The Vikings lost just one starter from last year's 23-4 team that won the Great Northwest Athletic Conference championship and reached the first round of the NCAA DII West Regional.
Defending national champion Concordia-St. Paul (35-3) is ranked No.1 with 1,186 points. Tampa (31-2) is No.2 at 1,151 and Minnesota Duluth (33-3) No.3 at 1,086. Four West Region teams, besides WWU, in the Top 25 are defending West Regional champion BYU-Hawaii No.4, Cal State San Bernardino No.8, UC San Diego No.11 and Sonoma State No.16.
In 2013, WWU won its second straight Great Northwest Athletic Conference championship and made its fifth NCAA II national tournament appearance in the last eight years.
The Vikings return 10 letter winners, including two All-Americans, for coach Diane Flick (15th year, 296-78), the school's record holder in career victories and winning percentage (.791).
The two All-Americans back are senior libero Samantha Hutchinson (University Place/Curtis) and senior middle blocker Kayla Erickson (Gig Harbor/Peninsula). Hutchinson was a first-team AVCA All-American last year and is a two-time GNAC Defensive Player of the Year. Her 6.91 digs per set last season were second in NCAA Division II, and her 1,671 career digs are third in school history, just 37 short of second place Allison Gotz.
Erickson, the 2013 GNAC Player of the Year, was a second-team Daktronics All-American and earned AVCA honorable mention. She averaged 3.65 kills and 1.18 blocks, notching a .380 attack percentage. Erickson enters the season with a career attack percentage of .360, the best in school history.
WWU opens its season on Sept. 4-6 at the Central Washington Wildcat Invitational, meeting three nationally top 25 teams in Sonoma State, UC San Diego and Cal State San Bernardino.
The Vikings' home opener is Sept. 9 versus Hawaii Pacific at Squalicum High School.
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