No.12 Vikings travel to meet SPU and Central
Oct. 28, 2008
BELLINGHAM, Wash. -
The nationally ranked Western Washington University volleyball team (16-2, 8-2 GNAC) is on the road the next two weeks for four Great Northwest Athletic Conference matches. This week they travel to Seattle Pacific (4-16, 2-9 GNAC) on Thursday (7 p.m.) and Central Washington (15-8, 7-4 GNAC) on Saturday (7 p.m.).
Last week, the Vikings won a pair of league matches. They took just 67 minutes to sweep Montana State Billings on the road, then snapped league-leading (9-1) Western Oregon's 14-match winning streak in four sets at home.
Western remained No.12 in this week's American Volleyball Coaches Association/NCAA Division II Top 25. The Vikings had been ranked as high as No.3 after opening the season with 13 wins, the best start in school history.
Seattle Pacific has won just twice in its last 13 matches, but both of those victories came at home. The Falcons, who fell in four sets at Bellingham on Oct. 2, trail 34-20 in the series.
Central, which has won three of its last four matches, is 8-0 at home this season. The Wildcats, who lost in four sets at Bellingham on Sept. 25, trail 55-38-1 in the series.
Western, which reached the championship match at the 2007 NCAA II National Tournament, has lost just three times in its last 40 matches. The Vikings had a 21-match GNAC winning streak snapped at Alaska Fairbanks (3-2) on Oct. 11. Their back-to-back losses (dropped 3-2 decision at home to Northwest Nazarene on Oct. 16) were the first since the opening weekend of last season and they had not lost consecutive league matches since 2005. Western won 57 straight league matches from 2000 to 2004, the fourth-longest streak in NCAA II history.
TWO IN TOP 10
Gotz could give the Vikings their third straight national digs champion. Western All-American libero Courtney Schneider led NCAA II in digs the past two seasons with a 7.66 per set average in 2006 and an NCAA record 7.74 average in 2007.
Rice was Western's back-up setter the last two seasons.
WWU STAT LEADERS
Western leads the league in four of seven team statistical categories. The Vikings are first in hitting percentage (.238), assists (12.60), kills (13.60) and service aces (1.89). They are fourth in opponent hitting percentage (.122), fifth in digs (17.14) and sixth in blocks (1.76).
Senior middle blocker Angie Alvord paces the GNAC in three catagories, leading in attack percentage (.341), aces (0.54) and points (4.75). She also is sixth in blocks (0.86).
Rice tops the league in assists (11.59). Gotz is second in digs (6.16) and third in aces (0.41), and sophomore outside hitter Megan Amundson is third in kills (3.72).
CLOSING IN ON 200
Western head coach Diane Flick is 191-49 (.796) in her ninth season, just nine wins shy of 200. Flick earned AVCA Pacific Region and GNAC Coach of the Year honors in 2007. She has accumulated the most wins of any coach in school history and ranks among the top 10 nationally in winning percentage among NCAA II active coaches.
Alvord has twice been GNAC co-Player of the Week this season. Once following a 22-kill, seven-block performance versus Seattle Pacific and the other after having 41 kills and a .461 hitting percentage in four matches at the CSU Monterey Bay Otter Invitational.
Amundson has also received GNAC Player of the Week accolades this season. She was honored after having 86 kills and a .277 attack percentage at the Minnesota-Duluth Classic.
Both Alvord and Amundson were all-tourney picks at the Minnesota-Duluth Classic.
Western is the defending league champion, winning the GNAC title four times in the last seven years.
HOME SWEET HOME
The Vikings have been virtually unbeatable on Haggen Court at Sam Carver Gymnasium since Diane Flick became head coach in 2000. During that stretch, playing on the only SportCourt surface in the GNAC, they are 79-7 (.919) in 86 home matches.
Overall, Western is 194-73 (.727) in 267 contests at Carver Gym and the Vikings are 5-1 at home this season.
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