Nov. 6, 2008
MONMOUTH, Ore. -
Middle blocker Angie Alvord (Sr., Laurel/Meridian) had a match-high 17 kills, but it wasn't enough as Western Washington University fell to Western Oregon University, 25-16, 19-25, 25-20, 25-15, in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference volleyball match Thursday between two nationally ranked teams before a crowd of 955 at the New P.E. Building.
The loss snapped a five-match winning streak for the Vikings, ranked No.11 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association/NCAA Division II Top 25 Poll and No.7 in the West Region rating. They fell to 18-3 overall and 10-3 in the GNAC.
Western Oregon, ranked No.24 nationally, improved to 19-2 overall and maintained sole possession of first place in the GNAC at 12-1. Kayla Mainer led the Wolves with 13 kills.
The result could have a dramatic impact on each school's post-season hopes.
Western Oregon can clinch first place and the GNAC's automatic berth in the NCAA Division II West Regional with a win Saturday at Central Washington. Beating the Wildcats would give the Wolves no worse than a tie for first place and it would also give them the tiebreaker advantage in all possible scenarios.
If Western Oregon does win the GNAC, Western Washington would need an at-large berth to get one of the eight West Regional spots. As the region currently stands, a school would need to be in the top seven or perhaps the top six of the final rating on Sun., Nov. 16 to get an at-large spot.
The Vikings had an 11-10 lead in the opening set, but Western Oregon ran off seven straight points, with Mainer and Stephanie Beeler each having two kills in the charge, to take a 17-11 lead. Western Washington was never closer than five points after that.
The Vikings bounced back in the second set, using a 9-3 charge to grab an 18-11 lead and close out the frame. Alvord and middle blocker Tiana Roma (Sr., Edmonds/Edmonds-Woodway) each had five kills in the set.
But the Wolves pulled away from a 16-16 tie to win the third set, then jumped to a 15-4 lead in the fourth set to put the match away.
Roma had 13 kills for Western Washington and outside hitter Megan Amundson (So., Stanwood) added 10, but the Vikings had an attack efficiency of just .149, their third-lowest mark of the season, having 47 kills and 22 errors in 168 attempts.
The Vikings close out a string of four GNAC road matches Saturday (7 p.m.), traveling to Saint Martin's.