Volleyball Heads to Sixth Consecutive NCAA Championships

Nov. 28, 2017

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 2017 NCAA DIVISION II WEST REGION VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS
Van Dyne Gym (987) – Riverside, CA – Host: California Baptist University

Thursday, November 30 Quarterfinal

#6 Central Washington (19-9) vs. #3 Northwest Nazarene (24-4), 12 pm
#7 Alaska Anchorage (19-10) vs. #2 Western Washington (25-3), 2:30 pm
#5 Azusa Pacific (22-6) vs. #4 Cal State San Bernardino (21-7), 5 pm
#8 Sonoma State (20-8) vs. #1 California Baptist (28-0), 7:30 pm

Friday, December 1 Semifinal

CWU/NNU winner vs. UAA/WWU winner, 5 pm
APU/CSUSB winner vs. SSU/CBU winner, 7:30 pm

Saturday, December 2 West Region Championship

Semifinal winners, 7 pm
 **winner advances as West Region champion to NCAA II Elite 8, Dec. 7-9 in Pensacola, FL**

Live Stats and Webcast for all games during the West Regional can be accessed via GNAC.tv

ABOUT THE VIKINGS…the nationally 5th-ranked and Great Northwest Athletic Conference champion WWU Vikings head to the NCAA II Championships as the No. 2 seed in the West Region…the eight-team NCAA II West Regional is hosted by national No. 1-ranked California Baptist in Riverside, Calif.…WWU completed the regular season with a 25-3 overall record and a 19-1 mark in league play, and takes an 18-match winning streak into postseason play.

UP NEXT…the Vikings are the No. 2 seed in the 8-team NCAA II West Regional and will meet up with No. 7 seed Alaska Anchorage on Thursday at 2:30 pm in the quarterfinal round.

HOW TO FOLLOW…all matches from the NCAA Division II West Regional Championships in Riverside will feature live stats and video stream that can be accessed via GNAC.tv…WWU students, faculty and staff are also invited to stop by the Carver Gym on Thursday to watch the webcast on the two HD televisions in the Athletics Lobby.

NCAA HISTORY…WWU is making its 12th appearance in the NCAA Division II West Regional and 6th consecutive trip to the postseason…set the program record with a fourth consecutive trip to the NCAA II Tournament in 2015 when it advanced to the NCAA II Elite 8 (and Final Four)…WWU is 14-11 all-time in the NCAA Tournament and is one of two GNAC schools to win a West Regional title…No. 2 seed ties the highest West Regional seed in program history (4th time).

THE RECORD…WWU enters the NCAA II Championships with a 25-3 overall record, including a current 18-match winning streak…finished GNAC play with a 19-1 league mark to win its eighth conference title (7th outright)…current winning streak is tied for the 6th-longest active streak among DII programs…won 22 of last 23 matches…all three defeats this season have come against teams that appeared in the national top 10 this season, including two teams that have held the national No. 1 ranking (Cal Baptist, Concordia-St. Paul)…16-2 in 3-set matches, while going 6-1 in 4 sets and a perfect 3-0 in 5 sets…undefeated at 13-0 when wearing dark gray jerseys…finished non-conference play with a 6-2 record (2-2 vs. ranked opponents).

2017 Record Breakdown

Overall Record

25-3 (.893)

Home

10-0

Away

10-1

Neutral

5-2

GNAC Record

19-1 (1st place)

3-Set Matches

16-2

4-Set Matches

6-1

5-Set Matches

3-0

Ranked Opponents

2-2

By Jersey

Dark Gray

13-0

White

10-2

Light Blue

1-1

Pink Night Jersey

1-0

GNAC CHAMPIONS…the Vikings clinched the GNAC title with a 19-1 league record, tying the conference record for league wins in a season (UAA in 2016)…marked the eighth GNAC title (7th outright) for WWU in the 17 seasons of league history…first GNAC championship since 2013.

WINNING STREAK…WWU carries an 18-match winning streak into the postseason, beginning with a four-set win over Simon Fraser on Sept. 19…tied for the 4th-longest winning streak in program history…during the streak WWU has won 54 of 59 sets…the team is averaging 21.54 digs and 3.19 blocks per set during the winning streak, up from averages of 18.42 digs and 2.26 blocks per set in the first 10 matches of the season.

Longest WWU Win Streaks:

24

Aug. 29-Nov. 15, 2003

21

Sept. 13-Nov. 30, 2007

20

Aug. 25-Oct. 27, 2001

18

Sept. 19, 2017-current

18

Sept. 14-Nov. 16, 2002

ALL-GNAC TEAM…the Vikings dominated the GNAC All-Conference Team with five player selections and Diane Flick-Williams named the GNAC Coach of the Year for the ninth time…Phelps became the 8th player and 9th selection for a WWU player to be named the GNAC Player of the Year, and the 7th WWU player to become a three-time First Team All-GNAC selection:

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

  • GNAC Champions – WWU claimed its 8th GNAC Championship (7th outright) with a 19-1 league record.
  • Winning Streak – WWU owns a current 18-match winning streak, tied for 4th-longest in program history.
  • All-GNAC Team – WWU had five players named to the All-GNAC team, with four First Team selections.
  • Coach of the Year Diane Flick-Williams was named the GNAC Coach of the Year for the 9th time.
  • Player of the Year Abby Phelps was named the GNAC Player of the Year.
  • Defense – WWU is averaging 20.32 digs per set, 5th in NCAA II and currently 4th-best in WWU history.
  • Getting Offensive – WWU is 15th in NCAA II with 14.15 kills/set (10th in WWU history).
  • Set It Brette Boesel leads the GNAC and West Region (13th in NCAA II) with 11.60 assists/set.
  • In the Middle Michaela Hall ranks 4th in the GNAC with a .316 hitting pct. and 1.28 blocks/set.
  • The Last 6 – WWU is 143-32 (.817) over the last six seasons (99-15/.868 in GNAC play).
  • 1,000-1,000 Club Abby Phelps is the 4th player in WWU history with 1,000 career kills and digs.
  • Bopray’s Blocks Joslyn Bopray is 2nd in NCAA II averaging 1.48 blocks per set (WWU rally scoring era single-season record is 1.45 by Kayleigh Harper in 2015)…led GNAC with 1.63 blocks/set in league play.

ALL AROUND ABBY…GNAC Player of the Year Abby Phelps leads the conference with 22 double-doubles, and is listed amongst the league leaders in several statistical categories: Kills (2nd, 4.15 /set), Digs (7th, 4.84/set), Points (2nd, 4.78/set), Service Aces (7th, 0.32/set) and Hitting Percentage (9th, .266)…over her last 7 matches (since 10/28 at Concordia) she is averaging 5.08 kills and 5.62 digs per set, with a .309 hitting percentage (double-double in each match).

GNAC PLAYER OF THE YEARAbby Phelps became the 8th WWU player (9th selection) to be named the GNAC Player of the Year…joins Shannon Rowland (2001), Liz Bishop (2002-03), Courtney Schneider (2007), Angie Alvord (2008), Emily Jepsen (2010), Marlayna Geary (2012) and Kayla Erickson (2013) to win the top conference individual award…is also the seventh player in program history to earn three First Team All-GNAC honors in a career.

NATIONAL POLL…the Vikings are No. 5 in the final regular-season edition of the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) DII poll…sixth consecutive week inside the national top 10, and the first time to appear in the national top 5 during the regular season since midway through the 2008 season…have been ranked in the top 15 all season, including No. 12 preseason ranking…finished last season No. 14, the sixth time in the last seven seasons to finish in the final top 25 poll…has been present in each of the last 79 AVCA DII polls dating back to the 2012 season.

THE SENIORS…WWU’s three seniors - Joellee Buckner, Arielle Turner, Kristina Tribley – were honored on Senior Day prior to the regular-season finale vs. Central Washington…all three have been impactful players in the program, helping lead the Vikings to a combined record of 96-24 (.7800) during their eligible seasons, and a 119-28 record counting their redshirt seasons in 2013.

DOUBLE-DOUBLESAbby Phelps heads into the postseason with a GNAC-leading 22 double-doubles (kills-digs), and has a current string of 7 consecutive matches with double-digits in kills and digs…has recorded 52 career double-doubles in 90 matches…Joellee Buckner is 8th in the GNAC with 13 double-doubles…here is a look at the GNAC in double-double (kills/digs) leaders in 2017:

2017 GNAC DOUBLE-DOUBLES

22

Abby Phelps (WWU)

19

Shelby Mauritson (CWU

16

Kendra Bodine (NNU)

15

Leah Swiss (UAA), Hannah Lautenbach (SPU)

14

Rebecca Mitchell (SMU), Alisha Bettinson

13

Joellee Buckner (WWU)

ANOTHER 20-WIN SEASON…WWU has recorded another 20-win season, marking the sixth consecutive, and 28th in the 46-year history of the program…head coach Diane Flick-Williams has guided the program to at least 20 wins in 13 of her 18 seasons at the helm of the program…over the last six seasons (since 2012), WWU has combined to go 143-32 (.817), advancing to the NCAA Tournament in each season (2012-16).

THE DIGGING SISTERS…the Buckner sisters are among the leaders in the GNAC in digs per set…Aubrey (younger) is 4th averaging 5.14 digs per set, while Joellee (older) is 6th averaging 4.87…the sisters have combined for 971 digs this season, and 2,086 in their careers.

NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY…the Vikings are making their 12th NCAA Division II Tournament appearance…have won two West Region Championships (2007 and 2015)…have an all-time 14-11 record in NCAA II Tournament play:

2001 (No. 3 seed)
Defeated Cal State L.A. 3-2
Lost to UC San Diego, 3-0

2002 (No. 3 seed)
Lost to Cal State L.A., 3-2

2003 (No. 2 seed)
Lost to Cal State San Bernardino, 3-1

2006 (No. 7 seed)
Lost to UC San Diego, 3-1

2007 (No. 2 seed)
Defeated Chico State, 3-0
Defeated UC San Diego, 3-2
Defeated Cal State San Bernardino, 3-0
Defeated Dowling, 3-0
Defeated Washburn, 3-1
Lost to Concordia-St. Paul, 3-1 (final)

2010 (No. 3 seed)
Defeated Alaska Anchorage, 3-1
Lost to Seattle Pacific, 3-2

2012 (No. 4 seed)
Defeated Sonoma State, 3-0
Lost to BYU Hawaii, 3-1

2013 (No. 5 seed)
Lost to Sonoma State, 3-0

2014 (No. 3 seed)
Lost to Cal State San Bernardino, 3-1

2015 (No. 2 seed)
Defeated Point Loma, 3-0
Defeated UC San Diego, 3-2
Defeated Cal State San Bernardino, 3-2
Defeated Rockhurst, 3-1
Lost to Wheeling Jesuit, 3-0 (semifinal)

2016 (No. 3 seed)
Defeated California Baptist, 3-0
Defeated Cal State San Bernardino, 3-0
Lost to Alaska Anchorage, 3-1

BLOCK PARTY…the Vikings rank 2nd in NCAA Division II averaging 2.82 blocks per set, currently the 5th-best mark in a single-season in program history and the highest tally during the rally-scoring era (since 2001)…averaged 1.98 blocks per set last season to rank 7th in the conference…the GNAC features three of the top 7 block leaders in NCAA II (Sabrina Wheelhouse, CWU-1st; Joslyn Bopray, WWU-2nd; Madi Farrell, NNU-7th).

1,000 KILLS, 1,000 DIGSAbby Phelps has recorded career marks of 1,092 kills and 1,328 digs in 90 matches…became the 13th player in program history to record 1,000 kills in a career, and is the 4th Viking and 14th GNAC player to join the 1,000-kill, 1,000-dig club.

ACADEMIC ALL-GNAC…six WWU players are members of the 2017 GNAC All-Academic team, recording a cumulative GPA of 3.20 or higher…Kristina Tribley (3.59, Biology) became a three-time selection to the academic team, while Abby Phelps (3.51, Elementary Education) and Michaela Hall (3.72, Kinesiology) are both two-time selections…sophomores Joslyn Bopray (3.54, Accounting), Kazlyn Roullier (3.25, Multidisciplinary Studies) and Mae Thungc (3.41, Business Administration) were all selected during their first year of eligibility.

DIGGING IT…WWU is averaging 20.32 digs per set this season, leading the GNAC and ranking 5th in NCAA Division II…current dig mark is 4th-best in program history and the best since 21.74 digs/set in 2004…WWU features three of the top seven dig leaders in the GNAC, with Aubrey Buckner (4th, 5.14), Joellee Buckner (6th, 4.87) and Abby Phelps (7th, 4.84) all ranking in the top 10…here are the top five teams in the nation in digs per set:

Rank

Team

Per Set

Digs

W-L

1.

Mars Hill

22.70

2,384

11-17

2.

South Carolina Aiken

20.71

2,195

25-5

3.

Arkansas Fort Smith

20.64

2,435

26-7

4.

Lock Haven

20.36

2,179

11-19

5.

Western Washington

20.32

1,971

25-3

LAST TIME OUT…the Vikings closed out the regular season in grand fashion, sweeping both Northwest Nazarene (25-22, 25-21, 25-19) and Central Washington (25-17, 26-24, 25-20) to clinch the GNAC title…NNU and CWU came into the weekend as the No. 2 and No. 3 teams in the GNAC standings…Abby Phelps led the Vikings posting a pair of double-doubles, averaging 6.33 kills per set on a .343 hitting percentage, and 6.83 digs per set (also had 1.50 blocks/set)…Michaela Hall averaged 2.67 kills per set and led the team with 2.17 blocks per set…Phelps (offense) and Hall (defense) swept the GNAC Player of the Week awards…overall WWU averaged 28.83 digs per set and 16.00 kills per set in the matches vs. NNU and CWU.

TOUGH SCHEDULE…the Vikings have only three defeats on the season, with all coming against teams that have appeared in the AVCA Division II top 10 at some point this season (including two top-ranked teams)…defeats have been to Concordia-St. Paul (highest ranking is #1), California Baptist (highest ranking is #1) and Northwest Nazarene (highest ranking is #10)…WWU is listed by the NCAA as currently having the 4th-toughest schedule in the nation with opposing teams having boasting a cumulative .639 winning percentage (312-176)…WWU faced eight teams that are part of the NCAA II Volleyball Championships Field of 64, posting an 8-3 record in those matches.

A LOOK AT THE GNAC…here is a look at the final GNAC standings:

GNAC STANDINGS

CONF

PCT

OVERALL

PCT

HOME

AWAY

NEUTRAL

STREAK

Western Washington

19-1

.950

25-3

.893

10-0

10-1

5-2

Won 18

Northwest Nazarene

16-4

.800

24-4

.857

14-0

7-4

3-0

Lost 2

Central Washington

14-6

.700

19-9

.679

11-3

6-5

2-1

Lost 2

Alaska Anchorage

14-6

.700

19-10

.655

10-4

8-4

1-2

Lost 1

Simon Fraser

12-8

.600

15-13

.536

8-2

4-6

3-5

Won 2

Seattle Pacific

10-10

.500

15-13

.536

4-6

7-5

4-2

Won 3

Concordia

8-12

.400

13-14

.482

7-6

4-6

2-2

Lost 1

Alaska

5-15

.250

12-17

.414

3-8

3-7

6-2

Won 1

Montana State Billings

5-15

.250

9-21

.300

3-8

2-10

4-3

Lost 1

Saint Martin's

4-16

.200

9-19

.321

7-7

1-10

2-1

Lost 3

Western Oregon

3-17

.150

7-20

.259

4-10

1-9

2-1

Won 1

GNAC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK…WWU had nine GNAC Player of the Week selections during the season, including Abby Phelps and Joellee Buckner each winning the award three separate times…here is a look at the 2017 GNAC Players of the Week:

Dates

Offensive

Defensive

Aug. 28-Sept. 3

Madi Farrell, Northwest Nazarene

Mackenzie Bowen, Western Oregon

Sept. 4-10

Madi Farrell, Northwest Nazarene

Joslyn Bopray, Western Washington

Sept. 11-17

Colby Barnette, Concordia

Kendra Bodine, Northwest Nazarene

Sept. 18-25

Sabrina Wheelhouse, Central Washington

Keala Kaio-Perez, Alaska Anchorage

Sept. 25-Oct. 1

Gabby Oddo, Seattle Pacific

Kyla Morgan, Central Washington

Oct. 2-8

Joellee Buckner, Western Washington

Jayme Bratsberg, Simon Fraser

Oct. 9-15

Shelby Mauritson, Central Washington

Sabrina Wheelhouse, Central Washington

Oct. 16-22

Kendra Bodine, Northwest Nazarene

Joellee Buckner, Western Washington

Oct. 23-29

Chrisalyn Johnson, Alaska Anchorage

Abby Phelps, Western Washington

Oct. 30-Nov. 5

Madi Farrell, Northwest Nazarene

Katerina Dolguikh, Simon Fraser

 

Joellee Buckner, Western Washington

 

Nov. 6-12

Abby Phelps, Western Washington

Aubrey Buckner, Western Washington

Nov. 13-19

Tessa May, Simon Fraser

Michaela Hall, Western Washington

 

Abby Phelps, Western Washington

 

CAREER RECORD WATCH…here is a look at where current Vikings rank in the WWU record book:

  • Abby Phelps: Kills (1092, 8th), Kills/Set (3.42, 7th), Digs (1328, 6th), Digs/Set (4.16, 7th), Points (1254.5, 12th)
  • Joellee Buckner: Digs (1424, 5th), Digs/Set (3.37, 8th), Blocks (268, 15th), Sets (422, 2nd), Kills (838, 20th)
  • Brette Boesel: Assists (2788, 5th), Assists/Set (8.55, 9th), Service Aces (91, 24th)
  • Michaela Hall: Total Blocks (300, 13th), Block Assists (259, 9th), Blocks/Set (0.92, 17th)
  • Arielle Turner: Service Aces (113, 15th), Aces/Set (0.41, 10th)
  • Aubrey Buckner: Digs/Set (4.53, 4th)
  • Kristina Tribley: Assists (2033, 11th), Assists/Set (6.52, 15th)

NCAA II BLOCK LEADERSJoslyn Bopray is 2nd in NCAA Division II averaging 1.48 blocks per set…has recorded three matches with 10 or more blocks this season…the 1.48 blocks/set is currently 4th in the WWU single-season record books and tops during the rally-scoring era (since 2001)…here are the top 5 block leaders in NCAA II (as of 11/25), with three of the top five out of the West Region.

Rank

Player, School (Conference)

Yr

Block Solo

Block Assists

Total

Per Set

1.

Sabrina Wheelhouse, Central Washington

Sr.

24

141

165

1.50

2.

Joslyn Bopray, Western Washington

So.

20

124

144

1.48

3.

Yagoda Jedrzejczak, California Baptist

So.

13

118

131

1.46

4.

Alyssa Hasler, Illinois-Springfield

Jr.

15

155

170

1.42

5.

Nikki Kennedy, Regis

So.

27

127

154

1.39

MORE ON THE BLOCK…the Vikings recorded 21.0 team blocks in win at Alaska Anchorage (10/5), tying the WWU single-match record (21.0 TB, 10/2/98 at SMU)…previous high during GNAC play was 20.0 blocks at Northwest Nazarene on Sept. 26, 2015…21.0 blocks also ties a GNAC record for a four-set match…16.0 blocks in 3-0 win at Simon Fraser (10/17) set program rally-scoring record for a 3-set match…12 matches with 10.0+ blocks this season…out-blocked opponents in 17 of 18 matches during current winning streak.

PACKED HOUSE…the home opener vs. Simon Fraser drew 1,289 fans, marking the single-game WWU Volleyball attendance record…WWU is 6th in NCAA Division II with an average home attendance of 694.

COACH FLICK-WILLIAMSDiane Flick-Williams is in her 18th season directing the WWU Volleyball program and is the winningest coach in program history…owns a career record of 392-102 (.794)…Flick has guided the Vikings to 13 seasons of 20 or more victories, 12 NCAA Championships, a pair Final Four appearances, 8 Great Northwest Athletic Conference championships and received GNAC Coach of the Year honors 9 times (2001-03, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2012-13, 2017)…amongst active Division II coaches, she entered the 2017 season ranked 13th in winning percentage and 34th by victories…her .788 winning percentage heading into the 2017 season is 12th-best in Division II history (min. 10 years as a DII head coach).

ACE!Arielle Turner broke the century mark for career service aces in grand fashion Oct. 17 at Simon Fraser, recording a career-high 6 service aces (also tied 11/4 vs. Alaska Fairbanks)…has 113 aces in her career to rank 15th in program history…currently 3rd in the GNAC this season averaging 0.42 aces per set (40 service aces).

HOME SWEET HOME…the Vikings debuted WECU Court at Carver Gym with a perfect 10-0 record in home matches this season…WWU played its home contests at Whatcom Community College in 2015-16…went 77 matches between home events at Carver Gym (59-18 record) during the two-year renovation of the on-campus facility…have a current 15-match winning streak in Carver…head coach Diane Flick-Williams has led the program to a 156-19 (.891) record in home matches, with a 140-15 (.903) record inside Carver Gym.

ROAD WARRIORS…WWU opened the season playing its first 10 games on the road…played preseason tournaments in Florida (The Terrace Hotel Classic) and Alaska (D2 West Region Showcase), and opened GNAC play with road matches at Central Washington and Northwest Nazarene…WWU logged close to 17,450 miles in the air (and more on the ground) during the extended road trip…overall is 15-3 away from Bellingham this season, and 10-0 in Carver Gym.

ALL-SHOWCASEAbby Phelps and Joellee Buckner were named to the D2 West Region Volleyball Showcase All-Tournament Team out of the 'A' pod that featured the top teams in the west region playing in Anchorage…Phelps averaged 3.33 kills and 4.13 digs per set, and recorded three double-doubles in the showcase…Buckner averaged 2.53 kills and a team-high 4.80 digs per set, and also recorded 11 blocks (0.73 per set) and 5 service aces.

PRESEASON ALL-GNAC TEAMAbby Phelps and Arielle Turner were voted to the inaugural GNAC Volleyball Preseason All-Conference Team…Phelps is a two-time First-Team All-GNAC selection and led WWU and finished 8th in the GNAC with an average of 3.21 kills per set last season…Turner was also a First Team All-GNAC pick in 2016, finishing 2nd in the conference with 0.41 aces per set and 11th averaging 3.58 points/set.

2016 SEASON IN REVIEW…went 23-8 overall and advanced to the NCAA II West Regional Championship, falling one win short of a repeat trip to the Elite 8…made fifth consecutive trip to the NCAA Championships…finished 2nd in the GNAC with a 17-3 mark…finished the season No. 14 in the AVCA Division II rankings, the 4th-highest final ranking in program history…fifth consecutive 20-win season…Abby Phelps, Kayleigh Harper and Arielle Turner were named First Team All-GNAC.

SERIES RECORDS A look at the series records between WWU and the rest of the West Region field:

Alaska Anchorage (No. 7 seed):

WWU is 33-17 all-time vs. UAA, including a 1-1 record in postseason play…beat UAA 3-1 in 2010 the NCAA II West Regional in San Bernardino, CA, and lost 3-1 last year in Anchorage in the West Regional Championship…swept the season series vs. UAA this year, both 3-1…10 of last 11 matches in the series have gone 4 or 5 sets…WWU is 8-5 over last 13 vs. UAA.

Northwest Nazarene (No. 3 seed):
WWU is 36-9 all-time vs. NNU, going 1-1 vs. the Nighthawks each of the last four seasons…never faced NNU in NCAA play.

Central Washington (No. 6 seed):
WWU is 69-43-1 all-time vs. CWU, including going 2-0 vs. the Wildcats this season…current four-match winning streak vs. CWU and won 9 of last 11.

Azusa Pacific (No. 5 seed):
WWU is 2-0 all-time vs. APU, last meeting in 2014 in the GNAC/PacWest Crossover.

Cal State San Bernardino (No. 4 seed):
WWU is 5-12 vs. CSU San Bernardino, but won 3 of last 4…beat CSUSB in each of last two NCAA championships.

Sonoma State (No. 8 seed):
WWU is 8-3 all-time vs. Sonoma State, last meeting in the D2 West Region Volleyball Showcase last season (3-0 WWU victory)…WWU is 1-1 vs. SSU in NCAA play.

California Baptist (No. 1 seed):
WWU is 3-2 all-time vs. CBU, including a 3-0 sweep in last year’s NCAA Championships…lost 3-0 earlier this season.

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