoma State University in final-day action Saturday at the seventh Seawolf Spike Invitational Volleyball Tournament in a match between two top 25 nationally ranked teams.
The Vikings, No.12 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association/NCAA Division II Top 25 Poll, fell to 7-1 overall and finished 3-1 at the tourney. Earlier in the day, they swept San Francisco State, 25-21, 25-8, 25-21.
"Going 7-1 in the preseason was good to do, but now we have to get ready for conference play," said WWU head coach Diane Flick (14th year, 280-75).
Sonoma State, rated No.24 nationally, improved to 6-1. The Seawolves were led by Caylie Seitz, who tied for match-high honors with 17 kills and Madelyn Densberger, who had 14 kills and 20 digs.
Middle blocker Emily Boerger (Sr., Marysville/Marysville-Pilchuck) paced WWU with 17 kills and a .500 attack percentage, and libero Samantha Hutchinson (Jr., University Place/Curtis) had a match-high 38 digs.
WWU took a 13-7 lead in the first game and held on for the win, but with the second game tied at 21-all, SSU scored four of the last five points to tie the match. The Seawolves closed the third game with an 11-2 run and scored the last six points in taking the fourth game.
Middle blocker Kayla Erickson (Jr., Gig Harbor/Peninsula) had a match-high 17 kills on 26 attempts with just one error for a .615 attack percentage in WWU's sweep of SFSU (4-3). There were 12 ties and just two lead changes in the match that was completed in 1:08.
Hutchinson had 17 digs for the Vikings, and setter Taylor Dillard (Jr., Milton/Fife) 41 assists, both match highs.
With game one tied at 20-20, WWU ended it with a 5-1 run. The Vikings scored 16 of the last 18 points in dominating game two and never trailed in the third game.
Boerger had seven kills and a match-high six blocks for WWU, and opposite-side hitter Jennica McPherson (So., Seattle/Kennedy) had seven kills and 11 digs.
WWU opened tourney play Friday with wins over Cal State Stanislaus, 25-12, 25-15, 25-17, and Chico State, 25-16, 23-25, 25-17, 25-18.
WWU, the defending league champion, takes a week off before beginning Great Northwest Athletic Conference play on the road, traveling to Montana State Billings on Sept. 26 and to Seattle Pacific on Sept. 28.
Sonoma State Seawolf Spike All-Tournament Team
MVP--Madelyn Densberger, Sonoma State
Nicole Gragnola, Sonoma State
Hayley Ross, Sonoma State
Emily Boerger, Western Washington
Kayla Erickson, Western Washington
Ellie Larronde, Chico State
Pomai Recca, Hawaii Pacific
Team Champion: Sonoma State (4-0)