Logo courtesy of WWU Athletics
3-for-3: WWU Volleyball & Soccer All Win
October 25, 2018
NO. 2 VIKINGS SWEEP MSU BILLINGS FOR
21ST CONSECUTIVE VICTORY
BILLINGS, Mont. – The No. 2 nationally-ranked Western Washington University volleyball team cruised to its 21st consecutive victory and clinched at least a share of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference title with a 3-0 sweep at Montana State Billings Thursday night in Alterowitz Gymnasium.
Elevating to No. 2 in the national poll and No. 1 in the West Region rankings earlier this week, the Vikings improved to 21-3 overall and remain perfect in GNAC play at 16-0 with the 25-12, 25-12, 25-22 victory over the Yellowjackets. WWU will clinch at least a share of its ninth GNAC title, needing one more victory over the final four matches to clinch the outright title.
The sweep ended a tough, with the Vikings playing four matches in eight days in three different time zones.
“I am super proud of this team, for playing this stretch of matches so tough, and for preparing each match to be at their best,” said 19th-year head coach Diane Flick-Williams. “It isn’t easy to go from Alaska to Bellingham, then on Montana, but they were mentally focused and I could not be prouder of how they handled the adversity.”
MSUB dropped to 11-14 overall and 5-10 in GNAC play.
Senior middle Michaela Hall (Centralia, WA) led all players with 14 kills on a .522 hitting percentage, and recorded 4 block assists to pass the 400-block mark for her career.
Junior Kayleigh Harper (Oak Harbor, WA) combined with Hall in the middle to add 12 kills on a .579 hitting percentage, also recording 4 blocks to reach the 400-block mark for her career.
Hall and Harper combined for 26 kills and 8 blocks, with the duo becoming the seventh and eighth players in program history, and the 10th and 11th in GNAC history, to reach the 400-block milestone in a career.
“Our middles, well, they were just really, really good tonight,” added Flick-Williams. “Not only were they good on the attack, but also blocking and were solid from start to finish.”
Senior outside hitter Abby Phelps (Manson, WA/Chelan) recorded a 12-kills, 17-dig double-double, her 20th match this season with double-digits in kills and digs.
Redshirt freshman outside hitter Gabby Gunterman (Lake Stevens, WA) contributed 8 kills and sophomore outside Alison Davenport (Auburn, WA/Auburn Mountainview) had 7 kills and 2 blocks.
Senior setter Brette Boesel (Brewster, WA) recorded a match-high 43 assists, also tallying 9 digs and a pair of service aces.
The Yellowjackets were led by 6 kills from Maddi Vigil and 16 digs by Izela Alvarez.
The Vikings (21-3, 16-0 GNAC) are off this weekend after beating Simon Fraser at home on Tuesday in straight sets, and return to action next week with the final two home matches of the season. WWU hosts Western Oregon on Thursday for local heroes night and the annual canned food drive, and then welcome Concordia on Saturday for Senior Night. Both matches feature a 7 pm first serve in Carver Gym on the WWU campus.
“We are excited to get back home, get some rest, and start preparing for our home matches next week,” said Flick-Williams. “We will continue to work on improving all areas of our game and get better with every outing we have, including practices.”
VIKINGS KEEP UNBEATEN STREAK ALIVE
WITH 2-0 VICTORY AT NNU
NAMPA, Idaho – The No. 15 nationally-ranked Western Washington University women’s soccer team won its fifth consecutive game and extended its unbeaten streak to 11 straight with a 2-0 road shutout at Northwest Nazarene Thursday afternoon in Great Northwest Athletic Conference action.
The Vikings improved to 14-2-1 overall and moved to 9-1-1 in GNAC play with one regular-season game remaining. WWU began the day in a tie for first place in the conference with Concordia, which plays tonight at home against Seattle Pacific. Over the last 11 games, WWU is 10-0-1 and has matched a season-high with the five-game winning streak.
NNU, a GNAC Championships qualifier a year ago, slipped to 7-8-1 overall and 3-8-0 in conference play.
“It was definitely a team effort today, with our depth proving to be very helpful to get this result to start the road trip,” said WWU head coach Travis Connell. “NNU had a solid game plan against us, and challenged us to execute in the final third. I thought our players stepped up to that challenge, creating chances and executed at a very high level today.”
The Vikings got off to one of their trademark quick starts, taking a 1-0 lead over the Nighthawks late in the 7th minute of the game. Sophomore forward Zoe Milburn (Maple Valley, WA/Tahoma) tucked a ball just under the crossbar with a shot from the top of the box at the 6:51 mark with an assist by junior forward Liv Larson (Arlington, WA).
WWU scored an insurance goal early in the second half when junior defender Emily Nelson (Puyallup, WA/Bellarmine Prep) connected on a header goal off a corner kick from Larson in the 58th minute. The goal was Nelson’s second of the season.
Larson assisted on both goals, giving her at least one assist in four consecutive games and a team-high 7 assists on the season.
Western redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Natalie Dierickx (Kirkland, WA/Inglemoor/Colorado State) made one save in 75 minutes of action, with senior Alyssa Treptow (Flagstaff, AZ) closing out the shutout over the final 15 minutes. WWU recorded its 10thshutout of the season, including the 8th in the last 10 games. WWU has now posted a clean sheet in 8 of 11 GNAC contests and allowed only 3 goals in conference play.
The Vikings defense allowed only 5 shots in the game, with 2 on goal.
"Hattie (North) was fantastic back there getting the start today, and our wide players (Peyton Chick, Taylor Hallquist, Lindsey Fujiwara) were really good as well,” added Connell, “They were asked to go one-on-one a lot and they really stopped played. I was impressed with their work today."
The Vikings (14-2-1, 9-1-1 GNAC) close out the regular season on Saturday continuing East to face Montana State Billings at 1 pm MT/12 pm PT on Saturday. The seeding and schedule for the four-team GNAC Championships that will be played Nov. 1-3 will be announced Sunday night.
“We want to continue to get better and Saturday is another opportunity to add to our tool belt,” said Connell on Saturday’s match at MSUB to close out the regular season. “We are facing a team on their senior day, so there will be emotions and they will be up for the match. Every time we play is an opportunity for us to improve.”
THREE FIRST-HALF GOALS LIFT VIKINGS TO SHUTOUT
VICTORY OVER NNU
BELLINGHAM, Wash. – The Western Washington University men’s soccer team scored three first-half goals, including a pair by junior forward Christian Rotter two minutes apart, to lead the Vikings to a 3-0 shutout victory over Northwest Nazarene University Thursday evening in Great Northwest Athletic Conference action at Harrington Field.
With their second consecutive shutout victory, the Vikings moved into a second-place tie in the GNAC standings at 4-4-1 (13 points) in conference play and improved to 8-6-1 overall. NNU dropped to 3-11-1 overall and 3-6-0 in GNAC play with its sixth consecutive loss.
“I thought we did well from the start. We were very organized defensively and capitalized on the opportunities we created,” said WWU head coach Greg Brisbon. “In the second half we did a good job of keeping possession and being patient as we went forward.”
The game was scoreless through the first 19 minutes of the contest, before Rotter (Auburn, WA/Auburn Mountainview) blistered the NNU defense for a pair of goals 2:03 apart. His first goal came at the 19:59 mark when sophomore midfielder Drew Farnsworth (Auckland, NZ) threaded a pass through the NNU defense to Rotter, who chipped the ball over the goalkeeper from 16-yards out.
Just over two minutes later at the 22:02 mark, Rotter took a diagonal pass from sophomore midfielder Georg Cholewa (Leipzig, Germany), and blasted the ball from 12-yards out that caromed off the NNU goalkeepers hands and trickled into the goal.
Junior forward Ryan Schaefer (Burien, WA/Kennedy Catholic/Univ. of Denver) added to the lead in the 33rd minute when he took a long cross from Cholewa in the middle of the box and tapped home his third goal of the season.
The WWU defense allowed only one shot on goal, while recording the sixth shutout of the season. WWU has now not allowed a goal over the last 199:31 of action dating back to the Simon Fraser game. Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Brandon Wolter (Vancouver, WA/Union) made one save while recording his sixth shutout of the season, tied for 6th-most in the WWU single-season record book.
The Vikings (8-6-1, 4-4-1) remain at home hosting rival Seattle Pacific on Saturday with kickoff at 7 pm at Harrington Field.