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.
No. 13 Volleyball Sweeps Montana State Billings
Abby Phelps, Michaela Hall and Joellee Buckner all record 11 kills in the victory
No. 13 Vikings Open New Carver With 3-1 Win over Simon Fraser
Vikings feed off energy of crowd of 1,289 in return to campus on WECU Court
Volleyball Opens New Carver Gym on Tuesday
Vikings host Simon Fraser at 7 pm in first official competition on WECU Court at Carver Gym
Volleyball Falls to Undefeated Northwest Nazarene
WWU drops tough GNAC match-up to Crusaders in four sets (25-21, 21-25, 20-25, 17-25)
Volleyball Set to Debut at New Carver Gym on Tuesday
Tuesday GNAC match vs. Simon Fraser will be first event on WECU Court at Carver Gym
No. 10 Volleyball Opens GNAC Play With Win over Central
Vikings win fourth straight match to improve to 7-2 overall and 1-0 in GNAC play
10th-Ranked Volleyball Opens GNAC Play on the Road
Vikings travel to play rival Central Washington and undefeated Northwest Nazarene to open GNAC play
Phelps and Buckner Named to West Region Showcase All-Tournament
WWU duo helps nationally-ranked Vikings to a 3-1 records in the 'A' pod of the West Region Showcase
Joslyn Bopray Named GNAC Defensive Player of the Week
Bopray helped lead strong WWU defensive front at West Region Showcase in Alaska
No. 10 Vikings Sweep Chico State in West Region Showcase
Joellee Buckner records double-double with 14 kills and 20 digs
Vikings Cap Perfect Day with 3-1 Win over Concordia-Irvine
Abby Phelps and Arielle Turner lead the way for Vikings with double-doubles
No. 10 Vikings Rally Past No. 11 San Bernardino in Five Sets
Vikings record 17.0 total blocks in 25-19, 20-25, 20-25, 25-15, 15-12 victory
Volleyball Falls in Straight Sets to #24 California Baptist
Vikings fall to 3-2 on the season with loss to open D2 West Region Showcase
No. 10 Volleyball Heads to D2 West Region Showcase
The Vikings will take on three ranked opponents in their four matches in Anchorage
Vikings Outlast Florida Southern in Five-Set Victory
Michaela Hall records career-high 19 kills as Vikings cap Florida trip with 3-1 record