Gabby Gunterman had 14 kills on a .500 hitting percentage for the Vikings. PHOTO: WWU Athletics
No. 6 Vikings Sweep Central Washington
October 12, 2018
BELLINGHAM, Wash. – The No. 6 nationally-ranked Western Washington University volleyball team won its 16th consecutive match with a 3-0 sweep over Central Washington University Thursday night in Great Northwest Athletic Conference action on WECU Court in Carver Gym.
The Vikings had three players reach double-digits in kills and recorded a team hitting percentage of .348 in the 25-15, 25-19, 25-21 victory over the Wildcats.
WWU improved to 16-3 overall on the season and increased its lead in the GNAC with a perfect 11-0 record. In addition to the 16-match winning streak tying for 6th-best in program history, WWU has also won 29 consecutive GNAC contests dating back to last season and 21 straight inside Carver Gym.
Central Washington dropped its second straight match to fall to 14-4 overall and moves into a second-place tie with Alaska Anchorage at 8-3 in GNAC play.
“We knew Central was going to cause us to have some ups and downs, but I thought we did a nice job of being comfortable in those moments when we were down so we could climb out of it,” said head coach Diane Flick-Williams. “We had a great offensive output tonight and were very efficient. Brette (Boesel) did an awesome job of distributing the ball and it shows by the numbers.”
Senior outside hitter Abby Phelps (Manson, WA/Chelan) lead the Vikings with a 16-kill, 17-dig double-double, her 16th match this season with double-digits in both kills and digs in a match.
Redshirt freshman Gabby Gunterman (Lake Stevens, WA) added 14 kills on a .500 hitting percentage, her second-highest kill total of the season.
“Gabby has been improving with each practice and match, and tonight she put all that hard work into a great performance in the match,” added Flick-Williams. “It is exciting to see that effort translate into the match.”
Junior middle Kayleigh Harper (Oak Harbor, WA) added 11 kills on a .478 hitting percentage and tallied one block assist.
Senior setter Brette Boesel (Brewster, WA) led all players with 44 assists, and contributed a pair of service aces.
Junior defensive specialist Mae Thungc (Kent, WA/Kentridge) tied Phelps with a team-high 17 digs, while senior libero Aubrey Stephens (Colville, WA) added 16 digs.
Central Washington was led by the 15-kills, 12-dig double-double by sophomore outside hitter Makala Swart. Lynden native Madison Weg added 12 kills and 6 digs. Libero Kyla Moran tallied a match-high 20 digs.
The Vikings and Wildcats combined for just 4.0 team blocks in the match, despite both teams ranking in the top 10 in the country heading into the contest. CWU edged WWU 3.0-1.0 in blocks in the match.
The Vikings (16-3, 11-0 GNAC) remain at home hosting Northwest Nazarene on Saturday at 7 pm in Carver Gym. The game will feature the annual Pink Night, with donations being accepted to help raise awareness and funds for cancer research.
SET 1 (WWU 25, CWU 15): The Vikings pulled away early, using a 5-0 run to turn a one-point margin at 6-5 into a 6-point lead at 11-5 to force a CWU timeout. Western went on another extended run, winning 8 of 11 points, to grow the lead to 19-10 to force CWU’s second timeout. The Wildcats clawed back with a 5-2 spurt, pulling to within 7 points at 22-15, but the Vikings closed out the set winning the final 3 points for the 25-15 win to go up 1-0. Hall, Phelps and Gunterman each tabbed 4 kills in the opening set to lead the Vikings, who hit .359 with only one error on 39 attacks. Weg led CWU with 5 kills.
SET 2 (WWU 25, CWU 19): WWU went up 2-0 in the match with a 25-19 second-set victory. The Wildcats held the lead in the early part of the second set gaining a 12-8 lead, but the Vikings responded with an 10-1 run to take control of the set with an 18-14 lead. After trailing by the 4-point margin, the Vikings won 17 of the final 24 points to win the set. Harper had 7 kills in the set, with Phelps adding 4 more for the Vikings.
SET 3 (WWU 25, CWU 21): The Vikings closed out the sweep with a 25-21 victory in the third set. WWU led 10-7, but CWU went on a 6-1 run to take a 13-11 lead to force a WWU timeout. The Wildcats continued the momentum out of the timeout, growing their lead to 16-12. Western went on a 6-2 run to pull the set even at 18-18. After additional ties at 19-19 and 20-20, Boesel gave the Vikings a one-point lead at 21-20 with a service ace, a lead Western would not relinquish. Phelps had 8 of her 16 kills in the final set, with Gunterman contributing 5 kills.
MATCH NOTES…WWU extended winning streaks of 16 matches (overall), 21 straight in Carver Gym and 29 consecutive GNAC victories…during the 16-match winning streak, the Vikings have won 48 of 57 sets and recorded 10 3-0 sweeps…WWU has swept each of its last four victories…16 consecutive wins ties for 6th-most in program history…WWU finished 2-0 vs. the Wildcats this season (both 3-0 sweeps) and is 71-43-1 all-time vs. CWU…sixth consecutive win over CWU and 21-5 in the last 26 meetings.
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 (16), Gunterman (14), Harper (11)
Aces - Boesel (2), Davenport (1), Thungc (1)
Blocks - Boesel (1), Harper (1)
Assists - Boesel (44)
Digs - Phelps (17), Thungc (17), Stephens (16)
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