No.12 WWU to compete at Sonoma State Seawolf Spike Tournament

Jennica McPherson

Sep 9, 2013

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BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Last weekend Western Washington University became the first women's volleyball team in the 13-year history of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference to start a season with four consecutive 3-0 victories against NCAA Division II competition.

Former GNAC member Seattle University opened the 2002 campaign with four straight sweeps, but all of them were against NAIA or Division III opponents.

This week, the Vikings, who moved up five spots to No.12 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association/NCAA II Top 25 Poll, compete in the Sonoma State Seawolf Spike Tournament. On Friday, Sept. 13, the defending tourney co-champions face Cal State Stanislaus (1-3, 11:15 a.m.) and Chico State (1-2, 3:45 p.m.), and on Saturday, Sept, 14, they meet San Francisco State (3-1, 9 a.m.) and host No.24 Sonoma State (3-1, 1:30 p.m.).

In its season debut at the Western Oregon Invitational Tournament, WWU swept Cal State East Bay, Holy Names, Minnesota State Mankato and Metro State.

The string of 12 game victories began with a marathon 34-32 win against Cal State East Bay in which there were 27 ties and 13 lead changes. The biggest advantage by either team was just two points on three occasions.

WWU middle blocker Kayla Erickson (Jr., Gig Harbor) averaged a team-leading 4.17 kills per match with a .524 attack percentage and 1.25 blocks per match. Also averaging over two kills per match were opposite-side hitter Jennica McPherson (So., Seattle/Kennedy) 2.83, outside hitter Kelsey Moore (Jr., Bellevue/Newport) 2.25 and middle blocker Emily Boerger (Sr., Marysville/Marysville-Pilchuck) 2.17. McPherson also averaged 2.00 digs and Boerger 1.08 blocks.

Erickson earned GNAC Offensive Player of the Week honors.

Libero Samantha Hutchinson (Jr., University Place/Curtis), who received GNAC Defensive POW honorable mention, averaged 4.50 digs for the Vikings, setter Taylor Dillard (Jr., Milton/Fife) 9.67 assist and McPherson 0.58 service aces.

WWU, coached by Diane Flick (14th year, 277-74), outhit its opponents, .390 to .120.

Last year at the Sonoma State tourney, the Vikings won three of four matches. Following a 3-2 loss to UC San Diego, they defeated Cal State Stanislaus 3-0, Chico State 3-1 and Sonoma State 3-1.

WWU's best undefeated start came in 2008 when it opened with 13 victories.

Great Northwest Athletic Conference

2013 Volleyball Report No. 3 (Sept. 10, 2013)

                        Conf.		All
	                W	L	W	L	H	A	N
Western Washington      0	0	4	0	0-0	0-0	4-0
Alaska Anchorage        0	0	5	3	4-1	1-2	0-0
Western Oregon          0	0	2	2	2-2	0-0	0-0
Central Washington      0	0	2	2	0-0	1-0	1-2
Seattle Pacific         0	0	2	2	0-0	1-0	1-2
Northwest Nazarene      0	0	1	1	0-0	1-1	0-0
MSU Billings            0	0	1	3	0-0	0-1	1-2
Saint Martin's          0	0	1	3	0-0	0-0	1-3
Simon Fraser            0	0	0	0	0-0	0-0	0-0
Alaska Fairbanks        0	0	0	7	0-3	0-4	0-0

LAST WEEK: Thursday - UAA Spring Hill Suites Classic (Alaska Anchorage d. American International, 25-22, 25-13, 25-18); Western Oregon Invitational (Western Oregon d. Holy Names, 25-12, 25-20, 25-11; Western Washington d. CSU East Bay, 34-32, 25-18, 25-9; Western Oregon d. CSU East Bay, 16-25, 25-23, 25-19, 25-19; Western Washington d. Holy Names, 25-8, 25-14, 25-15). Friday - UAA Spring Hill Suites Classic (Alaska Anchorage d. Texas A&M - Kingsville, 25-18, 25-22, 25-14); CSUSB Coyote Classic (UC San Diego d. Central Washington 25-20, 25-23, 25-17; Cal State L.A. d. Seattle Pacific, 25-17, 22-25, 25-22, 25-17; Seattle Pacific d. Cal Poly Pomona, 17-25, 25-23, 25-22, 25-18; Central Washington d. CSU San Bernardino, 25-23, 17-25, 32-30, 25-19) CSU Monterey Bay Classic (Saint Martin's d. Academy of Art, 25-22, 23-25, 25-16, 25-17; Dominican d. Saint Martin's, 27-25, 25-21, 19-25, 24-26, 15-10); Northwest Nazarene 1 at Dixie State 3 (31-29, 25-23, 22-25, 25-17); Western Oregon Invitational (Western Washington d. Mankato State, 25-23, 25-14, 25-12); Metro State d. Western Oregon, 25-22, 19-25, 26-24, 20-25, 15-12); Alaska Nanook Classic (Humboldt State d. Alaska Fairbanks, 28-30, 25-21, 25-22, 25-11); Point Loma Nazarene Seaside Invitational (MSU Billings d. Cal State Stanislaus, 27-25, 25-23, 20-25, 25-11; Point Loma Nazarene d. MSU Billings, 25-16, 25-13, 25-21). Saturday - UAA Spring Hill Suites Classic (Alaska Anchorage d. Notre Dame de Namur, 25-21, 25-23, 21-25, 25-19; Augustana d. Alaska Anchorage, 20-25, 29-27, 25-18, 25-20); CSUSB Coyote Classic (Central Washington d. Cal Poly Pomona, 25-22, 27-25, 20-25, 25-16; Seattle Pacific d. CSU San Bernardino, 9-25, 21-25, 25-17, 25-23, 25-11; Sonoma State d. Central Washington, 23-25, 25-22, 25-21, 25-17; UC San Diego d. Seattle Pacific, 25-11, 25-15, 25-21); CSU Monterey Bay Classic (Cal Baptist d. Saint Martin's, 25-15, 25-23, 22-25, 27-25; Cal Baptist d. Saint Martin's, 25-18, 25-19; 25-21); Western Oregon Invitational (Western Washington d. Metro State, 25-16, 25-16, 25-11; Mankato State d. 25-23, 22-25, 25-22, 20-25, 15-8); Alaska Nanook Classic (Colorado Christian d. Alaska Fairbanks, 18-25, 25-17, 25-19, 25-22; Fresno Pacific d. Alaska Fairbanks, 25-14, 25-18, 25-18); Northwest Nazarene 3 at Dixie State 0 (25-18, 25-21, 25-21); Point Loma Nazarene Seaside Invitational (Azusa Pacific d. MSU Billings, 25-17, 26-24, 25-9; CSU Dominguez Hills d, MSU Billings, 25-15, 25-14, 25-19).

THIS WEEK: Monday- Colorado Christian 0 at Alaska Anchorage 3 (25-17, 25-22, 25-16). Tuesday - Saint Martin's at Concordia, 7 p.m. Wednesday - Willamette at Western Oregon, 7 p.m. Friday- UC San Diego Invitational (Cal Poly Pomona vs. Alaska Anchorage, noon; CSU San Bernardino vs. Alaska Anchorage, 5 p.m.); Colorado Mines Oredigger Classic (Washburn vs. Central Washington, 1 p.m.; Colorado Mines vs. Western Oregon, 1 p.m.; Fort Lewis vs. Central Washington, 5:30 p.m.; Tarleton State vs. Western Oregon, 7:30 p.m.); Sonoma State Invitational (Chico State vs. MSU Billings, 11:15 a.m.; CSU Stanislaus vs. Western Washington, 11:15 a.m.; CSU Stanislaus vs. MSU Billings, 3:45 p.m.; Chico State vs. Western Washington, 3:45 p.m.); CSU East Bay/Notre Dame de Namur Invitational (At Belmont: Seattle Pacific vs. Holy Names, 9 a.m.; Saint Martin's vs. Cal State L.A., 11 a.m.; Seattle Pacific vs. Cal State L.A., 3 p.m.; Saint Martin's vs. Notre Dame de Namur, 7 p.m. At Hayward: Northwest Nazarene vs. Azusa Pacific, 11 a.m.; Alaska Fairbanks vs. CSU East Bay, 1 p.m.; Northwest Nazarene vs. Academy of Arts, 3 p.m.; Alaska Fairbanks vs. Academy of Art, 5 p.m.); Hilton Metrotown BC Challenge (Vancouver Island vs. Simon Fraser, 7:30 p.m.). Saturday - UC San Diego Invitational (CSU Dominguez Hills vs. Alaska Anchorage, 2:30 p.m.; UC San Diego vs. Alaska Anchorage, 7:30 p.m.); Colorado Mines Oredigger Classic (Texas Women's vs. Western Oregon, 10 a.m.; Colorado Mines vs. Central Washington, noon; Grand Valley vs. Central Washington, 2:30 p.m.; Washburn vs. Western Oregon, 4:30 p.m.); Sonoma State Invitational (San Francisco State vs, Western Washington, 9 a.m.; San Francisco State vs. MSU Billings, 1:30 p.m.; Sonoma State vs. Western Washington, 1:30 p.m.; Sonoma State vs. MSU Billings, 7 p.m.); CSU East Bay/Notre Dame de Namur Invitational (At Hayward: Seattle Pacific vs. Azusa Pacific, 11 a.m.; Saint Martin's vs. CSU East Bay, 1 p.m.; Saint Martin's vs. Academy of Art, 5 p.m.; Seattle Pacific vs. Cal State East Bay, 7 p.m. At Belmont: Northwest Nazarene vs. Holy Names, 9 a.m.; Alaska Fairbanks vs. Cal State L.A., 11 a.m.; Northwest Nazarene vs. Cal State L.A., 3 p.m.; Alaska Fairbanks at Notre Dame de Namur, 7 p.m.); Hilton Metrotown BC Challenge (Thompson Rivers vs. Simon Fraser, 12:30 p.m.; Columbia Bible vs. Simon Fraser, 7:30 p.m.).Tuesday (Sept. 17) - Saint Martin's at Warner Pacific, 6 p.m.

POLLS: AVCA (Sept. 9) - 12. Western Washington; 22. Central Washington.

ALL-TOURNAMENT: CSU San Bernardino Coyote Classic (Sept. 6-7) - Nikki Lowell, SPU; Catie Fry, CWU. Point Loma Nazarene (Sept. 6-7) - Chelsey Walter, MSUB. UAA Spring Hills Suite (Sept. 5-7) - Julia Mackey, UAA; Jodi Huddleston, UAA: Quinn Barker, UAA. Alaska Nanook Classic (Sept. 6-7) - Sam Harthun, UAF.

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: Offense - Kayla Erickson, Western Washington (MB, 6-0, Jr., Gig Harbor, WA) hit for a phenomenal .542 percentage (50-5-83) and also had a team-high 15 blocks as the Vikings cruised to four 3-0 victories in the Western Oregon Invitational. With Erickson leading the way, WWU outhit its four opponents .390 to .120. Defense - Nikki Lowell, Seattle Pacific (MB, 5-10, Sr., Claremont, CA) had 26 blocks as the Falcons split four matches in the Coyote Classic. Eight of her blocks came in a 3-2 victory over 14th-ranked Cal State San Bernardino as SPU overcome a 2-0 set deficit to beat the Coyotes for the first time in eight tries. Lowell also had 12 kills and a career-high eight digs. SPU had won just one set in its previous seven contests with San Bernardino.

HONORABLE MENTION: Samantha Hutchinson, Western Washington (L, 5-7, Jr., University Place, WA - Curtis) had 54 digs. Twenty of her digs came in a win over Metro State, which scored just 43 points. "Samantha's 20 digs were huge," WWU Diane Flick. "Not only were they good digs, but quality ones where we could run our offense. That's why our hitters were able to do so well because we had a ball that we could set to anyone." ... Ellie Britt, Seattle Pacific (OH, 6-0, So., Orange, CA) had a career-high 18 kills in a come-from-behind victory Friday against Cal Poly Pomona. She also had her first career double-double (16 kills, 12 digs) in SPU's come-from-behind win Saturday over San Bernardino, finishing the weekend with 48 kills, 30 digs and 12 digs in four matches.

MORE MENTIONABLES: Central Washington setter Catie Fry (S, 6-0, So., Tacoma, WA - Mount Si), who also had eight blocks and a team-best six service aces, averaged 11.6 assists per set to take the early assist lead in the GNAC in earning all-tournament honors at San Bernardino. The Wildcats split four matches earning its first-ever victory against Cal State San Bernardino. In addition to Fry, the Wildcats were led by Emmy Dolan with 43 kills and Jordan Offutt and Rachel Hanses with 38 each ... Kristyn Ross (OH, 5-10, Jr., Olympia, WA) had 60 kills and 49 digs to lead Saint Martin's to one win in four matches at the Monterey Bay Classic. She notched double digit kills in all four matches, including an early-season GNAC best 22 in a 3-1 loss to Cal Baptist. It was her fifth career 20-kill performance ... Halee Hernandez (L, 5-3, Jr., Olympia, WA) averaged a GNAC opening weekend best 5.31 digs (85 in 16 sets) in SMU's four matches. She had a career-best 40 in a 3-2 loss to Dominican ... Andrea Terpstra (MB, 6-4, Jr., Ripon, CA) and Taylor Roberts (L, 5-5, Jr., Nampa, ID - Vallivue) led Northwest Nazarene to a split of a pair of contests at Dixie State. Terpstra had 28 kills hitting for a .308 percentage and also had a team-best 12 blocks, while Roberts had 35 digs and eight assists ... Chelsey Walter, MSU Billings (MH, 6-2, Jr., Billings, MT) led the Yellowjackets with 45 kills, nine blocks and a .432 percentage in earning all-tournament honors as MSUB won one of four matches in the Point Loma Nazarene tournament.

MORE ALL-TOURNEYS: UAA's Julia Mackey, Jodi Huddleston and Quinn Barker all earned all-tournament honors in the UAA Spring Hills Suites Classic. Mackey had 48 kills and 10 blocks. Huddleston had 21 kills and a team-high 20 blocks and Barker had 71 digs as the Seawolves won three of four matches ... Sam Harthun of Alaska Fairbanks had 33 kills and 20 digs to earn all-tournament mention in the Alaska Nanook Classic.

VIKINGS REPEAT 2012 START: For the second year in a row Western Washington began the season with four consecutive wins at the Western Oregon Invitational. All four wins were sweeps as they joined Seattle University (2002) as the only teams in GNAC history to begin season with four 3-0 victories. All four of SU's wins in 2002 were against NAIA or Division III opponents. Kayla Erickson (542), Emily Boerger (.500) and Jennica McPherson (.448) finished the weekend ranked 1-2-3 in the GNAC in hitting percentage as WWU outhit its opponents .390 to .120. Setter Taylor Dillard had 115 assists and eight blocks.

AROUND THE GNAC: Hannah Deede had a team-high 47 kills, 30 digs and 19 blocks as Western Oregon split four matches in the WOU Invitational, dropping a pair of 3-2 decisions. Becky Blees had 28 blocks and 24 kills ... Elayna Rice had 27 kills and Linnea Phillips had five aces in Northwest Nazarene's split with Dixie State. All five of Phillips' aces came in Saturday's win.