Nine home matches highlight 2012 WWU schedule

WWUVIKINGSDOTCOM WWU head coach Diane Flick
WWU head coach Diane Flick

June 18, 2012

BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Nine home appearances, beginning with two in mid-September, highlight the Western Washington University 2012 volleyball schedule announced by head coach Diane Flick.

WWU opens its season at the Western Oregon Invitational. The Vikings meet Florida Southern and Cal State L.A. on Aug. 30, before facing Grand Valley State on Aug. 31 and Missouri Tech on Sept. 1.

WWU then competes in the Sonoma State Invitational, meeting UC San Diego and Cal State Stanislaus on Sept. 7 and Chico State and the host Seawolves on Sept. 8.

WWU makes it home and Great Northwest Athletic Conference debut on Sept. 14 versus Montana State Billings, followed by defending GNAC champion Seattle Pacific on Sept. 15.

The Vikings' home matches, all GNAC counters, are played at Sam Carver Gymnasium and begin at 7 p.m. They also entertain Saint Martin's on Sept. 27, Western Oregon on Sept. 29, Central Washington on Oct. 18, Northwest Nazarene on Oct. 20, Alaska Anchorage on Nov. 1, Alaska Fairbanks on Nov. 3 and Simon Fraser on Nov. 10.

Nine league road matches complete WWU's schedule. The Vikings travel to Northwest Nazarene on Sept. 20, Central Washington on Sept. 22, Alaska Fairbanks on Oct. 4, Alaska Anchorage on Oct. 6, Simon Fraser on Oct. 13, Western Oregon on Oct. 25, Saint Martin's on Oct. 27, Seattle Pacific on Nov. 15 and Montana State Billings on Nov. 17.

Five starters and 10 letter winners return from last season's 16-6 squad that tied for second (14-4) in the GNAC standings. Leading the returnees for Flick (13th year, 239-70) is senior outside hitter Marlayna Geary (Tacoma/Bellarmine Prep), who earned honorable mention American Volleyball Coaches Association and first-team GNAC all-star honors, ranking 15th nationally in kills with a 4.24 average per set. She led the GNAC in that category and points per set (4.61).

Two other standouts back are senior setter Laurie Yearout (Spokane/Lewis & Clark), who was a second-team GNAC all-star and ranked 17th nationally in assists per set at 11.24; and sophomore libero Samantha Hutchison (University Place/Curtis), who received all-GNAC honorable mention and ranked 15th nationally in digs at 5.78.