No. 7 Vikings put 16-match home court streak on line
Oct. 14, 2013
BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Working on a 16-match home court winning streak, the nationally top 10 ranked Western Washington University volleyball team plays host to University of Alaska Fairbanks on Thursday, Oct. 17 (7 p.m.) and to University of Alaska Anchorage on Saturday, Oct. 19 (7 p.m.), for a pair of Great Northwest Athletic Conference matches at Sam Carver Gymnasium on the WWU campus.
The UAA match will be Dig Pink Night as part of the National Breast Cancer Awareness Rally.
WWU, which has swept 12 of its 13 victories this season, has not been beaten at Carver Gym since a 3-1 loss to UAA in 2011. That is the Vikings' only home setback in their last 30 home matches and they are 116-12 at Carver Gym since going to a SportCourt surface in 2000.
UAA, which is at Simon Fraser on Thursday, is 13-6 overall after splitting its first six matches and atop the GNAC standings at 7-0. WWU holds a 27-12 series advantage after taking both meetings last year, but has lost five of the last eight meetings overall.
UAA is led by Julia MacKey, 3.24 kills per set average; Katelyn Zanders, 3.17 kills and 2.64 digs and Jodi Huddleston 1.30 blocks. Last season, Mackey was the GNAC co-Freshman of the Year and Huddleston was the league's Newcomer of the Year.
The 13-1 start is the Vikings' best since they opened 24-1 in 2003.
Last week, WWU swept conference road matches at Saint Martin's and Western Oregon. The Vikings opened the campaign with seven straight wins before suffering its only loss, 3-1, at then No.24 Sonoma State (now No.11).
Other West Region teams, besides WWU and Sonoma State, in the Top 25 are BYU-Hawaii No.5, UC San Diego No.10 and Cal State San Bernardino No.14.
The Vikings rank fourth among NCAA II schools in attack percentage at .302 with middle blockers Emily Boerger (Sr., Marysville/Marysville-Pilchuck) and Kayla Erickson (Jr., Gig Harbor) being one-two nationally for the third straight week at .434 and .426, respectively. The first two weeks it was Erickson one and Boerger two. Both are on pace to break the GNAC single-season record of .425 set in 2012 by Krissi Kemper of Western Oregon. The WWU standard is .428 by Tanya Price in 1997. Erickson currently tops school career leaders in attack percentage at .368.
Outside hitter Rachel Roeder (So., Sammamish/Issaquah) had 20 kills and six blocks and a .475 hitting percentage in the Vikings' victories last weekend. She received GNAC POW honorable mention.
WWU libero Samantha Hutchinson (Jr., University Place/Curtis) is second nationally in digs per set (6.79), and setter Taylor Dillard (Jr., Milton/Fife) is 10th in assists per set (11.57). Last year, Hutchinson finished No.5 in the country, averaging 6.41.
Hutchinson, who was a second-team AVCA All-American last fall, is fourth among WWU career dig leaders with 1,362. She trails Courtney Schneider (2,695 - 2004-07), Allison Gotz (1,708 - 2007-10) and Nicola Parker (1,435 - 2000-03), all of whom were first-team All-Americans. Hutchinson already has been a GNAC Defensive POW twice this season.
WWU ranks No.10 nationally in average kills per set (14.32) and No.12 in assists per set (13.20). The Vikings are holding opponents to .115 hitting and have a 104.5 to 48.5 advantage in blocks.
WWU, directed by seven-time GNAC Coach of the Year Diane Flick (14th year, 286-75), has five players averaging over two kills per set. They are Erickson 3.68, outside hitter Kelsey Moore (Jr., Bellevue/Newport) 2.71, opposite-side hitter Jennica McPherson (So., Seattle/Kennedy) 2.64, Boerger 2.52, and Roeder 2.11.
McPherson also is averaging 2.68 digs and has served a team-leading 19 aces. Boerger tops WWU in blocks, averaging 1.16 and Erickson is second at 1.14.
Alaska Fairbanks is 3-15 overall and 2-5 in conference play. The Nanooks are led by Sam Harthun, who is averaging team bests of 3.92 kills per set and 26 aces, while being second in digs at 2.14.
WWU has lost just six of 40 series meetings with UAF, winning the last nine.
NOTES: The Vikings, who have won seven league titles in the first 12 years of the GNAC, are looking to make the school's first back-to-back West Regional appearances since 2006 and 2007 (reached national title match). They made three straight regional appearances from 2001-03 ... WWU became the first team in the 13-year history of the GNAC to open a season with four consecutive 3-0 victories against NCAA II competition when it went 4-0 at the Western Oregon Invitational on Sept. 5-7 with sweeps of Cal State East Bay, Holy Names, Minnesota State Mankato and Metro State. That string of 12 set 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 ... The following week, the Vikings won three of four contests at the Sonoma State Seawolf Spike Invitational, having a seven-match winning streak snapped by No.24 Sonoma State in four games ... Erickson received GNAC Offensive POW honors for Sept. 1-7. She also earned honorable mention twice and Hutchinson has done so once ... Boerger and Erickson were both Sonoma State all-tourney picks ... Boerger also was the GNAC Defensive POW for Sept. 29-Oct. 5.
Great Northwest Athletic Conference
2013 Volleyball Report No. 8 (Oct. 14, 2013)
Conf. All W L W L H A N Alaska Anchorage 7 0 13 6 8-1 4-3 1-2 Western Washington 6 0 13 1 2-0 4-1 7-0 Northwest Nazarene 6 2 10 4 3-1 4-2 3-1 Central Washington 4 4 8 8 3-1 2-4 3-3 Seattle Pacific 3 4 7 8 2-1 2-4 3-3 Simon Fraser 2 4 7 5 6-2 1-3 0-0 Saint Martin's 2 5 6 13 3-4 2-4 1-5 Western Oregon 2 5 5 12 4-6 1-2 0-4 Alaska Fairbanks 2 5 3 15 2-6 1-7 0-2 MSU Billings 1 6 3 12 1-1 0-7 2-4
LAST WEEK: Thursday - Seattle Pacific 2 at Central Washington 3 (25-17, 19-25, 25-14, 22-25, 15-10); MSU Billings 1 at Northwest Nazarene 3 (25-14, 25-19, 27-29, 25-16); Western Washington 3 at Saint Martin's 0 (25-18, 25-21, 25-18); Simon Fraser 3 at Western Oregon 1 (16-25, 25-20, 25-18, 25-21). Saturday - Alaska Anchorage 3 at Alaska Fairbanks 0 (25-16, 25-17, 25-10); MSU Billings 0 at Central Washington 3 (25-17, 25-10, 25-23); Seattle Pacific 1 at Northwest Nazarene 3 (25-21, 25-17, 23-25, 25-15); Simon Fraser 0 at Saint Martin's 3 (25-22, 25-18, 25-13); Western Washington 3 at Western Oregon 0 (25-22, 25-14, 25-14).
THIS WEEK: Thursday - Alaska Anchorage at Simon Fraser; Alaska Fairbanks at Western Washington; Saint Martin's at MSU Billings; Western Oregon at Seattle Pacific. Saturday - Alaska Anchorage at Western Washington; Alaska Fairbanks at Simon Fraser; Northwest Nazarene at Central Washington; Western Oregon at MSU Billings; Saint Martin's at Seattle Pacific.
NCAA NATIONAL STATISTICS (Through Oct. 13): Individuals (Top 30): Points - 22. Sam Harthun, UAF, 4.48; 29. Kayla Erickson, WWU, 4.34. Kills - 22. Sam Harthun, UAF, 3.92. Hitting Percentage - 1. Kayla Erickson, WWU, .434; 2. Emily Boerger, WWU, .426. Assists - 10. Taylor Dillard, WWU, 11.55; 29. Catie Fry, CWU, 10.62. Blocks - 12. Jodi Huddleston, UAA, 1.30; 14. Nikki Lowell, SPU, 1.28; 16. Andrea Terpstra, NNU, 1.26; 18. Becky Blees, WOU, 1.22; 24. Emily Boerger, WWU, 1.16. Digs - 2. Samantha Hutchinson, WWU, 6.79; 13. Kaely Kight, CWU, 5.61. Team (Top 30): Kills - 10. Western Washington 14.32. Hitting Percentage - 4. Western Washington .302. Assists - 12. Western Washington 13.20. Blocks - 10. Seattle Pacific 2.59; 16. Northwest Nazarene 2.46; 24. Western Washington 2.38; 27. Alaska Anchorage 2.36. Digs - 23. Western Washington 17.98.
POLLS: AVCA (Oct. 7) - 7. Western Washington; 33. Alaska Anchorage.
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. Sonoma State (Sept. 13-14) - Kayla Erickson, WWU; Emily Boerger, WWU.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: Offense - Rachel Hanses, Central Washington (OH, 5-11, So., Yakima, WA - West Valley) had 26 kills and a .296 percentage to lead the Wildcats to wins over Seattle Pacific and Montana State Billings. Hanses also had five digs and two blocks. Defense - Jenna Caywood, Northwest Nazarene (MB, Fr., Meridian, ID - Cole Valley Christian) had 17 kills, 14 blocks and hit for a .452 percentage (17-3-31) leading the Crusaders to 3-1 wins over Montana State Billings and Seattle Pacific. She had seven kills and six blocks against MSUB and 10 kills in just 13 attempts and seven blocks against SPU. Honorable Mention - Rachel Roeder, Western Washington (OH, 6-1, So., Sammamish, WA - Issaquah) led the Vikings with 20 kills and six blocks and a .475 percentage (20-1-40) in 3-0 wins at Saint Martin's and Western Oregon. The wins were the Vikings 11th and 12th sweeps of the season including all six of their conference matches ... Julia Mackey, Alaska Anchorage (OH, 5-11, So., Fairbanks, AK - West Valley) keyed a GNAC-record (for conference matches) .526 hitting percentage, tallying 12 kills and making just one error in 16 attempts in a 3-0 win at Alaska Fairbanks.
POLLS: Western Washington, which has lost just four sets in 14 starts and none is six conference matches, is ranked seventh in this week's AVCA Division II national poll for the second week in a row. The Vikings are the second highest ranked West Region team in the poll. Defending BYU-Hawaii is ranked fifth. Other West Region teams ranked include UC San Diego (10th), Sonoma State (11th), Cal State San Bernardino (14th) and Fresno Pacific (23rd). Alaska Anchorage is among "others receiving votes" and is 30th overall.
STREAKS: Western Washington takes a 16-match home winning streak into home contests Thursday and Saturday against Alaska Fairbanks and Alaska Anchorage. The Vikings last home loss came to UAA in 2011 and they've won 30 of their last 31 home contests. Overall, the Vikings take a six-match win streak into this week's contests, while the Seawolves have won seven straight.
GNAC TEAM OF THE WEEK: Sept. 2-8 - Simon Fraser (football). Sept. 9-15 - Northwest Nazarene (volleyball). Sept. 16-22 - MSU Billings (men's cross country) and Simon Fraser (women's cross country). Sept. 23-29 - Western Oregon (football). Sept. 30-Oct. 6 - Seattle Pacific (men's soccer). Oct. 7-13 - Central Washington (women's soccer).
GNAC 40-49 IN NON-CONFERENCE: GNAC teams have posted a 40-49 record in non-conference matches. Conference teams were 15-19 against CCAA opponents and 9-18 against PacWest foes. The lone non-conference match remaining on the schedule is Oct. 29 when MSU Billings hosts Rocky Mountain.
GNAC (15) vs. CCAA (19): Northwest Nazarene 2-0, Western Oregon 1-0, Western Washington 4-1, Seattle Pacific 3-3, Central Washington 2-2, MSU Billings 2-4, Alaska Anchorage 1-4, Saint Martin's 0-2, Alaska Fairbanks 0-3.
GNAC (9) vs. PacWest (18): Western Oregon 1-0, Western Washington 1-0, Alaska Anchorage 2-2, Northwest Nazarene 2-2, Seattle Pacific 1-1, Saint Martin's 1-5, Alaska Fairbanks 1-6, MSU Billings 0-2.
Alaska Anchorage: The Seawolves set a GNAC single-match record for highest attack percentage in a conference game, hitting .526 (43-3-76) in Saturday's win at Fairbanks. UAA was charged with just three errors, two on blocks by UAF. The old record was .473 by Seattle Pacific in a match against Saint Martin's last year. Julia Mackey led the Seawolves with 12 kills and also had four blocks.
Alaska Fairbanks: Sam Harthun had 13 kills and six digs as the Nanooks dropped a three-set match to their archrivals. Katelyn Camp had 28 assists and Tessa Butterfield had eight digs for UAF.
Central Washington: Rachel Hanses led the Wildcats to wins over Seattle Pacific and MSU Billings with 26 kills and a .296 hitting percentage (26-5-71). The Wildcats also got 22 kills, five blocks and a team-high six service aces from Jordan Deming. Kaitlin Quirk led the CWU defense with 10 blocks.
MSU Billings: Monica Grimsrud had team-highs of 24 kills and six blocks and Chelsey Walter had 21 kills in losses at Northwest Nazarene and Central Washington. Also in double figures was Krista Norris with 14 kills.
Northwest Nazarene: Elayna Rice led the Crusaders with 30 kills and tied Linnea Phillips for the most digs with 26 in two four-set matches. Andrea Terpstra had 20 kills in the two contests.
Saint Martin's: Kristyn Ross led the Saints in both kills (19) and digs (23) as they split two conference home matches. The Saints had a combined .226 to .201 attack percentage advantage in the two contests (a 3-0 win over Simon Fraser and a 3-0 loss to Western Washington). Kyra Davidson had 17 kills and a team-best five blocks. Larissa Hamilton also had five blocks.
Seattle Pacific: Madi Cavell led the Falcons with 23 kills in losses at Central Washington and Northwest Nazarene. Ellie Britt had 21 kills and Nikki Lowell had 17 kills and a team-best 10 blocks. SPU was outhit in the two matches .179 to .099.
Simon Fraser: Amanda Renkema had 21 kills and Devon May and Kelsey Robinson each had 20 as the Clan split two road matches. Renkema hit for a .306 percentage (21-6-49). SFU had a 10-3 advantage in service aces, but was outblocked 18-6. Alanna Chan led the defense with 27 digs.
Western Oregon: Becky Blees had team highs of 20 kills and seven blocks in losses to Simon Fraser and Western Washington. The Wolves also got seven blocks from Samantha Moore. Megan Triggs had a team-high 34 digs.
Western Washington: Kayla Erickson had team highs for kills (22) and blocks (9) as the Vikings extended their win streak to six. WWU outblocked its opponents 16-9 led by Erickson, Emily Boerger (7) and Roeder, who had six (See Player of the Week).
PREVIOUS RED LION PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Week of Sept. 2-8: 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.
Week of Sept. 9-15: Offense - Andrea Terpstra, Northwest Nazarene (MB, 6-4, Jr., Ripon, CA) tallied 50 kills and 20 blocks as the Crusaders won three of four matches in the CSU East Bay/Notre Dame de Namur Route 92 Showdown. Terpstra, a transfer from San Diego State, hit for a .417 percentage (50-10-96). Defense - Samantha Hutchinson, Western Washington (L, 5-7, Jr., University Place, WA - Curtis) averaged 8.50 digs - two more than her season average of 6.50 - as the Vikings won three of four matches at the Sonoma State Seawolf Invitational. Hutchinson had a total of 102 digs in 12 sets.
Week of Sept. 16-22: Offense - Sam Harthun, Alaska Fairbanks (OH, 6-0, So., Oregon City, OR) and Julia Mackey, Alaska Anchorage (OH, 5-11, So., Fairbanks, AK - West Valley) .... Harthun had a GNAC opening conference week high 31 kills and also hit for a .344 percentage, 140 points above her season average as the Nanooks split two matches. Harthun, who leads the GNAC on the season in kills (4.02) and service aces (0.53), had 18 kills and a .469 percentage in Thursday's 3-0 win over Montana State Billings. On the season, she has had three of the top five kill totals (19, 18 and 17) this fall in the GNAC ... Mackey had 13 kills in 20 attempts and didn't make an error as the Seawolves hit for a .437 percentage in a 3-0 win over MSU Billings. That was UAA's best percentage in a conference match in the 13-year history of the GNAC. Mackey finished the opening weekend with 26 kills and a .345 percentage as UAA swept a pair of matches. Defense - Taylor Roberts, Northwest Nazarene (L, 5-5, Jr., Nampa, ID) led the Crusaders, who have won five straight, to road wins at Saint Martin's and Western Oregon. Roberts had 50 digs as NNU held the Saints and Wolves to a combined .148 attack percentage.
Week of Sept. 23-29: Offense - Katelynn Zanders, Alaska Anchorage (OH, 5-9, So., Anchorage, AK - South) had 27 kills, 19 digs and five aces to lead the Seawolves to 3-1 road victories at Central Washington and Northwest Nazarene as the Seawolves improved to 4-0 in conference matches. Defense - Samantha Hutchinson, Western Washington (L, 5-7, Jr., University Place, WA - Curtis) and Quinn Barker, Alaska Anchorage (L, 5-5, Jr., Mission Viejo, CA - Central Arizona) ... Hutchinson had digs on 20 percent of MSU Billings and Seattle Pacific's attacks in a pair of 3-0 victories as the Vikings opened their conference season with two victories. She had a total of 54 in six sets (9.00), helping hold WWU's two opponents to a .099 hitting percentage ... Barker netted 41 digs and also had seven aces without a service error and just two reception errors in a pair of 3-1 road victories.
Sept. 30-Oct. 6: Offense - Keri Knight, Alaska Fairbanks (OH, 5-9, Sr., Arvada, CO) and Kristyn Ross, Saint Martin's (OH, 5-10, Jr., Olympia, WA - Capital) ... Knight had 26 kills and hit for a .357 percentage as the Nanooks earned a home split, defeating Western Oregon for the first time since 2009 and for the first time in Fairbanks since 2006. Over her last eight matches, Knight has raised her season attack percentage 125 points (from .066 to .193) ... Ross led Saint Martin's to its first conference road victory since early in the 2012 season as she tallied 26 kills in a pair of contests, including 15 in a 3-0 win at Fairbanks. She also had a team-high three service aces. Defense - Emily Boerger, Western Washington (MB, 6-1, Sr., Marysville, WA - Marysville-Pilchuck) had a team-high nine blocks as the Vikings held Northwest Nazarene and Central Washington to a combined .022 attack percentage in 3-0 victories. Boerger also had 19 kills and hit for a .483 percentage in the two wins.
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