Oct. 4, 2012
FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Outside hitter Marlayna Geary (Sr., Tacoma/Bellarmine Prep) posted her 10th double-double in kills and digs this season as nationally ranked Western Washington University took over sole possession of first place in the league standings, sweeping University of Alaska Fairbanks, 25-18, 25-19, 25-17, in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference volleyball match Thursday night at Patty Center on the UAF campus.
The Vikings, ranked No.16 in this week's American Volleyball Coaches Association NCAA Division II Coaches' Top 25 Poll, improved to 13-2 overall and are atop the GNAC standings at 6-1.
UAF fell to 2-10 overall and 0-6 in league play, losing for the 10th straight time.
"We sputtered a little, but we got into a good sideout game and a very patient game," said WWU coach Diane Flick (13th year, 262-72). "It wasn't our best match, but it was a good solid match."
Geary had 10 kills and 14 digs, both match highs. She moved into fourth place among WWU career kill leaders, upping her total to 1,191.
Kayla Erickson (So., Gig Harbor/Peninsula) and Kelsey Moore (So., Bellevue/Newport) each had four blocks for the Vikings, who held UAF to a .017 hitting percentage. Erickson also had eight kills and Moore seven.
There were eight ties to open the first set, the last at 9-9 before the Vikings had a 6-1 run that featured two kills by Moore for a 15-10 lead. UAF fought back to within one, 19-18, but WWU ended the stanza with six straight points, five on the serve of Samantha Hutchinson (So., University Place/Curtis).
WWU scored four consecutive points that ended with a kill by Emily Boerger (Jr., Marysville/Marysville-Pilchuck) to take an 11-7 lead in set two. The Nanooks never got closer than two and the Vikings' biggest lead was their six-point advantage at the end, their last two points coming on a kill by Erickson and a combo block by Moore and Erickson.
WWU scored five straight points for a 16-11 lead in set three, Hutchinson serving four and Jennica McPherson (R-Fr., Seattle/Kennedy) having two kills. UAF never got closer than two after that and Geary closed out the match with a kill.
McPherson had 14 kills for WWU and Hutchinson added 13.
The victory was the Vikings' eighth straight over UAF, giving them a series advantage of 33-6.
WWU is at Alaska Anchorage on Saturday, Oct. 6 (7 p.m. AT).
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