Oct. 27, 2012
MONMOUTH, Ore. - Middle blocker Kayla Erickson (So., Gig Haarbor/Peninsula) had match highs of 14 kills and eight blocks as nationally ranked Western Washington University bounced back from a tough loss to defeat Saint Martin's University, 23-25, 25-16, 25-10, 25-18, in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference volleyball match Saturday at Marcus Pavilion on the SMU campus.
Erickson hit .480 with just two errors in 25 attempts for the Vikings, who improved to 18-3 overall and remained atop the GNAC standings at 11-2. They were rated a season-high No.12 in this week's American Volleyball Coaches Association NCAA Division II Coaches' Top 25 before being swept Thursday at Western Oregon to snap a seven-match winning streak, all of them sweeps.
Saint Martin's dropped to 6-12 overall and 4-8 in conference play. The Saints, who hit just .169, were led by the 10 kills and 14 digs of Kristyn Ross.
Outside hitter Marlayna Geary (Sr., Tacoma/Bellarmine Prep) posted her 15th double-double of the season for WWU with 12 kills and 11 digs, and outside hitter Emily Cotter (So., University Place/Curtis) had 11 kills and nine digs.
Libero Samantha Hutchinson (So., University Place/Curtis) had a match-high 27 digs for the Vikings.
"We knew it was going to be a battle after our loss at Western Oregon," said head coach Diane Flick's (13th year, 267-73). "We were able to grind it through and got an emotional lift from Emily Cotter who got us over the hump."
With the first set tied at 22-22, SMU scored three of the next four points to take a 1-0 lead in the match.
WWU got out to a 5-1 lead in the second set. Leading 20-16, the Vikings were helped by three kills from Cotter as they scored the final five points to tie the match at 1-1.
WWU never trailed in the final two sets.
The victory was the Vikings' 28th straight over the Saints.
WWU begins a three-match home streak with a GNAC contest Thursday (7 p.m.), Nov. 1, against Alaska Anchorage. The Vikings have won their last 11 home matches and are 6-0 at Carver Gym this season.
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