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.
Winning Streak Reaches 18 Straight for the Vikings
WWU ends regular season with 3-0 sweep over Central Washington on Senior Night
Vikings Clinch GNAC Championship with Sweep over NNU
Vikings clinch eighth GNAC title with 25-22, 25-21, 25-19 victory over No. 13 Northwest Nazarene
No. 5 Volleyball Eyes GNAC Title With Key Home Matches
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
No.8 Vikings Go The Distance To Extend Winning Streak
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
Vikings Extend Winning Streak with 3-1 Win Over UAA
Abby Phelps joins 1,000-kill, 1,000-dig club with 19-kill, 25-dig double-double
No. 8 Vikings Host Alaska Schools in Key GNAC Matches
Vikings take 12-match winning streak into Thursday's rivalry match vs. Alaska Anchorage
Abby Phelps Named GNAC Defensive Player of the Week
Phelps averaged 6.00 digs, 1.00 blocks and 4.17 kills per set in pair of WWU sweeps