GNAC-leading WWU travels to Western Oregon and Saint Martin's
Oct. 22, 2012
BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Looking to extend a seven-match winning streak, all of them sweeps, the nationally ranked and league-leading Western Washington University volleyball team takes to the road this week for two Great Northwest Athletic Conference matches, traveling to Western Oregon on Thursday (7 p.m.), Oct. 25, and to Saint Martin's on Saturday (7 p.m.), Oct. 27.
The Vikings, who climbed three spots to a season-high No.12 in this week's American Volleyball Coaches Association NCAA Division II Top 25 Poll, are 17-2 overall and in first place in the GNAC standings at 10-1 after sweeping two home matches last week. Those victories were over No.21 Central Washington, snapping the Wildcats' nine-match victory string, and Northwest Nazarene.
Senior outside hitter Marlayna Geary (Tacoma/Bellarmine) ranks 10th nationally among Division II statistical leaders in kills (4.29 per set, 279) and ninth in points (4.92). She leads the GNAC in each category, while also being third in service aces (26, 0.40), seventh in attack percentage (.308) and 12th in digs (199, 3.06).
Geary moved into second place among WWU career leaders in kills early in the Northwest Nazarene match, increasing her total to 1,237. The school record of 1,379 is held by Meghan Evoy (2001-04).
Sophomore middle blocker Kayla Erickson (Gig Harbor/Peninsula), who was honored as the Red Lion/GNAC Defensive Player of the Week, is second among GNAC leaders in both kill percentage (.358) and blocks (1.06, 69), fifth in points (3.88, 252) and sixth in kills (3.26, 212).
Head coach Diane Flick's (13th year, 266-72) Vikings have three players leading the GNAC and ranked among the top 10 national leaders. They are senior setter Laurie Yearout (Spokane/Lewis & Clark), third in assists (12.25, 796); sophomore libero Samantha Hutchinson (University Place/Curtis), sixth in digs (6.17, 401); and Geary. Yearout ranks fourth among WWU career leaders with 2,783 assists.
WWU ranks among the top 10 nationally and leads the GNAC in three team statistical categories, being seventh in hitting percentage (.277), eighth in assists (13.60) and 13th in kills (14.15). The Vikings also top the league in digs (17.14).
Western Oregon is 14-5 overall and 7-3 in conference play. The Wolves, 8-2 at home, are working on a three-match winning streak and coming off a sweep in Alaska.
WOU's Krissi Kemper leads the GNAC in attack percentage at .413 and Becky Blees in blocks at 1.31, and Danielle Reese in second in kills at 4.24. The Wolves top the conference in blocks (2.42) and service aces (1.74) and are second in attack percentage (.243).
WWU holds a 27-13 series advantage, winning the last seven meetings. The Vikings won in three sets on Sept. 29 at Bellingham.
Saint Martin's, which hosts Simon Fraser on Thursday, is 4-11 overall and 2-8 in league action, losing its last six straight.
WWU has won the last 27 meetings with the Saints and has a 48-5 series lead. The Vikings swept SMU at Bellingham on Sept. 27.
The Vikings have won their last 11 home matches and are 6-0 at Carver Gym this season. The Vikings are 24-1 at home since late in 2009.
WWU has a winning percentage of .902 (111-12) at home after going to a SportCourt surface in 2000 and is 226-78 overall (74.3 percent) overall at Carver Gym.
NOTES: The Vikings were the preseason favorite in the GNAC Coaches' Poll ... Geary has twice been named GNAC Offensive Player of the Week this season. Hutchinson is a two-time Defensive POW and Erickson has earned Offensive and Defensive POW accolades ... Geary has posted 13 double-doubles this season in digs and kills ... 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. That performance earned them GNAC Team of the Week honors ... Geary was the MVP in both tournaments. Yearout earned all-tourney honors in both, and Hutchinson was all-tourney in the WOU Invitational ... This season, WWU had its first sweep of a road trip to Alaska since 2007 with three-set wins at Alaska Fairbanks and Alaska Anchorage. The victory at UAA snapped the Seawolves' eight-match winning streak and ended their 35-match string of not being swept at home that dated back to Sept. 18, 2009 ... WWU's only two setbacks have come on the road. The Vikings lost in five sets at No.23 Sonoma State on Sept. 7 and fell in four sets at Central Washington on Sept. 22.
Great Northwest Athletic Conference
2012 Volleyball Week #8 (Oct. 23, 2012)
Conf. All W L W L H A N Western Washington 10 1 17 2 6-0 5-1 6-1 Central Washington 9 2 15 5 5-0 5-4 5-1 Alaska Anchorage 8 3 13 6 9-2 3-2 1-2 Western Oregon 7 3 14 5 8-2 6-3 0-0 Seattle Pacific 6 4 9 10 3-2 4-5 2-3 MSU Billings 5 5 8 10 3-2 2-6 3-2 Northwest Nazarene 3 8 10 12 3-3 4-6 3-3 Saint Martin's 2 8 4 11 1-3 3-8 0-0 Alaska Fairbanks 2 9 4 13 4-5 0-8 0-0 Simon Fraser 1 10 4 14 2-7 1-5 1-2
LAST WEEK: Thursday - Saint Martin's 1 at Alaska Anchorage 3 (23-25, 25-13, 25-18, 25-15); Western Oregon 3 at Alaska Fairbanks 1 (20-25, 26-24, 29-27, 25-20); Central Washington 0 at Western Washington 3 (25-19, 25-20, 25-18); Northwest Nazarene 2 at Simon Fraser 3 (25-20, 25-27, 25-23, 23-25, 15-11) Saturday - Western Oregon 3 at Alaska Anchorage 0 (25-23, 25-19, 25-21); Saint Martin's 0 at Alaska Fairbanks 3 (25-19, 25-20, 26-24); Central Washington 3 at Simon Fraser 2 (25-21, 21-25, 25-18, 23-25, 17-15); MSU Billings 0 at Seattle Pacific 3 (25-10, 25-17, 25-13); Northwest Nazarene 0 at Western Washington 3 (25-10, 25-10, 25-16).
THIS WEEK: Tuesday - Saint Martin's at Pacific Lutheran. Thursday - MSU Billings at Central Washington; Seattle Pacific at Northwest Nazarene; Simon Fraser at Saint Martin's; Western Washington at Western Oregon. Saturday - Alaska Anchorage at Alaska Fairbanks; Seattle Pacific at Central Washington; MSU Billings at Northwest Nazarene; Western Washington at Saint Martin's; Simon Fraser at Western Oregon.
NEXT WEEK: Tuesday - Central Washington at Walla Walla. Thursday - Alaska Anchorage at Western Washington; Alaska Fairbanks at Simon Fraser; Western Oregon at MSU Billings; Saint Martin's at Seattle Pacific. Friday - Northwest Nazarene at Walla Walla, 2 p.m. Saturday - Alaska Anchorage at Simon Fraser; Alaska Fairbanks at Western Washington; Northwest Nazarene at Central Washington; Saint Martin's at MSU Billings; Western Oregon at Seattle Pacific, 2 p.m.
POLLS: AVCA (Oct. 22) - 12. Western Washington; 22. Central Washington.
NCAA NATIONAL STATISTICS (Through Oct. 21): Team (Top 30): Assists - 8. Western Washington 13.60. Blocks - 15. Western Oregon 2.42. Hitting PCT. - 7. Western Washington .277; 30. Western Oregon .243. Kills - 13. Western Washington 14.15. Individuals (Top 30): Assists - 3. Laurie Yearout, WWU, 12.25; 18. Kimya Jafroudi, UAA, 10.91. Blocks - 15. Becky Blees, WOU, 1.31. Digs - 6. Samantha Hutchinson, WWU, 6.17; 8. Erin Compton, MSUB, 5.80; 28. Kaely Kight, CWU, 5.08. Hitting PCT. - 3 Krissi Kemper, WOU, .413; 27. Kayla Erickson, WWU, .358; 28. Erin Smith, CWU, .358. Kills - 10. Marlayna Geary, WWU, 4.29; 24. Cailin Fellows, SPU, 3.85. Points - 9. Marlayna Geary, WWU, 4.92.
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 - Sam Harthun, Alaska Fairbanks (OH, 6-0, Fr., Oregon City, OR) and Samantha Ward, Western Oregon (OH, 6-1, Sr., Salem, OR - West Salem)... Harthun had 36 kills, three service aces and 18 digs and hit for a .413 percentage (36-5-75) as the Nanooks split two matches. In a 3-0 sweep of Saint Martin's she finished with a match-best 18 kills hitting a career-high .654 (18-1-26). Her hitting percentage was only .079 off the GNAC record (min. 18 kills). She also accrued two service aces to help the Nanooks to their first straight-set win since Oct. 9, 2010 when it swept Central Washington ... Ward shared the Red Lion Offensive Player of the Week award with Harthun producing a team-high 34 kills and hitting for a .413 percentage in wins at UAF and Alaska Anchorage. She had 21 kills and 10 digs and hit .487 against the Nanooks, then led all players with 13 kills in the Wolves' sweep at Alaska Anchorage. Defense - Kayla Erickson, Western Washington (MB, 6-0, So., Gig Harbor, WA - Peninsula) had 10 blocks as the Vikings swept Central Washington and Northwest Nazarene extending their win streak to seven, all 3-0 sweeps. Erickson also had 15 kills and four digs in her Red Lion Defensive Player of the Week performance. The Vikings held their two opponents to a combined hitting percentage of .078. Honorable Mention - Marlayna Geary, Western Washington; Erin Smith, Central Washington; Kristyn Ross, Saint Martin's; Jessica Young, Simon Fraser.
GEARY MOVES UP KILL CHART: Western Washington outside hitter Marlayna Geary had 23 kills in the Vikings' sweeps of Central Washington and Northwest Nazarene increasing her career total to 1,237. She ranks 11th in GNAC history and needs just 18 more to crack the Top 10. She is second all-time in Viking school history. Geary hit for a .294 percentage and also had 25 digs and a team-best five service aces.
YOUNG, HAIT LEAD CLAN TO FIRST CONFERENCE WIN: Jessica Young had 40 kills and Madeline Hait had 26 kills and 19 blocks as Simon Fraser ended a 15-match conference losing streak with a 3-2 win against Northwest Nazarene. The Clan then forced nationally-ranked Central Washington to five sets before losing 17-15.
AROUND THE GNAC: Katelyn Zanders had 24 kills and Julia Mackey had 21 as Alaska Anchorage split two home matches ... Marcy Hjellum led Central Washington with 34 kills and also had 31 digs and Erin Smith had 26 kills and a team-high eight blocks as the Wildcats split two road matches ... Jessica Miller and Cailin Fellows each had 10 kills in Seattle Pacific's sweep of Montana State Billings. Miller, who hit at a .500 clip (10-1-18), also had five blocks.
MORE GNAC NOTES: Northwest Nazarene's Michelle Terpstra had 23 kills, 45 assists and 20 digs in a pair of matches ... Kristyn Ross had 15 kills and hit for a .538 percentage in Saint Martin's loss at Alaska Fairbanks. Ross finished the two-match Alaska trip with 22 kills and 20 digs.
GNAC 45-35 IN NON-CONFERENCE: GNAC teams have posted a winning record during the non-conference portion of its schedule posting a 45-35 record. The GNAC had a winning record (13-12) against the CCAA, but ended up just 9-15 against the Pac West. Just four matches remain on the non-conference slate. Central Washington plays at Walla Walla on Oct. 30 and Northwest Nazarene plays at Walla Walla on Nov. 2. Saint Martin's visits Pacific Lutheran Tuesday. Simon Fraser hosts Douglas Nov. 13 in a makeup of a contest postponed earlier this season.
VIKINGS FINISH 7-1 IN NON-CONFERENCE: 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 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.
Week of Sept. 17-23: 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. Dolan had 16 kills and hit for a .481 percentage as the Wildcats stopped archrival 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 also had a .412 hitting percentage (8-1-17) in the two wins.
Week of Sept. 24-30: Offense - Kayla Erickson, Western Washington (MB, 6-0, So., Gig Harbor, WA) had 24 kills in two matches, including the match-winner as the Vikings handed Western Oregon its first conference loss. Erickson, who hit for a .388 percentage, also had five blocks. She had 11 kills and a team-high three blocks against the Wolves. Defense - Marcy Hjellum, Central Washington (OH, 5-11, Sr., Kennewick, WA - Kamiakin) led Central Washington offensively with 39 kills and defensively with 36 digs as the Wildcats ran their win streak to five with road victories at Seattle Pacific and Montana State Billings. Hjellum also hit for a team high .270 percentage, 94 points better than CWU's team percentage of .176 in the two matches.
Week of Oct. 1-7: Offense - Megan Morrison, Alaska Fairbanks (OH, 5-11, Fr., Spring Hill, FL - Springstead) tallied 20 kills and hit for a .269 percentage as the Nanooks split two matches to end a 10-match losing streak. Entering this week's matches, Morrison, who also had nine blocks, only had 10 kills on the year and her week's hitting percentage was nearly 300 points better than her season average. She also doubled her season's blocks total as well. In Saturday's win against Simon Fraser, Morrison had 15 kills, seven blocks and a .353 hitting percentage. Defense - Shelby Swanson, Seattle Pacific (S, 5-9, Sr., Kennewick, WA) had 36 assists and 18 digs earning her third consecutive double-double as Seattle Pacific swept Western Oregon on the Wolves' court. She also recorded 31 assists in Saturday's three-set victory at Saint Martin's as the Falcons posted back-to-back sweeps for the first time this season. Swanson, who is averaging 10.33 assists per set this season, now has 3,264 career assists, which ranks eighth in GNAC history. She also has seven double-doubles this season and 24 in her career.
Week of Oct. 8-14: Offense - Catie Fry, Central Washington (S, 6-0, Fr., Tacoma, WA - Mt. Si) averaged 11.6 assists leading the Wildcats to a pair of 3-0 win against Western Oregon and Saint Martin's. Fry, the Red Lion Offensive Player of the Week award winner, also had a team-high five service aces, 13 digs and four blocks as the Wildcats ran their win streak to nine matches finishing the first half of the conference season in a tie for first-place with Western Washington. Defense - Kimya Jafroudi, Alaska Anchorage (S, 5-7, Sr., Huntington Beach, CA) led the Seawolves both offensively and defensively to a pair of road wins at Seattle Pacific and Montana State Billings. Jafroudi, the Red Lion Defensive Player of the Week award winner, had 22 digs and four blocks on defense. Offensively, she earned 82 assists and also had three service 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). Sept. 24-30 - Central Washington (Football). Oct. 1-7 - Western Oregon (Women's Soccer). Oct. 8-14 - Simon Fraser (Men's Soccer). Oct. 15-21 - Alaska Anchorage (Men's & Women's Cross Country).
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