Vikings need one win to clinch second straight GNAC crown

WWUVIKINGSDOTCOM Taylor Dillard
WWUVIKINGSDOTCOM
Taylor Dillard
WWUVIKINGSDOTCOM

Nov. 19, 2013

AVCA NCAA II Top 25 Poll Get Acrobat Reader

BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Needing one victory to clinch a second straight conference title, the Western Washington University volleyball team ends its regular season with two Great Northwest Athletic Conference matches against Simon Fraser University, traveling to Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, Nov. 21 (7 p.m.), and playing host to the Clan on Saturday, Nov. 23 (7 p.m.) at Sam Carver Gymnasium on the WWU campus.

The home match with Simon Fraser will be the last for one Viking senior, middle blocker Emily Boerger (Marysville/Marysville-Pilchuck), who has four-year career totals of 480 kills and 215 blocks. An anthropology and biology major with a 3.89 grade point average (4.0 scale), she earned CoSIDA Capital One Academic All-District honors.

THE LAST MEETING
Simon Fraser0
Western Washington3
November 10, 2012
BELLINGHAM
WWU vanquishes Simon Fraser in three sets, clinch tie for GNAC title
Nationally ranked Western Washington University reached regular-season home perfection for the second time in three years as it swept Simon Fraser University, 25-6, 25-16, 25-15, in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference volleyball match Saturday night at Sam Carver Gymnasium on the WWU campus.

WWU, which holds the advantage in every tie-breaking scenario, has a one-match lead in the GNAC at 14-2 and is 21-3 overall with 18 sweeps.

The Vikings remained at No.10 for the fourth straight week in the American Volleyball Coaches Association/NCAA Division II Top 25 Poll released Monday, Nov. 18. They have been ranked as high as No.7 this season.

WWU, which is working on a seven-match winning streak for the third time this season, was No.5 in last week's NCAA II West Region Poll.

Last week, the Vikings won both matches on a road trip to Alaska, 3-1 over Alaska Anchorage and 3-0 over Alaska Fairbanks to earn GNAC Team of the Week honors. The win at UAA gave WWU sole possession of the conference lead.

Setter Taylor Dillard (Jr., Milton/Fife) was named GNAC Offensive co-Player of the Week. In the two victories, she had 81 assists, helping WWU hit .362; nine digs, seven block assists and five kills.

Dillard ranks 10th nationally among NCAA II statistics leaders in assists per set at11.66. She has helped WWU to a .276 attack percentage, which ranks sixth in the country.

Libero Samantha Hutchinson (Jr., University Place/Curtis), who has earned GNAC Defensive Player of the Week honors three times this season, is second nationally in digs per set at 6.82. She ranks third among WWU career leaders in digs with 1,602.

Last year, Hutchinson was a second-team American Volleyball Coaches Association All-American and finished No.5 nationally in digs, averaging 6.41.

Middle blocker Kayla Erickson (Jr., Gig Harbor) ranks fourth nationally in attack percentage at .394 and currently tops school career leaders in attack percentage at .366. She is 22nd nationally in blocks per set (1.22).

Besides ranking sixth nationally in attack percentage (.276), the Vikings areninth in digs per set (18.81), 13th in kills per set (14.09), 14th in assists per set (13.11) and 23rd in blocks per set (2.34).

WWU is holding opponents to .124 hitting and has a 185.0 to 88.0 advantage in blocks.

WWU, directed by seven-time GNAC Coach of the Year Diane Flick (14th year, 294-77), has five players averaging over two kills per set. They are Erickson 3.62, outside hitter Kelsey Moore (Jr., Bellevue/Newport) 2.88, opposite-side hitter Jennica McPherson (So., Seattle/Kennedy) 2.62, outside hitter Rachel Roeder (So., Sammamish/Issaquah) 2.16, and Boerger 2.14.

McPherson also is averaging 2.66 digs and has served a team-leading 29 aces. WWU leads the GNAC in hitting percentage, opponent attack percentage, assists, kills and digs.

Erickson is the conference leader in hitting percentage with Boerger second and Roeder fourth. Other league leaders for the Vikings are Dillard in assists, McPherson in aces and Hutchinson in digs. Erickson also is second in points (4.35), and fourth in both kills and blocks.

Simon Fraser is 11-11 overall and 6-10 in conference matches. The Clan is 9-5 at home this season. Leading the team are Kelsey Robinson, who ranks third among GNAC kill leaders at 3.63, and Alanna Chan, who is second in aces at 0.37.

The Vikings have a 57-32 series advantage, winning the last six meetings.

WWU opened its season with seven straight wins before losing in four games to No.24 Sonoma State, then won its next seven for a 14-1 start.

Other West Region teams ranked nationally, besides WWU, were No.4 BYU Hawaii, No.12 UC San Diego, No.14 Cal State San Bernardino, and No.15 Sonoma State.

NOTES: The NCAA II selection show will air Monday, Nov. 25, at 4:30 p.m. ... WWU is 6-2 at home this season, having a 17-match home court winning streak snapped on Oct. 19 in a five-game loss to Alaska Anchorage. They are 120-14 at Carver Gym since going to a SportCourt surface in 2000 ... 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 ... This fall, 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 ... Hutchinson has been a GNAC Defensive POW three times this season ... Erickson received GNAC Offensive POW honors for Sept. 1-7, Moore was the GNAC Offensive POW for Oct. 27-Nov. 2, and Boerger was the GNAC Defensive POW for Sept. 29-Oct. 5 ... Boerger and Erickson were both Sonoma State all-tourney picks.

Volleyball: Vikings One Win Away From NCAA Berth, Four GNAC Teams in Regional Top 10

PORTLAND, Ore. - Western Washington needs just one win or one Alaska Anchorage loss in its final two contests to clinch at least a tie for the GNAC title and the conference's automatic berth in the NCAA regionals, which begin Thursday, Dec. 5.

The Vikings, who are ranked fifth in this week's NCAA Division II West Regional poll, play at Simon Fraser (11-11, 6-10) Thursday before hosting the Clan Saturday. SFU has been the most improved team in the GNAC this fall nearly tripling its 2012 win total when it finished with a record of 4-22.

WWU (21-3) takes a 14-2 conference record and a one-match lead over second-place Alaska Anchorage (19-9, 13-3) into the week. WWU, however, controls all the tiebreakers to determine the automatic berth based on its two wins against third-place Northwest Nazarene (16-6, 12-4) and its 5-4 set advantage in its two matches with UAA.

UAA, NNU and Central Washington (13-11, 9-7) all hope to get at-large berths to the eight-team regional tournament. The Seawolves are ranked seventh this week and the Crusaders are eighth. The Wildcats are ranked ninth and will have to move up to make the playoffs.

The tournament field - five at-large teams will join the GNAC, PacWest and CCCA champions - will be announced Monday at 4:30 p.m. Pacific on a webcast on ncaa.com. Western Washington will take a No. 10 national ranking into Thursday's contest at Simon Fraser.

Elsewhere Thursday, Alaska Anchorage will hope to keep alive its conference championship hopes when it heads to Billings to face MSU Billings (6-19, 3-13). Alaska Fairbanks (4-23, 3-13) will play at Seattle Pacific (14-10, 1-6), Saint Martin's (7-21, 3-13) visits Central Washington and Western Oregon (10-16, 7-9) plays at Northwest Nazarene.

On Saturday, WWU will host Simon Fraser, UAA will play at Seattle Pacific, Alaska Fairbanks is at MSU Billings, Central Washington entertains Western Oregon and Saint Martin's closes out its season at Northwest Nazarene.

POLLS: AVCA (Nov. 18) - 10. Western Washington. NCAA West Regional (Nov. 20) - 1. UC San Diego (23-3); 2. BYU-Hawaii (23-1); 3. CSU San Bernardino (22-5); 4. Sonoma State (23-5); 5. Western Washington (21-3); 6. Dixie State (17-9); 7. Alaska Anchorage (19-9); 8. Northwest Nazarene (16-6); 9. Central Washington (13-11); 10. Cal Baptist (17-11). (Note: Records are versus Division II opponents)

Hutchinson Still Second in Digs in NCAA National Statistical Report

Samantha Hutchinson of Western Washington maintained her No. 2 national ranking in this week's NCAA Division II report. The WWU libero is averaging 6.82 per set.

The Vikings' Kayla Erickson and Taylor Dillard also maintained their No. 10 rankings; Erickson is fourth in hitting percentage (.394) and Dillard ranks 10th in assists (11.66).

Also in the Top 10 is Nikki Lowell of Seattle Pacific, this week's GNAC Red Lion Defensive Player of the Week. Lowell ranks ninth in blocks, averaging 1.33 per set. She is the GNAC's all-time No. 2 producer in total blocks with 411. Outside hitter Sam Harthun of Alaska Fairbanks ranks sixth in kills (4.46) and seventh in points (4.94).

In team categories, Western Washington ranks sixth in hitting percentage (.276) and ninth in digs (18.81). Seattle Pacific is ninth in blocks (2.54).

NCAA NATIONAL STATISTICS (Through Nov. 17): Individuals (Top 30): Points - 7. Sam Harthun, UAF, 4.94; 28. Kayla Erickson, WWU, 4.35. Kills - 6. Sam Harthun, UAF, 4.46. Hitting Percentage - 4. Kayla Erickson, WWU, .394. Assists - 10. Taylor Dillard, WWU, 11.66; 30. Catie Fry, CWU, 10.65. Blocks - 9. Nikki Lowell, SPU, 1.33; 14. Andrea Terpstra, NNU, 1.29; 21. Jodi Huddleston, UAA, 1.22; 22. Kayla Erickson, WWU, 1.22. Digs - 2. Samantha Hutchinson, WWU, 6.82; 17. Kaely Kight, CWU, 5.53. Team (Top 30): Kills - 13. Western Washington 14.09. Hitting Percentage - 6. Western Washington .276. Assists - 14. Western Washington 13.11. Blocks - 9. Seattle Pacific 2.54; 22. Northwest Nazarene 2.37; 23. Western Washington 2.34; 27. Alaska Anchorage 2.31. Digs - 9. Western Washington 18.81.

RED LION PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: Offense - Taylor Dillard, Western Washington (S, 5-8, Jr., Milton, WA - Fife) and Michelle Terpstra, Northwest Nazarene (S, 5-9, Jr., Ripon, CA) ... Setters Dillard and Terpstra each had 48 assists in 3-1 wins over regionally-ranked teams. Dillard had 81 assists in seven sets including 48 in Thursday's 3-1 win at No. 9 Alaska Anchorage, as the Vikings reduced their magic number to clinching the GNAC's automatic berth in the NCAA West Regionals to one. Dillard's setting helped the Vikings hit .362 including .467 (46-3-92) in Saturday's 3-0 win at Fairbanks. Dillard also had nine digs, seven blocks and five kills. "We had great team hitting and even distribution," WWU coach Diane Flick said. Five different players had at least 14 kills for the Vikings ... Terpstra had 48 kills as NNU beat No. 6 Central Washington. She also had 11 digs, three blocks and three kills. Defense - Nikki Lowell, Seattle Pacific (MB, 5-10, Sr., Claremont, CA - Gonzaga) had 28 kills and 14 blocks to join both the 1,000 kill and 400 block club in road wins at Saint Martin's and Western Oregon. Lowell, who hit at a .423 clip (28-6-52), improved her career totals to 1.027 and 411, respectively. She ranks second in the latter category on the GNAC all-time career list. Honorable Mention - Julia Wabinga, Saint Martin's (OH, 5-8, So., Olympia, WA - North Thurston); Emily Boerger, Western Washington (MB, 6-1, Sr., Marysville, WA - Pilchuck); Taylor Roberts, Northwest Nazarene (L, 5-5, Jr., Nampa, ID); Linden Firethorne, Central Washington (OH. 6-0, So., Clinton, WA - South Whidbey); Kaitlin Quirk, Central Washington (MB, 6-1, So., Ellensburg, WA); Jordin Ramos, Western Oregon (S, 5-5, Jr., Makakilo, HI ); Megan Triggs, Western Oregon (DS, 5-6, Sr., Olympia, WA). FROM THE RECORD BOOK: Lowell (See Player of the Week notes) is the 30th player in GNAC history to record 1,000 kills and the third to reach 400 blocks. She ranks sixth in GNAC history in hitting percentage with a .310 average. Also in the Top 10 is Erin Smith of Central Washington who is currently ninth with a .291 percentage ... Lowell trails Becky Blees of Western Oregon for first place on the GNAC all-time blocking assist lead by three. Blees has 376 and Lowell has 373. Blees also ranks first in blocks per set with a 1.07 average ... Saint Martin's Kristyn Ross has 971 career points and need 29 more to become the 52nd player in GNAC history to reach 1,000 in that category.

TEAM NOTES

Alaska Anchorage: Katelyn Zanders had 37 kills and hit for a .325 percentage as the Seawolves split two matches. Brooke Pottle had 16 kills and Sarah Johnson had 15. Quinn Barker had 39 digs and Erin Braun had 12 blocks.

Alaska Fairbanks: Sam Harthun had 42 kills including 23 against Simon Fraser. Katelyn Camp was credited with 84 assists (12.00 per set). Samantha Hesterman earned 29 digs.

Central Washington: Linden Firestone had 17 kills and Kaitlin Quirk had nine blocks and nine kills in CWU's four-set loss at Northwest Nazarene. Kailey Kight was credited with 27 digs.

MSU Billings: Monica Grimsrud had 42 kills including 22 against Western Oregon and 20 at Saint Martin's as the Yellowjackets won their first match in 11 contests on their opponents' home court this season. Chelsey Walter led the MSUB defense with 11 blocks. She also had 24 kills.

Northwest Nazarene: The Crusaders, who have won eight of their last 10 contests to match Western Washington's during that stretch, got a team-high 20 kills from Andrea Terpstra and 19 digs from Taylor Roberts in a 3-1 home win against Central Washington. She also led NNU with seven blocks. NNU overcame a 23-20 deficit to beat CWU 26-24 in the third set before winning the decisive fourth set 25-21.

Saint Martin's: Julia Wabinga had 26 kills including 18 against Seattle Pacific as she hit for a .324 percentage against the Falcons. Brooke Good had 23 kills and Kristyn Ross had 20 kills and 31 digs. Maddie Knecht led SMU at the net with 11 blocks.

Seattle Pacific: Madi Cavell had 39 kills and 19 digs in the Falcons' two road victories. Nikki Lowell had 28 kills, including the match-winner in a 3-2 win at Western Oregon.

Simon Fraser: Madeline Hait had 16 kills and didn't commit an error in 27 swings in the Clan's 3-1 win at Fairbanks. She also had four blocks. Hait finished SFU's two-match road trip with team-highs for kills (22) and blocks (4). Kelsey Robinson had 20 kills and Alanna Chan had 22 digs.

Western Oregon: Five different players had between 18 and 20 kills as the Wolves split two matches. Cherene O'Hara and Hannah Deede had 20 each. Lani Kalalau contributed 19 and Krissi Kemper and Becky Blees each had 18. Setter Jordin Ramos had 49 assists, 25 in a 3-2 win over Montana State Billings. Megan Triggs led the Wolf defense with 42 digs. After beating MSU Billings 3-1, the Wolves lost in five sets to Seattle Pacific, falling to 3-7 in five-set matches this season. That is the fifth highest number of five-setters in a season in GNAC history. Alaska Anchorage played a record 12 in 2003, winning seven.

Western Washington: Emily Boerger led the Vikings with 12 blocks and also had 14 kills in a pair of wins in Alaska. WWU was also led by Jennica McPherson with 22 kills (.396) and Kayla Erickson with 21 (.425 percentage). The Vikings, who have had three seven-match winning streaks in compiling a 21-3 overall record, improved to 18-0 in three-set matches with Saturday's win at Fairbanks.

41 on GNAC Volleyball All-Academic Team

PORTLAND, Ore. - A total of 41 student-athletes have been named to the 2013 Great Northwest Athletic Conference Academic All-Conference volleyball team.

Leading the academic team with perfect 4.00 GPAs are Alaska Anchorage sophomore Sarah Johnson and Saint Martin's sophomore Carrie Starbuck. Johnson is a nursing major, while Starbuck is studying business.

Eighteen of the student-athletes are repeat selections from a year ago including six who were selected to the team for the third time. Those include Siobhan Johansen of Alaska Anchorage, Keri Knight of Alaska Fairbanks, Erin Smith of Central Washington, Taylor Adams of MSU Billings, Becky Blees of Western Oregon and Emily Boerger of Western Washington. Both Boerger and Adams have 3.89 GPAs.

To be eligible for the academic team, student-athletes must have a minimum grade point average of 3.20 and be in at least their second year of competition at their university.

GNAC Volleyball Academic All-Conference Team

**Siobhan Johansen, UAA (English, Sr., 3.64, Palmer, AK)
Jodi Huddleston, UAA (History, Sr., 3.22, Scottsbluff, NE)
Sarah Johnson, UAA (Nursing, So., 4.00, Anchorage, AK)
**Keri Knight, UAF (Business Administration, Sr., 3.86, Arvada, CO)
Kylie Dickerson, UAF (Business Administration, So., 3.66, Fairbanks, AK)
Sam Harthun, UAF (Art, So., 3.48, Oregon City, OR)
Samantha Hesterman, UAF (Social Work, So., 3.21, Ormiston, SK)
Linden Firethorne, CWU (Undeclared, 3.91, So., Clinton, WA)
**Erin Smith, CWU (Physical Education & School Health, Sr., 3.73, Selah, WA)
*Lauren Herseth, CWU (Physical Education & School Health, Jr., 3.70, Olympia, WA)
Zoe Iida, CWU (Clinical Physiology, So., 3.66, Bothell, WA)
Rachel Hanses, CWU (Food Science & Nutrition, So., 3.51, Yakima, WA)
*Julie Hulbert, CWU (Food Science & Nutrition, Jr., 3.42, LaConner, WA)
*Kaely Kight, CWU (Business Administration, Jr., 3.36, Spokane, WA)
**Taylor Adams, MSUB (Health & Human Performance, Sr., 3.89, Anchorage, AK)
Juliana Evola, MSUB (Special Education, Sr., 3.72, Portland, OR)
Krista Norris, MSUB (Special Education, Jr., 3.22, Avon, CO)
Chelsey Walter, MSUB (Health & Human Performance, Jr., 3.21, Billings, MT)
Kyndal Williams, MSUB (Rehabilitation & Related Services, So., 3.66, Helena, MT)
Linnea Phillips, NNU (Nursing, So., 3.96, Yakima, WA)
Elayna Rice, NNU (Kinesiology, So., 3.35, Billings, MT)
*Rebecca TenHaken, NNU (Communication Science, So.,  3.33, Happy Valley, OR)
Taylor VanValey, NNU (Social Work, So., 3.24, Brush Prairie, WA)
Carrie Starbuck, SMU (Business, So., 4.00, Lynden, WA)
*Kristyn Ross, SMU (Biology, Jr., 3.74, Olympia, WA)
*Halee Hernandez, SMU (Education, Jr., 3.41, Olympia, WA)
Nicole Schwend, SPU (Accounting, Sr., 3.78, Oregon City, OR)
Madi Cavell, SPU (English, Jr., 3.74, Keizer, OR)
Brianna Leenders, SPU (Nursing, Jr., 3.68, Portland, OR)
Jessica Miller, SPU (Global Development, Jr., 3.57, Fife, WA)
*Nikki Lowell, SPU (Business Administration, Sr., 3.55, Claremont, CA)
Ellie Britt, SPU (Fashion Merchandising, So., 3.55, Orange, CA)
*Kelsey Robinson, SFU (Biological Sciences, Jr, 3.87,  Surrey, BC)
*Madeleine Hait, SFU (Business, Jr, 3.58, Burnaby, BC)
*Alanna Chan, SFU (Communications, Jr, 3.32, Port Moody, BC)
**Becky Blees, WOU (Criminal Justice, Sr., 3.43, Portland, OR)
Kelsie Christensen, WOU (Community Health Education, So., 3.40, Happy Valley, OR)
Megan Triggs, WOU (Community Health Education, Sr., 3.24, Olympia, WA)
**Emily Boerger, WWU (Anthropology & Biology, Sr., 3.89, Marysville, WA)
*Kelsey Moore, WWU (Psychology, Jr., 3.42, Bellevue, WA)
*Kayla Erickson, WWU (Business Administration-Management Concepts, Jr., 3.31, Gig Harbor, WA)
Great Northwest Athletic Conference

2013 Volleyball Report No. 13 (Nov. 20, 2013)

                    Conf.		All
                   W	L	W	L	H	A	N

Western Washington 14 2 21 3 6-2 8-1 7-0 Alaska Anchorage 13 3 19 9 10-4 8-3 1-2 Northwest Nazarene 12 4 16 6 5-2 8-3 3-1 Seattle Pacific 10 6 14 10 4-3 7-4 3-3 Central Washington 9 7 13 11 5-2 5-6 3-3 Western Oregon 7 9 10 16 7-8 3-4 0-4 Simon Fraser 6 10 11 11 9-5 2-6 0-0 Saint Martin's 3 13 7 21 3-8 3-8 1-5 MSU Billings 3 13 6 19 3-5 1-10 2-4 Alaska Fairbanks 3 13 4 23 2-10 2-11 0-2

LAST WEEK: Thursday - Western Washington 3 at Alaska Anchorage 1 (22-25, 25-17, 25-15, 25-15); Simon Fraser 3 at Alaska Fairbanks 1 (25-23, 14-25, 25-21, 25-22); MSU Billings 1 at Western Oregon 3 (25-20, 30-28, 21-25, 25-21); Seattle Pacific 3 at Saint Martin's 1 (18-25, 25-16, 25-20, 25-20). Saturday - Simon Fraser 0 at Alaska Anchorage 3 (26-24, 25-11, 25-10); Western Washington 3 at Alaska Fairbanks 0 (25-10, 25-19, 25-19); Central Washington 1 at Northwest Nazarene 3 (12-25, 25-21, 26-24, 25-21); MSU Billings 3 at Saint Martin's 1 (25-18, 27-29, 25-21, 25-18; at Black Hills HS); Seattle Pacific 3 at Western Oregon 2 (25-20, 23-25, 25-22, 23-25, 15-10).

THIS WEEK: Thursday - Alaska Anchorage at MSU Billings; Alaska Fairbanks at Seattle Pacific; Saint Martin's at Central Washington; Western Oregon at Northwest Nazarene; Western Washington at Simon Fraser. Saturday - Alaska Anchorage at Seattle Pacific; Alaska Fairbanks at MSU Billings; Western Oregon at Central Washington; Saint Martin's at Northwest Nazarene, 7:30 p.m.; Simon Fraser at Western Washington. (end-of-regular season)

NCAA NATIONAL STATISTICS (Through Nov. 17): Individuals (Top 30): Points - 7. Sam Harthun, UAF, 4.94; 28. Kayla Erickson, WWU, 4.35. Kills - 6. Sam Harthun, UAF, 4.46. Hitting Percentage - 4. Kayla Erickson, WWU, .394. Assists - 10. Taylor Dillard, WWU, 11.66; 30. Catie Fry, CWU, 10.65. Blocks - 9. Nikki Lowell, SPU, 1.33; 14. Andrea Terpstra, NNU, 1.29; 21. Jodi Huddleston, UAA, 1.22; 22. Kayla Erickson, WWU, 1.22. Digs - 2. Samantha Hutchinson, WWU, 6.82; 17. Kaely Kight, CWU, 5.53. Team (Top 30): Kills - 13. Western Washington 14.09. Hitting Percentage - 6. Western Washington .276. Assists - 14. Western Washington 13.11. Blocks - 9. Seattle Pacific 2.54; 22. Northwest Nazarene 2.37; 23. Western Washington 2.34; 27. Alaska Anchorage 2.31. Digs - 9. Western Washington 18.81.

POLLS: AVCA (Nov. 18) - 10. Western Washington. NCAA West Regional (Nov. 20) - 1. UC San Diego (23-3); 2. BYU-Hawaii (23-1); 3. CSU San Bernardino (22-5); 4. Sonoma State (23-5); 5. Western Washington (21-3); 6. Dixie State (17-9); 7. Alaska Anchorage (19-9); 8. Northwest Nazarene (16-6); 9. Central Washington (13-11); 10. Cal Baptist (17-11). (Note: Records are versus Division II opponents)

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.

RED LION PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: Offense - Taylor Dillard, Western Washington (S, 5-8, Jr., Milton, WA - Fife) and Michelle Terpstra, Northwest Nazarene (S, 5-9, Jr., Ripon, CA) ... Setters Dillard and Terpstra each had 48 assists in 3-1 wins over regionally-ranked teams. Dillard had 81 assists in seven sets including 48 in Thursday's 3-1 win at No. 9 Alaska Anchorage, as the Vikings reduced their magic number to clinching the GNAC's automatic berth in the NCAA West Regionals to one. Dillard's setting helped the Vikings hit .362 including .467 (46-3-92) in Saturday's 3-0 win at Fairbanks. Dillard also had nine digs, seven blocks and five kills. "We had great team hitting and even distribution," WWU coach Diane Flick said. Five different players had at least 14 kills for the Vikings ... Terpstra had 48 kills as NNU beat No. 6 Central Washington. She also had 11 digs, three blocks and three kills. Defense - Nikki Lowell, Seattle Pacific (MB, 5-10, Sr., Claremont, CA - Gonzaga) had 28 kills and 14 blocks to join both the 1,000 kill and 400 block club in road wins at Saint Martin's and Western Oregon. Lowell, who hit at a .423 clip (28-6-52), improved her career totals to 1.027 and 411, respectively. She ranks second in the latter category on the GNAC all-time career list. Honorable Mention - Julia Wabinga, Saint Martin's (OH, 5-8, So., Olympia, WA - North Thurston); Emily Boerger, Western Washington (MB, 6-1, Sr., Marysville, WA - Pilchuck); Taylor Roberts, Northwest Nazarene (L, 5-5, Jr., Nampa, ID); Linden Firethorne, Central Washington (OH. 6-0, So., Clinton, WA - South Whidbey); Kaitlin Quirk, Central Washington (MB, 6-1, So., Ellensburg, WA); Jordin Ramos, Western Oregon (S, 5-5, Jr., Makakilo, HI ); Megan Triggs, Western Oregon (DS, 5-6, Sr., Olympia, WA).

VIKINGS CONTROL THE TIEBREAKERS: Western Washington needs just one win or one Alaska Anchorage loss in its final two matches to clinch at least a tie for the GNAC title and the conference's automatic berth in the NCAA regionals, which begin Thursday, Dec. 5. In case of a tie, WWU controls all the tiebreakers to determine the automatic berth based on its two wins against Northwest Nazarene and its 5-4 set advantage in its two matches with UAA.

FROM THE RECORD BOOK: Lowell (See Player of the Week notes) is the 30th player in GNAC history to record 1,000 kills and the third to reach 400 blocks. She ranks sixth in GNAC history in hitting percentage with a .310 average. Also in the Top 10 is Erin Smith of Central Washington who is currently ninth with a .291 percentage ... Lowell trails Becky Blees of Western Oregon for first place on the GNAC all-time blocking assist lead by three. Blees has 376 and Lowell has 373. Blees also ranks first in blocks per set with a 1.07 average ... Saint Martin's Kristyn Ross has 971 career points and need 29 more to become the 52nd player in GNAC history to reach 1,000 in that category.

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). Oct. 14-20 - Western Oregon (women's soccer). Oct. 21-27 - Alaska Anchorage (cross country). Oct. 28-Nov. 3 - Simon Fraser (men's soccer). Nov. 4-10 - Seattle Pacific (women's soccer) and Alaska Anchorage (women's cross country).

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.

Week of Oct. 7-13: 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.

Week of Oct. 14-20: Offense - Katelynn Zanders, Alaska Anchorage (OH, 5-9, So., Anchorage, AK - South) and Sam Harthun, Alaska Fairbanks (OH, 6-0, So., Oregon City, OR) ... Zanders had 29 kills, including 22 in Saturday's five-set win over Western Washington, as the Seawolves snapped the Vikings' 17-match home win streak. Zanders hit .354 against WWU, which on the season is holding opponents to a .119 average. She also had 23 digs and five blocks in UAA's two road victories ... Harthun had a dominating performance despite two 3-0 losses, totaling 44 kills and 10 digs and hitting for a .356 percentage. Her 26 kills Saturday at Simon Fraser was just one kill was one off the GNAC record for most kills in a three-set match and is the most in the GNAC this fall in a match of any length. She also had a match-high 18 kills versus Western Washington. Defense - Larissa Hamilton, Saint Martin's (MB, 6-0, Fr., Vancouver, WA - Skyview) and Jackie Arnold, Seattle Pacific (MB, 5-11, So., Anaheim, CA - Canyon) ... Hamilton had 12 blocks in six sets and hit for a .444 percentage (10-2-18) as the Saints split two matches earning their third conference win of the season to match last year's victory total. Their win at Billings Thursday was their first-ever road victory against MSUB ... Arnold had 11 block assists, including a career-high nine in a five-set win over Western Oregon. Of the nine blocks against the Wolves, three came in the fourth set and three also came in the fifth set as SPU overcame a 2-1 deficit. She also had 19 kills, including 10 against WOU, hitting .333 (19-7-36). She posted a .533 percentage (9-1-15) in a sweep of Saint Martin's.

Week of Oct. 21-27: Offense - Madi Cavell, Seattle Pacific (MB, 6-0, Jr., Keizer, OR - McNary) had back-to-back career highs in leading the Falcons to road wins at Western Washington and Simon Fraser by 3-1 scores. After producing 22 kills including match point in a win against the nationally eighth-ranked Vikings, Cavell, who finished the weekend with 29 digs, had 24 more kills at Simon Fraser. "They had no answer for Madi," SPU head coach Chris Johnson said after Saturday's win. "They couldn't stop her. She only got blocked once and was just overpowering everyone." Defense - Erin Smith, Central Washington (MB, 5-10, Sr., Selah, WA) had nine blocks in seven sets increasing her career total to 303. She also added 20 kills, hitting .447 as the Wildcats earned a sweep in Alaska, defeating Alaska Fairbanks 3-1 and Alaska Anchorage 3-0. Her nine blocks moved her up five spots on the GNAC all-time career block list from 24th to 19th as she became the 19th player in GNAC history to reach 300. "In addition to her blocks, she also hit well in transition," CWU coach Mario Andaya said.

Week of Oct. 28-Nov. 3: Offense - Kelsey Moore, Western Washington (OH, 6-1, Jr., Bellevue, WA - Newport) had 19 kills to lead the Vikings to two road wins as they remained tied in the loss column with first place Alaska Anchorage. Moore, who was charged with just four errors in seven sets, had 12 kills in a 3-1 win at Central Washington, then added seven more in a 3-0 sweep of Northwest Nazarene. Defense - Quinn Barker (L, 5-5, Jr., Mission Viejo, CA) had 34 digs, including 18 in a sweep of Saint Martin's, as the Seawolves won a pair of road matches. Barker also had three aces. Her defense helped UAA limit the Saints and Western Oregon to an average of 19 points per set.

Week of Nov. 4-10: Offense - Monica Grimsrud, MSU Billings (OH, 6-1, Jr., Montana City, MT - Helena) had 50 kills, including a GNAC season-high 30 as the Yellowjackets upset regionally sixth-ranked Central Washington Thursday. Grimsrud hit for a .291 percentage (50-18-110) as MSUB split two matches, outlasting the Wildcats 3-2 before falling 3-1 to Northwest Nazarene. Grimsrud had 20 kills in the latter contest, matching the eighth highest total this fall in the GNAC in a four-set match. Defense - Samantha Hutchinson, Western Washington (L, 5-7, Jr., University Place, WA - Curtis) had 49 digs, including 32 in a 3-0 home win over Western Oregon. That equaled the fifth highest total in GNAC history for a three-set contest. Former Viking All-American Courtney Schneider, who had three-set match totals of 35, 34, 34, 33, 32 and 32, is the only other player in conference history to record as many as 32. On the season, Hutchinson ranks second nationally averaging 6.93 digs per set.

09/23/2014

Flick hits the mark