10th-Ranked Volleyball Opens GNAC Play on the Road

Sept. 13, 2017

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THIS WEEK IN WWU VOLLEYBALL

Thursday, September 14

Live Coverage

at Central Washington   7 pm PT

📊 LiveStats | 🎥 Webcast

Saturday, September 16

Live Coverage

at Northwest Nazarene   6 pm PT/7 pm MT

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All webcasts available on the GNAC channel on ROKU, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV & Android TV

ABOUT THE VIKINGS…the 10th-ranked WWU volleyball team opens Great Northwest Athletic Conference play this week on the road at Central Washington (5-3) and undefeated Northwest Nazarene (9-0)…both teams advanced to the NCAA II West Regional last season and were picked No. 3 (NNU) and No. 4 (CWU) in the preseason GNAC coaches poll (behind No. 1 UAA and No. 2 WWU)…Vikings are coming off a 3-1 showing at the D2 West Region Volleyball Showcase in Anchorage, Alaska, beating nationally-ranked opponents Cal State San Bernardino and Concordia-Irvine…WWU finished non-conference play 6-2, and the remaining 20 matches will all be against GNAC teams.

2017 Record Breakdown

Overall Record

6-2

Home

0-0

Away

1-0

Neutral

5-2

GNAC Record

0-0

3-Set Matches

2-2

4-Set Matches

2-0

5-Set Matches

2-0

Ranked Opponents

2-2

By Jersey

Dark Gray

2-0

White

2-1

Light Blue

1-1

Navy Blue

1-0

MORE TOUGH OPPONENTS…the GNAC openers this week feature a road trip to Ellensburg to face Central Washington and then a venture into the mountain time zone to face undefeated Northwest Nazarene…NNU is the first team receiving votes outside of the current AVCA top 25 and CWU is listed 29th (4th-most receiving votes outside of top 25)…including this week’s matches, 7 of 10 teams the Vikings have faced are ranked inside the AVCA top 30 at the time played (4 vs. top 25 teams).

ALL-SHOWCASEAbby Phelps and Joellee Buckner were named to the D2 West Region Volleyball Showcase All-Tournament Team out of the 'A' pod that featured the top teams in the west region playing in Anchorage…Phelps averaged 3.33 kills and 4.13 digs per set, and recorded three double-doubles in the showcase…Buckner averaged 2.53 kills and a team-high 4.80 digs per set, and also recorded 11 blocks (0.73 per set) and 5 service aces.

BOPRAY PLAYER OF THE WEEKJoslyn Bopray was named the GNAC Defensive Player of the Week after averaging 1.47 blocks per set in the four matches in the D2 West Region Showcase…she also averaged 1.27 kills/set…overall the sophomore middle ranked 4th in the GNAC averaging 1.17 blocks per set (35 total blocks).

ROAD WARRIORS…the road trip to Ellensburg and Nampa will conclude a season-opening stretch of 10 consecutive matches on the road…played preseason tournaments in Florida (The Terrace Hotel Classic) and Alaska (D2 West Region Showcase), and opens GNAC play with road matches at Central Washington and Northwest Nazarene…WWU will log close to 17,450 miles in the air (and more on the ground) before playing its first match in Bellingham on Sept. 19 vs. Simon Fraser to open the renovated Carver Gym on WECU Court.

NATIONAL POLL…the Vikings remained at No. 10 in the Sept. 11 edition of the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division II poll…preseason No. 12 ranking was 5th-higest in program history, behind only 2016 (#5), 2004 (#9), 2003 (#10) and 2008 (#10)…finished last season ranked No. 14 in the nation, the sixth time in the last seven seasons to finish in the final top 25 poll…has been present in each of the last 69 AVCA DII polls dating back to the 2012 season.

GOING THE DISTANCE…WWU is 2-0 in 5-set matches this season, beating Florida Southern and Cal State San Bernardino…over last three seasons (since 2015), the Vikings are 12-3 in matches that go to five sets (6-0 in ’15, 4-3 in ’16).

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

4.27
Abby Phelps ranks 4th in the GNAC averaging 4.27 points/set, and is also 4th in kills (3.67/set) and 9th in digs (4.30/set).

10
WWU’s ranking in the AVCA DII top 25.

11
The Vikings have appeared in the NCAA II Championships 11 times, including each of the last five seasons.

36
Career double-doubles (Kills-Digs) by Abby Phelps, including 6 in 8 matches this season.

799
Career kills by Abby Phelps (3.17 per set) to rank 20th in WWU history.

1,995
Career assists by Brette Boesel, 5 away from becoming 11th player in program history with 2,000 career assists.

SERIES HISTORY…here is a look at the all-time series history between WWU and its two conference opponents this week:

  • Central Washington → WWU holds a 67-43-1 lead in the all-time series, and is 17-5 in the last 22 meetings…swept the Wildcats in both matches last year…won 3 of last 4 matches in Ellensburg.
  • Northwest Nazarene → WWU leads the all-time series 35-8…went 1-1 vs. the Crusaders last season, with each team winning at home…Vikings have won 12 of last 15 matches…all-time 16-2 in Nampa.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

  • Running the Offense Brette Boesel is 2nd in the GNAC averaging 11.07 assists per set…ranked 19th in NCAA II in total assists (332) and 20th in the nation in assists per set.
  • In the Middle Michaela Hall ranks 3rd in the GNAC with a .333 hitting pct. and is 9th with 1.03 blocks/set.
  • 20 Win Seasons – Went 23-8 last season, securing the 27th 20-win season in program history (45 seasons).
  • NCAA Streak – The Vikings have advanced to a program-record five consecutive NCAA II Tournaments.
  • The Last 6 – WWU is 124-31 (.800) over the last six seasons (80-14/.851 in GNAC play).

RECAPPING LAST WEEK…the Vikings went 3-1 during the D2 West Region Volleyball Showcase last week in Anchorage, Alaska, playing in the ‘A’ pod of the tournament…recorded wins over Cal State San Bernardino (3-2), Concordia-Irvine (3-1) and Chico State (3-0) and dropped its only match to California Baptist (3-0)…Abby Phelps and Joellee Buckner were named to the all-tournament team, and Joslyn Bopray’s play earned her GNAC Defensive Player of the Week honors.

THE HOME OPENER…the Vikings will host Simon Fraser in the home opener on Sept. 19 on WECU Court at Carver Gym…marks the first official event in the renovated Carver Gym, after WWU played its home matches in 2015 and 2016 across town at Whatcom Community College…admission for the Carver opener is free for all fans, with special giveaways planned for the evening (including a PS4)…the Vikings will play 10 GNAC matches at home this season.

BACK AT CARVER…after two years playing at Whatcom Community College across town, the Vikings return to campus for 10 home matches on WECU Court at Carver Gym…WWU will host the first event in the renovated Carver Gym on Sept. 19 in GNAC play vs. Simon Fraser (7 pm, free admission)…in the 17 years head coach Diane Flick-Williams has led the program, the Vikings are 146-19 (.885) in home matches, with a 130-15 (.897) record at Carver Gym.

PRESEASON ALL-GNAC TEAMAbby Phelps and Arielle Turner were voted to the inaugural GNAC Volleyball Preseason All-Conference Team…Phelps is a two-time First-Team All-GNAC selection and led WWU and finished 8th in the GNAC with an average of 3.21 kills per set last season…Turner was also a First Team All-GNAC pick in 2016, finishing 2nd in the conference with 0.41 aces per set and 11th averaging 3.58 points/set.

GNAC PRESEASON POLL…the Vikings were voted to finish second in a tightly packed 2017 GNAC Preseason Coaches Poll, receiving three of the 11 first-place votes and a total of 109 points…finished one point back of defending conference champion Alaska Anchorage (5 first-places votes) and three points ahead of third-place Northwest Nazarene (106 points, 3 first-place votes)…the GNAC sent a record five teams to the NCAA II West Regional last year and has featured the host school for the West Regional each of the last three seasons.

2017 GNAC PRESEASON VOLLEYBALL POLL

Team (1st Place Votes)

2016 Record (GNAC)

Points

1.

Alaska Anchorage (5)

34-3 (19-1, 1st)

110

2.

Western Washington (3)

23-8 (17-3, 2nd)

109

3.

Northwest Nazarene (3)

22-7 (13-7, T4th )

106

4.

Central Washington

17-12 (13-7, T4th)

89

5.

Simon Fraser

21-8 (14-6, 3rd)

77

6.

Concordia

15-13 (11-9, 6th)

67

7.

Western Oregon

10-17 (7-13, T7th)

50

8.

Seattle Pacific

11-17 (7-13, T7th)

46

9.

Saint Martin’s

6-18 (2-18, T10th)

26

10.

Alaska

3-24 (2-18, T10th)

25

11.

Montana State Billings

7-23 (5-15, 9th)

21

Votes awarded on a 11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis

20-WIN SEASONS…the Vikings have recorded 27 seasons with 20 or more victories in the 45-year history of the program…head coach Diane-Flick Williams has tallied 12 seasons with 20+ wins in her 17 seasons at the helm of the program…over the last six seasons (since 2012), WWU has combined to go 121-30 (.801), advancing to the NCAA Tournament in each season.

COACH FLICK-WILLIAMSDiane Flick-Williams is in her 18th season directing the WWU Volleyball program and is the winningest coach in program history…owns a career record of 373-101 (.787)…Flick has guided the Vikings to 12 seasons of 20 or more victories, 11 NCAA Championships, a pair Final Four appearances, 7 Great Northwest Athletic Conference championships and received GNAC Coach of the Year honors 8 times (2001-03, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2012-13)…amongst active Division II coaches, she enters the 2017 season ranked 13th in winning percentage and 34th by victories…her .788 winning percentage heading into the 2017 season is 12th-best in Division II history (min. 10 years as a DII head coach).

2016 SEASON IN REVIEW…went 23-8 overall and advanced to the NCAA II West Regional Championship, falling one win short of a repeat trip to the Elite 8…fifth consecutive trip to the NCAA Championships and 11th overall in program history…finished 2nd in the GNAC with a 17-3 mark…finished the season No. 14 in the AVCA Division II rankings, the fourth-highest in program history…fifth consecutive 20-win season, going 118-29 (.803) over this stretch…tied for the 10th-toughest schedule in the nation, facing 9 ranked opponents, including five matches vs. national championship match teams Concordia-St. Paul (0-2) and Alaska Anchorage (1-2)…had 11-match winning streak Sept. 24-Oct. 29…won 18 of 19 matches prior to falling to UAA in the West Region Championship in Anchorage…Abby Phelps, Kayleigh Harper and Arielle Turner were all named First Team All-GNAC.

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