Senior setter Brette Boesel recorded 51 assists in WWU’s 3-1 win over Sonoma State. PHOTO: WWU Athletics
#15 Vikings Continue Winning Ways at D2 West Region Showcase
September 1, 2018
AZUSA, Calif. – Senior outside hitter Abby Phelps is on a mission, picking right back up where she left off her 2017 All-America season, recording another 20-kill effort to lead nationally ranked No. 15 Western Washington University to a four-set victory over Sonoma State Friday afternoon at the D2 West Region Volleyball Showcase in the Felix Event Center on the Azusa Pacific University campus.
The Vikings won their fourth consecutive match to improve to 4-3 on the season, defeating the Seawolves 3-1 by scores of 25-18, 25-27, 25-16, 25-13. All seven of WWU's matches to this point have come against teams that played in the 2017 NCAA Division II Championships, with the first five opponents coming against ranked opponents.
"Sonoma is always a tough opponent to play and they gave us a handful," said head coach Diane Flick-Williams, who is two wins shy of 400 at the helm of the Vikings. "Abby was so consistent for us all match, and was steady while others were able to raise their game when we needed it."
Playing in her 100th career match, Phelps (Manson, WA/Chelan) recorded 20 kills on a very efficient .347 hitting percentage, and recorded her sixth double-double of the season adding a team-high 16 digs. Phelps also tied her single-match career high with 7 blocks, finishing with a match-high 24.5 points. In seven matches this season Phelps is averaging 3.96 kills and 4.63 digs per set, both team-leading marks.
Senior setter Brette Boesel (Brewster, WA) ran the offense with 51 assists, and also contributed 6 digs and 4 blocks in the victory.
Junior middle Kayleigh Harper (Oak Harbor, WA) continued her solid tournament with 16 kills and 7 blocks and senior middleMichaela Hall (Centralia, WA) added 7 kills and 6 blocks. Sophomore outside hitter Alison Davenport (Auburn, WA/Auburn Riverside) contributed an all-around effort with 6 kills, 9 digs, 2 service aces and 3 blocks.
Overall the Vikings out-blocked Sonoma State 15-4 and recorded a season-high .290 hitting percentage.
Sonoma State (4-4) was led by 12 kills each from Adriana Baysinger and Tate Battistini, while Megan Bohorquez tallied a match-high 17 digs.
The Vikings went up 1-0 with a 25-18 first-set victory, and had a golden chance to take a 2-0 lead, but Sonoma State evened things up with a furious second-set comeback. Western led 24-19 before the Seawolves rallied for a 5-0 run to tie the set up at 24-24, and fought of six total set points, before prevailing 27-25.
WWU took back control of the match with a 25-16 win in the third set, led by 7 kills, 6 digs and 3 blocks from Phelps.
The Vikings clinched their fourth consecutive victory and a 3-0 start at the D2 West Region Showcase with a 25-13 win in the fourth set. Harper tallied 8 of her 16 kills in the final set.
The Vikings close out play at the D2 West Region Showcase Saturday morning with a 9:30 am match vs. Biola, the final non-conference match of the season before embarking on GNAC play. The match can be followed via live stats and a pay-per-view webcast with links available at WWUVikings.com/Live. WWU then returns to Bellingham to open the conference season, hosting Seattle Pacific (Thursday, 7 pm) and Saint Martin’s (Saturday, 7 pm) on WECU Court at Carver Gym.
MATCH NOTES…WWU improved to 9-3 all-time vs. Sonoma State, including a third consecutive win over SSU…WWU is now 16-3 all-time in the D2 West Region Showcase since the first event in 2014…head coach Diane Flick-Williams is now 2 wins shy of becoming the 33rd NCAA II head coach to record the 400-win milestone (398-106/.790)…Abby Phelps played in her 100thcareer match and has recorded a double-double in 61 of those matches (61%)…Phelps moved into 15th place in GNAC history with 1,262 career kills, moving up two spots in the conference record book past Leilani Kamahoahoa (SPU, 1998-01) and Cammy Dranginis (NNU, 2006-09)…Brette Boesel moved into 3rd place in WWU history with 3,221 career assists, passing Kris Little (3,195, 1991-93)…Aubrey Stephens recorded her seventh double-digit dig effort of the year (11 vs. Sonoma State), moving into 19th place in WWU history with 852 career digs…Michaela Hall cracked the career top 10 in program history with 337 blocks, while Kayleigh Harper is 12th with 331…Janae Payne has recorded a service ace in each of her last 5 matches (appeared in 6 matches this season) and is averaging 0.37 aces per set (7 aces, 19 sets).
HOME OPENER…the home opener on WECU Court in Carver Gym will be Thursday, Sept. 6 against Seattle Pacific…single-game and season tickets for the volleyball season are now on sale at WWUVikings.com/Tickets.
FOLLOW THE VIKS…Fans can follow WWU Volleyball online at WWUVikings.com/VB, and via social media on Twitter (@WWUVolleyball), Instagram (@WWUVB) and Facebook (@WWUVolleyball).
Kills – Phelps (20), Harper (16), Hall (7)
Aces – Davenport (2), Payne (2)
Blocks – Phelps (7), Harper (7), Hall (6)
Assists – Boesel, (51)
Digs – Phelps (16), Thungc (15), Stephens (11)
-- @WWUVolleyball --