Vikings host Saint Martin's and Western Oregon
Sept. 25, 2012
BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Coming off a tough road loss, the nationally ranked Western Washington University volleyball team returns to the friendly confines of Sam Carver Gymnasium this weekend for two Great Northwest Athletic Conference matches, entertaining Saint Martin's on Thursday (7 p.m.), Sept. 27, and league-leading Western Oregon on Saturday (7 p.m.), Sept. 29.
The Vikings, who dropped four spots to No.17 in this week's American Volleyball Coaches Association Coaches' Top 25 Poll, are 10-2 overall and in a three-way tie for second in the league standings at 3-1. Western Oregon holds down the top spot at 2-0.
The Vikings, coached by Diane Flick (13th year, 259-72), have won 20 of their last 21 matches at Carver Gym (2-0 this season) since late in 2009, including their last seven.
WWU has won 90 percent (107-12) of its home matches since going to a SportCourt surface in 2000 and is 222-78 overall (74 percent) overall at Carver Gym.
Senior outside hitter Marlayna Geary (Tacoma/Bellarmine) tops the GNAC in kills and ranks 10th nationally (4.41, 194). She has had nine double-doubles in kills and digs, twice earning GNAC Offensive POW honors.
Geary, who ranks fifth nationally in points per set (5.01), currently is sixth among WWU career leaders in kills with 1,152 (needs 22 to tie for fifth with Lorrie Post, 1987-90) and is 16th in digs with 809 (needs 18 to tie for 15th).
Senior setter Laurie Yearout (Spokane/Lewis & Clark) is third nationally and the GNAC leader in assists (12.57, 553). She ranks fifth among WWU career leaders with 2,540 (needs 35 to tie for fourth with Katie Robinson, 2004-07).
Sophomore libero Samantha Hutchinson (University Place/Curtis) ranks sixth nationally and leads the league in digs, averaging 5.91 per set (260). She has twice been named the GNAC Defensive Player of the Week.
Sophomore middle blocker Kayla Erickson (Gig Harbor/Peninsula) is second among league leaders in attack percentage at .386. She also is fourth in both kills (3.36) and blocks (1.00).
WWU leads the GNAC in four team statistical categories, those being hitting percentage (.281), assists (13.75), kills (14.25) and digs (16.34). The Vikings are fifth nationally in assists, seventh in hitting percentage and ninth in kills. Hitting .281, while holding opponents to .203, they also have big advantages in blocks (87.5 to 56.0) and service aces (66 to 36).
Saint Martin's is 3-4 overall and 1-1 in league play. WWU has won the last 26 meetings with the Saints, last losing 3-0 at home in 1998, and holds a 47-5 series advantage.
Western Oregon (at Simon Fraser on Sept. 27), which has won its last four matches, is 9-2 overall and 2-0 in GNAC action. The Wolves are holding opponents to a conference-best hitting percentage of .129, and also lead the league in blocks (2.46) and service aces (1.82).
WWU holds a 26-13 series lead over Western Oregon, winning the last six meetings.
WWU opened the season by being the only team to go undefeated at the Western Oregon Invitational, winning all four of its matches.
The following week, the Vikings tied for the title at the Sonoma State Seawolf Spike Invitational, 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 #4 (Sept. 25, 2012)
Conf. All W L W L H A N Western Oregon 2 0 9 2 7-1 2-1 0-0 Western Washington 3 1 10 2 2-0 2-1 6-1 Central Washington 3 1 8 4 2-0 1-3 5-1 Alaska Anchorage 3 1 8 4 6-0 1-2 1-2 MSU Billings 2 1 5 6 1-0 1-4 3-2 Northwest Nazarene 2 2 8 5 1-1 4-1 3-3 Saint Martin's 1 1 3 4 1-1 2-3 0-0 Seattle Pacific 1 2 4 8 0-0 2-5 2-3 Simon Fraser 0 4 2 8 0-3 1-3 1-2 Alaska Fairbanks 0 4 2 8 2-3 0-5 0-0
LAST WEEK: Monday - Simon Fraser 2 at Fraser Valley 3 (25-18, 21-25, 25-21, 18-25, 15-13). Thursday - Alaska Anchorage 0 at Western Oregon 3 (25-19, 25-20, 25-22); Alaska Fairbanks 1 at Saint Martin's 3 (26-24, 25-23, 18-25, 25-22); Simon Fraser 0 at Central Washington 3 (25-18, 26-24, 25-15); Western Washington 3 at Northwest Nazarene 0 (25-15, 27-25, 25-18). Saturday - Alaska Anchorage 3 at Saint Martin's 0 (25-10, 25-22, 25-15); Alaska Fairbanks 0 at Western Oregon 3 (25-18, 25-20, 25-15); Western Washington 1 at Central Washington 3 (25-22, 22-25, 25-19, 25-18); Seattle Pacific 1 at MSU Billings 3 (25-21, 25-15, 18-25, 25-17)); Simon Fraser 1 at Northwest Nazarene 3 (19-25, 25-12, 25-18, 25-14).
THIS WEEK: Thursday - Central Washington at Seattle Pacific; Northwest Nazarene at MSU Billings; Saint Martin's at Western Washington; Western Oregon at Simon Fraser. Saturday - Alaska Fairbanks at Alaska Anchorage; Central Washington at MSU Billings; Northwest Nazarene at Seattle Pacific, 2 p.m.; Saint Martin's at Simon Fraser; Western Oregon at Western Washington. (Note: All matches begin at 7 p.m. except where noted).
POLLS: AVCA (Sept. 24) - 17. Western Washington; 26. Central Washington; 29. Western Oregon.
NCAA NATIONAL STATISTICS (Through Sept. 23): Team (Top 30): Assists - 5. Western Washington 13.75. Blocks - 15. Western Washington 2.46; 28. Central Washington 2.33. Hitting PCT. - 7. Western Washington .281. Kills - 9. Western Washington 14.25. Individuals (Top 30): Assists - 3. Laurie Yearout, WWU, 12.57; 15. Kimya Jafroudi, UAA, 11.02. Blocks - 23. Becky Blees, WOU, 1.28. Digs - 6. Samantha Hutchinson, WWU, 5.91; 9. Erin Compton, MSUB, 5.80; 25. Kaely Kight, CWU, 5.19. Hitting PCT. - 20. Krissi Kemper, WOU, 0.39; 24. Kayla Erickson, WWU, .386. Kills - 10. Marlayna Geary, WWU, 4.41. Points - 5. Marlayna Geary, WWU, 5.01.
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 - Emmy Dolan, Central Washington (OH, 5-11, Jr., Castle Rock, WA) had 23 kills and hit for a .450 percentage leading the Wildcats to wins over Simon Fraser and Western Washington. The Red Lion Offensive Player of the Week winner had 16 kills and hit for a .481 percentage as the Wildcats stopped arch-rival Western Washington in four sets for the second time in a row at Nicholson Pavilion. CWU also beat the Vikings at home in four sets during the final week of the 2011 season. Defense - Becky Blees, Western Oregon (MB, 5-10, Jr., Portland, OR - Madison) contributed to nine of the Wolves' 15 blocks as WOU earned sweeps of Alaska Anchorage and Alaska Fairbanks in limiting their opponents to a .080 attack percentage. Blees, the Red Lion Defensive Player of the Week honoree, also had a .412 hitting percentage (8-1-17) in the two wins. Honorable Mention - Danielle Reese, Western Oregon; Kaely Kight, Central Washington; Kyndal Williams, Montana State Billings.
CWU HANDS VIKINGS FIRST CONFERENCE LOSS: Central Washington outhit Western Washington .318 to .135 in defeat the Vikings in four sets at Nicholson Pavilion Saturday before a crowd of 979. . .The Wildcats held WWU to its lowest hitting percentage of the year - by a margin of 68 points. Its previous low was .203 against Cal State L.A. on Aug. 30. CWU's percentage was also the highest against the Vikings this fall. The previous high was .281 by Cal State Stanislaus on Se9. 7. Dolan had 16 kills and Marcy Hjellum had 15 kills, 12 digs and seven blocks to key the win. . .Western Washington has won eight of its last 10 conference matches dating back to midway through the 2011 season with both losses by 3-1 margins at Ellensburg.
WOLVES SWEEP UAA, UAF: Danielle Reese starred offensively and defensively for Western Oregon as it opened its conference season with 3-0 sweeps of Alaska Anchorage and Alaska Fairbanks. The sweep of Anchorage was significant in two respects. It ended UAA's win streak at six and it also ended a string of 22 consecutive conference matches in which the Seawolves had won at least one set (since Nov. 6, 2010 against Central Washington). Reese had a team-high 27 kills and 26 digs - just five fewer than team leader Megan Triggs - in the two wins. Samantha Ward added 17 kills and Becky Blees had nine blocks.
MSUB DEBUTS AT HOME WITH VICTORY: Montana State Billings opened its home season with a 3-1 win against Seattle Pacific as Jody Lutz and Monica Grimsrud led a balanced attack with 12 kills each. Three other players - Taylor Adams (11), Chelsey Walter (8) and Krista Norris (7) had seven or more. Adams hit for a .588 percentage (11-1-17) as MSUB swung at a .323 clip. Cailin Fellows accounted for 42 percent (20 of 48) of Seattle Pacific's kills.
VIKINGS OPEN ROAD TRIP WITH 3-0 WIN: Western Washington opened its road trip with a 3-0 win at Northwest Nazarene before having its win streak ended at six by Central Washington. During the streak, the Vikings had won 18 of 20 sets. . .Marlayna Geary had 37 kills, including 21 in the loss to Central Washington, and also hit for a .321 percentage. Geary's 21 kill total against CWU equaled the fourth best for a match this fall in the GNAC and was the third highest for a four-set match. The Vikings were also led by Kayla Erickson with 25 kills and a team-high eight blocks. Erickson hit for a .315 pace.
JOHNSON LEADS UAA IN KILLS: Sarah Johnson had a team-high 18 kills as Alaska Anchorage divided a pair of 3-0 decisions, bouncing back from a 3-0 loss at Western Oregon to beat Saint Martin's by the same score. Katelynn Zanders had 16 kills, while Jodi Huddleston had 14 kills and a team-high six blocks. Maureen Sabado chipped in with 13 kills.
ELSEWHERE IN THE GNAC: Kaitlyn Tuholski led Northwest Nazarene with 22 kills and also had 21 digs as the Crusaders split two matches. . .Saint Martin's, which extended its win streak to three with Thursday's victory against Alaska Fairbanks, was led by Carrie Starbuck with 16 kills and Teilissa Tua with 14 kills and eight blocks. . .Sam Harthun had 26 kills to pace Alaska Fairbanks in two road contests. . .Jessica Young had 23 kills and Katie Forsyth, Madeline Hait and Danielle Curtis each had 21 kills as Simon Fraser dropped three matches.
GNAC 42-34 IN NON-CONFERENCE: GNAC teams have posted a winning record during the non-conference portion of its schedule posting a 43-33 record. 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).
Week of Sept. 10-16: 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.
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). Sept. 17-23 - Central Washington (Volleyball).
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