WWU clinched the 2018 GNAC title outright, the 9th GNAC championship in program history. PHOTO: WWU Athletics
Vikings Clinch Outright GNAC Title With
Sweep Over WOU
November 2, 2018
BELLINGHAM, Wash. – The Western Washington University volleyball team clinched the outright 2018 Great Northwest Athletic Conference championship with a 3-0 sweep over Western Oregon Thursday night in Carver Gym.
The No. 2 nationally-ranked Vikings extended their winning streak to 22 consecutive matches to improve to 22-3 overall. WWU defeated the Wolves by scores of 25-7, 25-15, 25-8 to improve to 17-0 in GNAC play. Western Oregon dropped to 6-18 overall and 3-14 in league play.
“It was really great to see the team hoist that trophy and all the smiles on their face after a great performance tonight,” said head coach Diane Flick-Williams. “The trophy is a symbol of a lot of hard work, and I am really happy for our five seniors to experience this again and have this memory.”
Senior outside hitter Abby Phelps (Manson, WA/Chelan) led the Vikings with a 13-kill, 11-dig double-double, and also had 2 blocks for a team-high 16.0 points. Phelps moved into 2nd place all-time in GNAC history increasing her career kills total to 1,499, now just 15 kills from breaking the career record of 1,513 held by Sam Harthun of Alaska Fairbanks (2012-15).
“Abby was just herself tonight, didn’t try to do too much, and played within herself…and that’s when she is at her best,” said Flick-Williams on her All-American outside hitter. “She is a great team leader and really contributing all over the court.”
Middle hitters Kayleigh Harper (Jr., Oak Harbor, WA) and Michaela Hall (Sr., Centralia, WA) combined for 16 kills and 8 blocks. Redshirt freshman Gabby Gunterman (Lake Stevens, WA) also had 9 kills on a .538 hitting percentage.
“Our middles continue to not give teams a break,” added Flick-Williams. “They are amazingly consistent, both on offense and defense and are really playing well right now.”
Senior setter Brette Boesel (Brewster, WA) recorded a match-high 37 assists and senior libero Aubrey Stephens (Colville, WA) recorded 15 digs to lead all players.
WWU hit a season-high .390 in the match and matched a season high with 8 service aces. Junior defensive specialist Mae Thungc (Kent, WA/Kentridge) had 3 aces, with Boesel and Phelps each contributing 2 aces.
The Vikings (22-3, 17-0 GNAC) return to action Saturday night hosting Concordia for Senior Night beginning at 7 pm in Carver Gym. Brette Boesel, Abby Phelps, Michaela Hall, Taylor Lyall and Aubrey Stephens will be honored in a pregame ceremony prior to playing their last regular-season match in Carver Gym.
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