9-1 WWU on road for GNAC matches at NNU and CWU
Sept. 18, 2012
BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Off to one of the best starts in school history, the nationally ranked Western Washington University volleyball team is on the road for two Great Northwest Athletic Conference matches this week, traveling to Northwest Nazarene University on Thursday (7 p.m.), Sept. 20, and to Central Washington University on Saturday (7 p.m.), Sept. 22.
The Vikings, who moved up one spot to No.13 in this week's American Volleyball Coaches Association Coaches' Top 25 Poll, are 9-1 overall, five of the victories being sweeps, and working on a five-match winning streak. They are tied with Alaska Anchorage atop the GNAC standings at 2-0.
WWU opened conference play last week with two three-set home wins over Montana State Billings and defending GNAC champion Seattle Pacific. The victory over MSUB was the 17th straight in a home opener for the Vikings, who are 19-1 at Carver Gym over the last three seasons.
"We played some solid ball (last week) and I hope we learned the details we needed to hone in on," Flick said.
Sophomore libero Samantha Hutchinson (University Place/Curtis) was named the Red Lion/GNAC Defensive Player of the Week for the second straight time after receiving honorable mention three weeks ago. She ranks sixth nationally and leads the league in digs, averaging 6.05 per set (224).
Senior outside hitter Marlayna Geary (Tacoma/Bellarmine) tops the GNAC in kills and ranks ninth nationally (4.24, 157). She has had eight double-doubles in kills and digs, twice earning GNAC Offensive POW honors.
Geary, who ranks 10th nationally in points per set (4.76), currently is sixth among WWU career leaders in kills with 1,115 (needs 59 to tie for fifth with Lorrie Post, 1987-90) and is 16th in digs with 792.
Sophomore middle blocker Kayla Erickson (Gig Harbor/Peninsula) tops the league in attack percentage at .402. She also is fourth in kills (123, 3.32) and fifth in blocks (36, 0.97).
Senior setter Laurie Yearout (Spokane/Lewis & Clark) is third nationally and the GNAC leader in assists (12.41, 459). She ranks fifth among WWU career leaders in assists with 2,446 (needs 129 to tie for fourth with Katie Robinson, 2004-07).
Redshirt freshman opposite-side hitter Jennica McPherson leads the Vikings in both blocks (36, 0.97) and service aces (14, five in each of two matches).
WWU leads the GNAC in four team statistical categories - hitting percentage (.293), assists (13.73), kills (14.32) and digs (16.70). The Vikings are sixth nationally in assists, seventh in hitting percentage and eighth in kills. Hitting .293, while holding opponents to .195, they also have big advantages in blocks (74.5 to 41.0) and service aces (56 to 30).
NNU is 7-4 overall and 1-1 in GNAC play. WWU holds a 28-5 series advantage, winning the last five meetings.
Central is 6-4 overall (hosts Simon Fraser on Thursday) and 1-1 in league action. The Vikings lead the series, 60-40-1.
WWU opened the season by being the only team to go undefeated, winning all four of its matches at the Western Oregon Invitational.
The following week, the Vikings tied for the title at the Sonoma State Seawolf Spike Invitational Tournament, winning three of four matches. The performance earned them GNAC Team of the Week honors. Their only loss was in five sets to then No.25 UC-San Diego.
Geary was the MVP in both tournaments. Yearout earned all-tourney honors in both, and Hutchinson was all-tourney in the WOU Invite.
Great Northwest Athletic Conference
2012 Volleyball Week #3 (Sept. 18, 2012)
Conf. All W L W L H A N Western Washington 2 0 9 1 2-0 1-0 6-1 Alaska Anchorage 2 0 7 3 6-0 0-1 1-2 Northwest Nazarene 1 1 7 4 0-0 4-1 3-3 Central Washington 1 1 6 4 0-0 1-3 5-1 MSU Billings 1 1 4 6 0-0 1-4 3-2 Seattle Pacific 1 1 4 7 0-0 2-4 2-3 Western Oregon 0 0 7 2 5-1 2-1 0-0 Saint Martin's 0 0 2 3 0-0 2-3 0-0 Alaska Fairbanks 0 2 2 6 2-3 0-3 0-0 Simon Fraser 0 2 2 6 0-3 1-1 1-2
LAST WEEK: Monday - Fraser Valley 3 at Simon Fraser 2 (26-28, 26-28, 25-12, 25-21, 17-15). Wednesday - Willamette 0 at Western Oregon 3 (25-12,25-18, 17-25). Thursday - Central Washington 2 at Alaska Anchorage 3 (25-19, 25-21, 26-28, 17-25, 15-10); Northwest Nazarene 3 at Alaska Fairbanks 0 (25-16, 25-15, 25-10); Seattle Pacific 3 at Simon Fraser 1 (25-14, 23-25, 25-22, 25-19); Saint Martin's 3 at New Hope Christian (25-6, 25-14, 25-16). Friday - MSU Billings 0 at Western Washington 3 (25-16, 25-20, 25-10); Walla Walla at Western Oregon, 4 p.m. Saturday - Northwest Nazarene 2 at Alaska Anchorage 3 (25-13, 23-25, 25-22, 27-29, 15-6); Central Washington 3 at Alaska Fairbanks 0 (25-23, 25-19, 25-23); MSU Billings 3 at Simon Fraser 0 (25-10, 25-17, 25-22); Seattle Pacific 0 at Western Washington 3 (25-22, 25-11, 25-12); Saint Martin's 3 at Walla Walla 0 (25-8, 25-14, 25-16),
THIS WEEK: Monday - Simon Fraser 2 at Fraser Valley 3 (25-18, 21-25, 25-21, 18-25, 15-13). Thursday - Alaska Anchorage at Western Oregon; Alaska Fairbanks at Saint Martin's; Simon Fraser at Central Washington; Western Washington at Northwest Nazarene. Saturday - Alaska Anchorage at Saint Martin's; Alaska Fairbanks at Western Oregon; Western Washington at Central Washington; Seattle Pacific at MSU Billings; Simon Fraser at Northwest Nazarene. (Note: All matches begin at 7 p.m. except where noted).
POLLS: AVCA (Sept. 17) - 13. Western Washington; 33. Central Washington; 34. Western Oregon.
NCAA NATIONAL STATISTICS (Through Sept.16): Team (Top 30): Assists - 6. Western Washington 13.73. Blocks - 17. Western Washington 2.45; 28. Central Washington 2.34. Hitting PCT. - 7. Western Washington .293; 29. Northwest Nazarene .242. Kills - 8. Western Washington 14.32. Individuals (Top 30): Assists - 3. Laurie Yearout, WWU, 12.41; 14. Kimya Jafroudi, UAA, 11.00. Digs - 6. Samantha Hutchinson, WWU, 6.05; 11. Erin Compton, MSUB, 5.67; 20. Kaely Kight, CWU, 5.32. Hitting PCT. - 21. Kayla Erickson, WWU, .402; 22. Erin Smith, CWU, .402. Kills - 10. Marlayna Geary, WWU, 4.24. Points - 11. Marlayna Geary, WWU, 4.76.
ALL-TOURNAMENT: Western Oregon (Aug. 30-Sept. 1) - Marlayna Geary, WWU (MVP); Laurie Yearout, WWU; Krissi Kemper, WOU. Grand Canyon (Aug. 31-Sept. 1) - Erin Smith, CWU. Alaska Fairbanks (Aug. 31-Sept. 1) - Katlyn Mataya, UAF; Sam Harthun, UAF. Honolulu Invitational (Aug. 30-Sept. 1) - Cailin Fellows, SPU; Monica Grimsrud, MSUB. Sonoma State (Sept. 7-8) - Marlayna Geary, WWU (MVP); Samantha Hutchinson, WWU; Laurie Yearout, WWU. Alaska Anchorage (Sept. 7-8) - Kimya Jafroudi, UAA (MVP); Katelynn Zanders, UAA, Julia Mackey, UAA; Sarah Johnson, UAA. CSU Pueblo (Sept. 7-8) - Monica Grimsrud, MSUB; Erin Compton, MSUB. Notre Dame de Namur/CSU East Bay (Sept. 7-8) - Becky Flores, NNU.
GNAC RED LION PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Offense - Sarah Johnson, Alaska Anchorage (OH, 6-1, Fr., Anchorage, AK - South) had 34 kills and hit for a .308 percentage to earn Red Lion Offensive Player of the Week honors as the Seawolves ran their win streak to six with 3-2 home wins over Central Washington and Northwest Nazarene. She had double-doubles in both victories, including career-highs of 18 kills and 17 digs in Saturday's win over NNU. She leads UAA with four double-doubles on the season. Defense - Samantha Hutchinson, Western Washington (L, 5-8, So., University Place, WA - Curtis) had 35 digs as the Vikings held their opponents to a .098 hitting percentage in sweeps of Montana State Billings and Seattle Pacific. Hutchinson, who was selected the Red Lion Defensive Player of the Week for the second week in a row, also had three aces as WWU had a 28-11 point advantage from the service line, including a 18-2 edge in aces.
Honorable Mention: Kayla Erickson, Western Washington (MB, 6-0, So., Gig Harbor - Peninsula) had 21 kills and hit for a .405 percentage in leading the Vikings to 3-0 wins over MSU Billings and Seattle Pacific. Erickson also led WWU in the two matches with seven blocks . . .Keri Knight, Alaska Fairbanks (OH, 5-9, Jr., Arvada, CO) paced the Nanooks with 27 kills and hit .455 in a pair of contests. . .Katy Ferguson, Saint Martin's (MB, 6-1, Sr., Tacoma, WA - Stadium) averaged 3.00 kills per set while hitting .536 in non-conference wins against New Hope Christian and Walla Walla. She also added four service aces and four total blocks.
AROUND THE GNAC: Alaska Anchorage outhit its opponents .241 to .128 in escaping with a pair of 3-2 victories against Central Washington and Northwest Nazarene. They won despite committing more than twice as many service errors (37-17). . .Marcy Hjellum paced the Wildcats with 28 kills as CWU split two matches in Alaska. Meanwhile, Elayna Rice paced Northwest Nazarene with 19 kills as the Crusaders also earned a split. . .Kristy Ross had team-highs of 19 kills and 28 digs in Saint Martin's two wins. . .Marlayna Geary led Western Washington with 22 kills and Jennica McPherson had a team-high seven aces as the Vikings out-aced their two opponents 18-2. . .Cailin Fellows led Seattle Pacific with 26 kills and Nikki Lowell had a team-best eight blocks. . .Danielle Reese had 25 kills in Western Oregon's two-non conference wins. . .Monica Grimsrud had 18 kills and Jody Lutz had 16 kills and a .464 percentage as Montana State Billings divided two matches.
DOUBLE-DIGIT BLOCKS: Maureen Sabado of Alaska Anchorage and Kaitlin Quirk of Central Washington each had 10 kills and 10 blocks in Alaska Anchorage's 3-2 win at Anchorage becoming the second and third players in the GNAC this season to record double-digit blocks. Quirk is the first CWU player since Rachael Schurman had 11 blocks against UAA in 2008 to reach double figures. For the week, Sabado had 17 blocks and Quirk had 13.
3,000 AND COUNTING: Seattle Pacific setter Shelby Swanson had 71 assists, including 50 against Simon Fraser Thursday, pushing her past 3,000 for her career (3,040) and moving into eighth place on the GNAC career list.
GNAC 42-33 IN NON-CONFERENCE: GNAC teams have posted a winning record during the non-conference portion of its schedule posting a 42-33 record (through Sunday). The GNAC had a winning record (13-12) against the CCAA, but ended up just 9-15 against the Pac West. Just eight matches remain on the non-conference slate including four with Walla Walla. Central Washington plays Walla Walla on Oct. 2 at home and Oct. 30 on the road. Northwest Nazarene hosts Walla Walla on Oct. 4 and plays at Eastern Oregon on Oct. 9 and at Walla Walla on Nov. 2. Saint Martin's visits Pacific Lutheran Oct. 23. Simon Fraser hosts Douglas on Oct. 1 and Capilano Oct. 10.
UNBEATEN: Western Washington finished its non-conference slate with a 7-1 record. Only four times have GNAC teams finished unbeaten in non-conference regular-season matches - Seattle Pacific in 2003 (7-0) and 2010 (10-0), Central Washington in 2004 (8-0) and Western Washington in 2008 (8-0). . .The 2010 Falcons lost in the West Regional championship game, while the 2004 Wildcats lost in their opening-round playoff game. The 2003 Falcons and 2008 Vikings did not advance to the post-season.
GNAC (13) vs. CCAA (12): Northwest Nazarene 4-0, Western Oregon 1-0, Western Washington 4-1, Central Washington 3-2, Seattle Pacific 1-5, MSU Billings 0-1, Alaska Fairbanks 0-1, Alaska Anchorage 0-2.
GNAC (9) vs. PacWest (15): Alaska Anchorage 2-0, Western Oregon 2-1, Seattle Pacific 2-1, Northwest Nazarene 2-3, Alaska Fairbanks 1-3, Central Washington 0-1, MSU Billings 0-3, Saint Martin's 0-3.
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.
Week of Sept. 3-9: Offense - Marlayna Geary, Western Washington (OH, 5-10, Sr., Tacoma, WA - Bellarmine Prep) 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).
GNAC TEAMS OF THE WEEK: Aug. 27-Sept. 2 - Montana State Billings (Women's Soccer). Sept. 3-9 - Western Washington (Volleyball). Sept. 10-16 - Northwest Nazarene (Men's Soccer).
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