Oct. 22, 2011
FAIRBANKS, Alaska -
Outside hitter Marlayna Geary (Jr., Tacoma/Bellarmine) had 13 kills, middle blocker Emily Jepsen (Sr., Kennewick/Kamiakin) five blocks and Samantha Hutchinson (R-Fr., University Place/Curtis) 23 digs, all match highs, as Western Washington University swept University of Alaska Fairbanks, 25-19, 25-22, 25-19, in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference volleyball match Saturday afternoon at Patty Center.
The Vikings improved to 12-5 overall and 10-3 in the hotly-contested GNAC championship race. They also got nine kills from Kelsey Moore (R-Fr., Bellevue/Newport), six in the first set, and Breanne Graham (Jr., Vancouver/Hockinson) added eight kills.
WWU setter Laurie Yearout (Jr., Spokane/Lewis & Clark) had a match-high 35 assists, 12 digs and two kills.
UAF, which lost its sixth straight, dropped to 2-18 overall and 2-10 in league play. The Nanooks were led by the 12 kills of Keri Knight and Karlee Skalla had nine kills and 16 digs.
"We had good contributions from everybody, which is what we needed to finish this trip with," said WWU coach Diane Flick (12th year), whose team was swept at Alaska Anchorage on Thursday. "I'm looking forward to getting back in our gym and getting better."
With set one tied at 17-all, WWU went on an 8-2 run for the win, Geary scoring the final two points on kills.
The Vikings used an 8-1 run, the last three points on Geary kills, to take a 19-11 lead in set two. But UAF came back to tie it at 22-22 before WWU ended it with two kills by Graham and a service ace by Hutchinson.
The third set was tied at 15-all before a stretch that featured three kills by Geary gave WWU a 19-16 lead. UAF never got closer than one after that as Jepsen finished the match with her eighth kill.
WWU was without two middle blockers, starter Bailey Jones (Jr., Mukilteo/Kamiak) missing her fourth straight match with a concussion and her back-up Kayla Erickson (R-Fr., Gig Harbor/Peninsula) out indefinitely after suffering a severe ankle sprain in a practice session Thursday at Anchorage.
WWU next travels to Simon Fraser on Saturday, Oct. 29 (7 p.m.) for a GNAC counter.