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.
Volleyball 2017 Season in Review
Vikings finished the season ranked No. 7 in the nation going 27-4 and winning GNAC Championship
Abby Phelps Named First Team AVCA All-American
Phelps earns First Team honor, while Brette Boesel and Joellee Buckner named Honorable Mention
Vikings Fall in West Regional Final to Cal State San Bernardino
WWU has 20-match winning streak snapped in 3-0 loss to finish season 27-4
Championship Saturday! Vikings to Play for West Regional Title
WWU Volleyball takes 20-match winning streak into regional final vs. Cal State San Bernardino
Vikings Advance to West Regional Final With 3-1 Win over NNU
Vikings will play in NCAA II West Regional Championship match for the third consecutive season facing Cal State San Bernardino at 7 pm...
Vikings Take On NNU In NCAA West Regional Semifinal
WWU is coming off 3-1 victory over Alaska Anchorage
Volleyball Advances in NCAA Tourney With 3-1 Win Over UAA
Junior outside hitter Abby Phelps records a career-high 28 kills with a .347 hitting percentage to lead WWU
Three Vikings Named AVCA All-West Region
Brette Boesel and Abby Phelps named First Team All-West Region. Joellee Buckner named honorable mention
Boesel and Phelps Named D2CCA First Team All-Region
The Vikings lead the region with two first-team selections in Boesel and Phelps
Volleyball Heads to Sixth Consecutive NCAA Championships
Vikings are ranked No. 5 in the nation and take 18-match winning streak into postseason
Vikings Dominate All-GNAC Volleyball Team
Abby Phelps named GNAC Player of the Year to lead five WWU selections to All-GNAC team
Vikings Announced as No. 2 Seed in NCAA II Championships West Regional
WWU will take 18-match winning streak up against GNAC rival Alaska Anchorage in the first round on Nov. 30
Phelps and Hall Sweep GNAC Volleyball Awards
Abby Phelps named GNAC Co-Offensive Player of the Week and Michaela Hall earns defensive award
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