No.14 WWU begins GNAC action at home this week
Sept. 11, 2012
BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Bolstered by outstanding performances at two tough tournaments, the nationally ranked Western Washington University volleyball team begins Great Northwest Athletic Conference action this weekend, playing host to Montana State Billings on Friday and defending league champion Seattle Pacific on Saturday. Both matches start at 7 p.m. at Sam Carver Gymnasium on the WWU campus.
The 7-1 Vikings, who moved up four spots to No.14 in this week's American Volleyball Coaches Association Coaches' Top 25 Poll, tied for the championship at the Sonoma State Seawolf Spike Invitational Tournament last weekend, winning three of four matches. The performance earned them GNAC Team of the Week honors.
Following a five-set loss to No.25 UC-San Diego, WWU swept Cal State Stanislaus, handed Chico State its first setback in seven matches this season with a four-set victory, and prevailed in an epic match against No.23 Sonoma State with none of the four sets being decided by more than three points. In the loss to UCSD, the Vikings held a 2-0 lead and were ahead by one-point, 15-14, midway through the third set.
The previous week, WWU was the only team at the Western Oregon Invitational to go undefeated, posting wins over Florida Southern, Cal State L.A., Grand Valley State and Missouri S&T.
"This (GNAC play) is the start of a new season for us," said WWU head coach Diane Flick (13th year, 256-71). "Our first season went well, but conference play is hard every night. We've learned a lot of stuff, but we've got to continue learning."
The Vikings top the GNAC in hitting percentage (.290), kills (14.42 avg. per set), digs (16.61) and assists (13.84).
Leading WWU is senior outside hitter Marlayna Geary (Tacoma/Bellarmine), who has earned tourney MVP and Red Lion/GNAC Offensive Player of the Week accolades in each of the last two weeks.
Geary has had double-doubles in kills and digs in seven of eight matches this season. She ranks seventh among WWU career kill leaders with 1,093 kills and needs five more to move into a tie for sixth.
Geary is one of three Vikings, who are GNAC statistical leaders. She paces the conference in kills (135, 4.35) as do sophomore libero Samantha Hutchinson (University Place/Curtis) in digs (189, 6.10) and senior setter Laurie Yearout (Spokane/Lewis & Clark) in assists (386, 12.45).
Yearout was named to both all-tournament teams, and Hutchinson was a WOU all-tourney pick. Hutchinson also earned GNAC Defensive POW honors last week after receiving honorable mention the previous week.
Middle blocker Kayla Erickson (So., Gig Harbor/Peninsula) is second among league leaders in attack percentage at .402.
As a team, WWU is hitting .290, while holding the opposition to .213. The Vikings also have a big statistical edge in blocks (62.5 to 37.0).
MSUB, 11-16, a year ago, is off to a 3-5 start, with wins in its last three matches under first-year coach Lisa Axel, who was an assistant at Metro State. The Yellowjackets are led by junior middle blocker Monica Grimsrud, a second-team conference all-star and GNAC co-Freshman of the Year.
Seattle Pacific, which was 21-7 and made a third straight NCAA appearance last year, is 3-6 (at Simon Fraser on Thursday), losing five of its last six matches. The Falcons , who have been swept four times, are led by senior setter Shelby Swanson, a first-team GNAC and Daktronics West Region all-star in 2011.
WWU holds a 37-25 series advantage over Seattle Pacific, upsetting the No.24-ranked Falcons in five sets at Carver Gym in their last meeting. The Vikings have not lost to MSUB in 13 series meetings, sweeping the last 11.
WWU, which has won its last 16 home openers, is 17-1 at Carver Gym over the last two seasons. The Vikings are 220-78 (.738) overall at home (beginning 39th year) and they have won 105 of their last 117 (.897) home matches since going to a SportCourt surface in 2000.
WWU, which began the season unranked nationally, is the GNAC coaches' pick to win the league title.
Great Northwest Athletic Conference
2012 Volleyball Week #2 (Sept. 11, 2012)
Conf. All W L W L H A N Western Washington 0 0 7 1 0-0 0-0 4-0 Western Oregon 0 0 5 2 3-1 0-0 0-0 Northwest Nazarene 0 0 6 3 0-0 1-0 2-1 Central Washington 0 0 5 3 0-0 0-1 3-0 Alaska Anchorage 0 0 5 3 4-0 0-1 1-2 Simon Fraser 0 0 2 3 0-1 1-0 1-2 MSU Billings 0 0 3 5 0-0 0-2 0-2 Seattle Pacific 0 0 3 6 0-0 1-1 1-1 Alaska Fairbanks 0 0 2 4 2-1 0-0 0-0 Saint Martin's 0 0 0 3 0-0 0-0 0-0
LAST WEEK: Tuesday - Seattle Pacific 1 at San Francisco State 3 (25-16, 25-13, 23-25, 25-22). Thursday - Alaska Fairbanks 1 at Chaminade 3 (16-25, 25-22, 25-21, 26-24); Saint Martin's 1 at BYU-Hawaii 3 (25-18, 24-26, 25-12, 25-11); Western Oregon 3 at Hawaii Pacific 1 (25-23, 25-17, 22-25, 26-24); Northwest Nazarene 3 at Notre Dame de Namur 0 (25-19, 25-17, 25-20); TESC Red Lion Invitational (Simon Fraser d. Evergreen, 25-13, 20-25, 25-23, 25-22). Friday - Sonoma State Invitational (UC San Diego d. Western Washington, 21-25, 15-25, 25-20, 25-31, 15-13; Central Washington d. Cal State Stanislaus, 25-17, 25-17, 25-15; Chico State d. Seattle Pacific, 23-25, 33-31, 23-25, 25-19, 15-8; Central Washington d. UC San Diego, 23-25, 25-14, 25-23, 25-22; Western Washington d. CSU Stanislaus, 25-13, 25-21, 25-23; Sonoma State d. Seattle Pacific, 25-19, 25-16, 25-19); UAA Spring Hill Suites Invitational (Alaska Anchorage d. Dixie State, 24-26, 25-22, 25-20, 25-23; Alaska Anchorage d. Adelphi, 25-16, 25-9, 25-22); Alaska Fairbanks 0 at BYU-Hawaii 3 (25-20, 25-13, 25-16); Saint Martin's 0 at Hawaii Pacific 3 (26-24, 25-21, 25-9); Western Oregon 3 at Chaminade 0 (25-20, 25-22, 25-16); Colorado State Pueblo Classic (Colorado State Pueblo d. MSU Billings, 26-28, 25-23, 25-23, 25-22; MSU Billings d. Adams State, 26-24, 12-25, 16-25, 25-21, 15-10); Notre Dame de Namur Invitational (Northwest Nazarene d. Humboldt State, 25-20, 25-22, 25-23; Cal Baptist d. Northwest Nazarene, 25-23, 17-25, 25-23, 22-25, 15-12); TESC Red Lion Invitational (Simon Fraser d. Camosun, 25-21, 25-23, 28-26; Northwest d. Simon Fraser, 25-18, 21-25, 25-19, 25-23). Saturday - Sonoma State Invitational (Chico State d. Central Washington, 25-20, 25-23, 20-25, 25-23; UC San Diego d. Seattle Pacific, 25-18, 25-13, 25-20; Sonoma State d. Central Washington, 25-16, 25-18, 19-25, 25-22; Western Washington d. Chico State, 25-14, 19-25, 25-20, 25-23; Seattle Pacific d. CSU Stanislaus, 17-25, 25-13, 25-15, 25-23; Western Washington d. Sonoma State, 22-25, 25-23, 33-31, 26-24); UAA Spring Hill Suites Invitational (Alaska Anchorage d. Western New Mexico, 25-17, 25-23, 25-19; Alaska Anchorage d. Western New Mexico, 25-20, 25-21, 25-16); Colorado State Pueblo Classic (MSU Billings d. Eastern New Mexico, 25-15, 25-23, 25-22; MSU Billings d. New Haven, 28-26, 25-17, 25-17); Notre Dame de Namur Invitational (Fresno Pacific d. Northwest Nazarene, 25-22, 26-24, 25-19; Northwest Nazarene d. Cal State East Bay, 25-22, 25-14, 29-31, 19-25, 15-13); Alaska Fairbanks 1 at Hawaii Pacific 3 (25-21, 25-22, 23-25, 25-21); Saint Martin's 1 at Chaminade 3 (25-20, 22-25, 25-17, 25-10); Western Oregon 0 at BYU-Hawaii 3 (25-19, 25-11, 25-23); TESC Red Lion Invitational (Columbia Bible d. Simon Fraser, 25-23, 25-23, 25-19).
THIS WEEK: Monday - Fraser Valley 3 at Simon Fraser 2 (26-28, 26-28, 25-12, 25-21, 17-15). Wednesday - Willamette at Western Oregon. Thursday - Central Washington at Alaska Anchorage; Northwest Nazarene at Alaska Fairbanks; Seattle Pacific at Simon Fraser; Saint Martin's at New Hope Christian. Friday - MSU Billings at Western Washington; Walla Walla at Western Oregon, 4 p.m. Saturday - Northwest Nazarene at Alaska Anchorage; Central Washington at Alaska Fairbanks; MSU Billings at Simon Fraser; Seattle Pacific at Western Washington; Saint Martin's at Walla Walla, 8 p.m. Monday (Sept. 17) - Simon Fraser at Fraser Valley. (Note: All matches begin at 8 p.m. except where noted).
POLLS: AVCA (Sept. 10) - 14. Western Washington; 33. Central Washington.
GNAC RED LION PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Offense - Marlayna Geary, Western Washington (OH, 5-10, Sr., Tacoma, WA - Bellarmine Prep) is the GNAC Red Lion Offensive Player of the Week for the second week in a row. She had a tourney-best 76 kills and a .314 attack percentage and also had 40 digs and a trio of double-doubles in leading the Vikings to a 3-1 record and a share of the tournament title in the Sonoma State Invitational at Rohnert Park. She also had nine blocks in earning MVP honors for the second week in a row. WWU tied for the tournament title. After losing to No. 25 UC San Diego, the Vikings handed Chico State its first loss of the season and then beat No. 23 Sonoma State.
Defense - Samantha Hutchinson, Western Washington (L, 5-8, So., University Place, WA - Curtis) had 99 digs, an average of 6.19 per set to earn all-tournament honors as the Vikings outhit their four CCAA opponents by 40 points (.286 to .246). That performance earned her GNAC Red Lion Defensive Player of the Week honors.
Honorable Mention - Kimya Jafroudi earned tournament MVP honors as she led Alaska Anchorage to the team title in the Spring Hills Suites Invitational volleyball tournament at Anchorage. Jafroudi averaged 10.92 assists and 1.00 aces per set (both tourney highs) to help UAA to 4-0 record. She also averaged 2.85 digs and helped the Seawolves hit .241 as a team. Six of her 13 aces came in a 3-1 win Friday against Dixie State. . .Central Washington's Erin Smith had 39 kills and 15 blocks and hit for a .419 percentage as the Wildcats split four contests at the Sonoma State Invitational. . .Becky Flores led Northwest Nazarene with 66 kills and also had five aces and 14 blocks in earning all-tournament honors at the Route 92 Showdown co-hosted by Notre Dame de Namur and Cal State East Bay. Flores hit a team-best .422 percentage leading NNU to a 3-2 record. . .Seattle Pacific's Shelby Swanson had 147 assists, including a career-high 60 against Chico State, to jump from 11th to ninth on the GNAC career list in that stat category. She now has 2,969. . .CWU's Catie Fry had a team-high 19 blocks and 20 digs in addition to handling setter averaging 8.64 assists per set. Fry also had 11 kills in 32 swings, hitting for a .281 percentage.
TWO MVPs FOR GEARY: Geary's MVP award at Rohnert Park was her second in two weeks. She was joined on the all-tournament team by teammates Samantha Hutchinson and setter Laurie Yearout. Yearout had 206 assists (12.88 per set), 30 digs and five blocks in Western Washington's four matches. Emily Boerger figured in 13 of the Vikings' 26 blocks. . .Central Washington split its four tournament matches, getting a 3-1 win over 25th UC San Diego, which handed Western Washington its first loss of the season. . .Marcy Hjellum led the Wildcats with 40 kills and also had 54 digs and 12 blocks. Central also got 39 kills and 15 blocks from Erin Smith, 35 kills and 11 blocks from Emmy Dolan, 33 kills from Rachel Hanses. Seattle Pacific finished the tournament with a 1-3 record. Including a 3-1 loss earlier in the week at San Francisco State, the Falcons were led by Cailin Fellows with 65 kills and Jessica Miller with 51,
WOU WINS TWO OF THREE IN HAWAII: Danielle Reese had 33 kills and Krissi Kemper had 31 as Western Oregon earned wins over Hawaii Pacific and Chaminade before closing out its Hawaii road trip with a 3-0 loss at BYU-Hawaii. Kemper also had a team-high 15 blocks. . .Saint Martin's and Alaska Fairbanks each lost all three of its matches in Hawaii. Katy Ferguson and Kristyn Ross led the Saints with 23 kills each while Teilissa Tua had 22. Ixchelle Oleson had 39 kills and Reilly Stevens had 32 to lead the Nanooks.
FOUR SEAWOLVES ON ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM: Joining Jafroudi on the all-tournament team in the Spring Hills Suite Invitational were UAA's Katelynn Zanders, Julia Mackey and Sarah Johnson. Zanders led the Seawolves with 52 kills and hit for a .286 percentage. Mackey had 43 kills and 37 digs and Johnson had 28 kills and 36 digs.
MSUB WINS FINAL THREE AT PUEBLO: Monica Grimsrud had 58 kills and 11 blocks as Montana State Billings closed out the Colorado State Pueblo Invitational volleyball tournament with three consecutive wins to finish the tournament with a 3-1 record. The `Jackets also got 34 kills from Chelsey Walter, 33 from Jody Lutz and 32 from Krista Norris. Taylor Adams had 12 blocks.
CRUSADERS GO 3-2 IN BAY AREA: Northwest Nazarene won three of five matches in the Bay area, posting a 2-2 record in the Route 92 Showdown after winning a pre-tournament match with Notre Dame de Namur. . .In addition to Flores (See Player-of-the-Week notes), NNU was led by Heather Allen with 50 kills and a team-high 18 blocks and by Elayna Rice with 40 kills.
CLAN SPLITS FOUR GAMES AT OLYMPIA: Amanda Renkema had team-highs of 47 kills and 15 blocks as Simon Fraser split four matches at the Evergreen Red Lion Invitational. SFU also got 41 kills from Jessica Young and 31 kills and 12 blocks from Danielle Curtis.
PREVIOUS RED LION PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Week of Aug. 27-Sept. 2: Offense - Marlayna Geary, Western Washington (OH, 5-10, Sr., Tacoma, WA - Bellarmine Prep) had 59 kills and hit for a .356 percentage in leading the Vikings to four victories in the Western Oregon Invitational. Geary became the 29th player in GNAC history to record 1,000 career kills, increasing her career total to 1,017. She also had 50 digs, five service aces and three blocks and was named the Most Valuable Player. Defense - Erin Smith, Central Washington (MB, 5-10, Jr., Selah, WA) had a team-high 13 blocks and also contributed 51 kills as the Wildcats won three of four matches. Smith committed just six errors in 90 swings hitting
GNAC TEAMS OF THE WEEK: Aug. 27-Sept. 2 - Montana State Billings (Women's Soccer). Sept. 3-9 - Western Washington (Volleyball).
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