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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Abby Phelps named GNAC Player of the Year to lead five WWU selections to All-GNAC team
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Abby Phelps named GNAC Co-Offensive Player of the Week and Michaela Hall earns defensive award
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WWU ends regular season with 3-0 sweep over Central Washington on Senior Night
Vikings Clinch GNAC Championship with Sweep over NNU
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Vikings take 16-match winning streak into home tilts vs. NNU and CWU
WWU Volleyball Moves into National Top 5
Vikings jump three spots to No. 5 in AVCA Division II top 25 with current 16-match winning streak
Phelps and Buckner Sweep GNAC Weekly Awards
Abby Phelps named GNAC Offensive Player of the Week and Aubrey Buckner earned defensive award
Volleyball Extends Winning Streak to 16 Straight With 3-0 Win at SMU
Vikings defeat Saint Martin's to win 16th straight match to set up big finish to regular season
Six Vikings Named to GNAC Academic Team
Kristina Tribley named to team for third consecutive year. Abby Phelps and Michaela Hall are repeat selections
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Vikings win 15th straight match in thrilling 3-2 victory at Seattle Pacific
No. 8 Vikings Hit the Road at SPU and Saint Martin's
Vikings take 14-match winning streak into final four matches of the regular season
Joellee Buckner Earns Third GNAC Weekly Honor
Senior named GNAC Co-Offensive Player of the Week along with Madi Farrell of NNU
No. 8 Vikings Sweep Alaska For 14th Straight Win
Vikings remain in first place in the GNAC with four regular-season matches remaining
Abby Phelps Joins Exclusive 1,000-Kill Club
WWU junior outside hitter is just the fourth player in program history with 1,000 kills and digs in a career