Sept. 27, 2012
BELLINGHAM, Wash. -
Middle blocker Kayla Erickson (So., Gig Harbor/Peninsula) and outside hitter Marlayna Geary (Sr., Tacoma/Bellarmine Prep) each had a match-high 13 kills as Western Washington University bounced back from a tough road loss by sweeping Saint Martin's University, 25-11, 25-14, 25-18, in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference volleyball match Thursday at Sam Carver Gymnasium on the WWU campus.
The victory followed a four-set loss last Saturday at Central Washington for the Vikings, ranked No.17 in this week's American Volleyball Coaches Association NCAA Division II Coaches' Top 25 Poll. They improved to 11-2 overall and 4-1 in the GNAC.
It was the 27th straight win for WWU over Saint Martin's, which fell to 3-5 overall and 1-2 in league play. The Vikings hold a 48-5 series advantage, last losing to the Saints in 1998.
The Saints were led by the team highs of 10 kills and 12 digs by Kristyn Ross.
Erickson had a .478 hitting percentage and Geary served a match-high six aces. Opposite-side hitter Jennica McPherson (R-Fr., Seattle/Kennedy) hit .625 with five kills and six digs.
WWU libero Samantha Hutchinson (So., University Place/Curtis) contributed 19 digs and setter Laurie Yearout (Sr., Spokane/Lewis & Clark) had 31 assists, both match highs.
WWU went out to a 7-1 lead in set one as Emily Cotter (So., University Place/Curtis) served five straight points and upped that to 16-5 on a kill and six straight serving points by Geary, the final score of 14 being the biggest point spread. Geary had six kills in 11 attempts and Kelsey Moore So., Bellevue/Newport) four in eight tries.
The Vikings led by just three points, 14-11, in the second set before McPherson broke it open by serving eight straight points following a kill by Erickson, who had four in five attempts.
Erickson had seven kills and two blocks in the third and final set as WWU led 18-11 and closed the match by splitting the final 14 points.
It was the eighth straight home win for WWU, which is 3-0 at Carver Gym this season. The Vikings have won 21 of their last 22 home matches.
WWU entertains league-leading Western Oregon on Saturday, Sept. 29 (7 p.m.).