Oct. 6, 2012
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Nationally ranked Western Washington University handed University of Alaska Anchorage its first three-set loss at home since 2009 with a 25-19, 25-19, 25-18 victory Saturday in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference volleyball match at the Wells Fargo Sports Center on the UAA campus.
The victory clinched the first sweep of an Alaska road trip by the Vikings, who swept Alaska Fairbanks on Thursday, since 2007 and snapped a three-match losing streak for them at UAA. They had split the two-match road trip in each of last four years.
WWU, ranked No.16 in this week's American Volleyball Coaches Association NCAA Division II Coaches' Top 25 Poll, improved to 14-2 overall and stayed atop the GNAC standings at 7-1. The Vikings have won four straight matches, all of them in three sets.
Alaska Anchorage, which had an eight-match home winning streak snapped, fell to 10-5 overall and 5-2 in league play. They had gone 35 straight matches without being swept at home, dating back to a three-set loss against Montana State Billings on Sept. 18, 2009.
"I'm really proud of our team because this is not an easy place to play," said WWU coach Diane Flick (13th year, 263-72). "Anchorage is such a solid team and they get such good support up here, which makes for a very tough environment. So, this was a very good win for us."
The Vikings were again led by outside hitter Marlayna Geary (Sr., Tacoma/Bellarmine Prep), who posted her 11th double-double of the season with a match-high 16 kills and 15 digs. She had a .387 hitting percentage with just four errors in 31 attempts and contributed two service aces.
Kelsey Moore (So., Bellevue/Newport) had 12 kills for the Vikings and a .314 attack percentage. Libero Laurie Yearout (Sr., Spokane/Lewis & Clark) had a match-high 35 assists, four kills in as many attempts and six digs; and Samantha Hutchinson (So., University Place/Curtis) had a match-best 26 digs.
"We got great leadership from our two seniors," Flick said. "Laurie (Yearout) and Marlayna (Geary) showed their teammates that they could rely on them with a feeling of we're here and you don't have to worry about anything."
UAA, which had 10 service errors, got nine kills each from Katelynn Zanders and Julia Mackey.
Geary had six kills as WWU prevailed in the first set. The Vikings were helped by five UAA service errors.
Three straight kills by Moore gave WWU a 14-8 lead in set two. A kill and an ace put the Vikings up 19-14 and they closed out the stanza with kills by Emily Boerger (Jr., Marysville/Marysville-Pilchuck) and Jennica McPherson (R-Fr., Seattle/Kennedy).
Ahead by just one point, 14-13, in set three, WWU went on a 10-2 run and closed out the match with a kill by Moore.
Geary moved past the 1,200 mark in career kills and into third place among WWU leaders with 1,207.
The Vikings are at Simon Fraser on Saturday, Oct. 13 (7 p.m.).
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