The Vikings defeated No. 15 West Florida in five sets to conclude the West Florida Invitational. PHOTOS: WWU Athletics
Vikings End Tournament on High Note with 3-2
Victory Over West Florida
August 25, 2018
PENSACOLA, Fla. – The Western Washington University volleyball team traveled across the country to face four of the toughest teams in the nation at the West Florida Invitational, and after a tough start, ended on high note defeating the tournament host Argonauts in a five-set thriller Saturday evening at the UWF Field House.
WWU (1-3), ranked No. 5 in the preseason AVCA top 25, entered the win column for the 2018 season by beating the No. 15 Argonauts (2-2) by scores of 25-15, 21-25, 25-21, 24-26, 15-13. The Vikings opened the tournament falling to No. 24 Wheeling Jesuit, No. 2 Southwest Minnesota State and No. 7 Regis, the beginning of a grueling non-conference schedule that features all eight opponents ranked or receiving votes in the preseason poll.
“I’m so proud of how our team grinded through a tough weekend, and kept working on getting better,” said 19th-year head coachDiane Flick-Williams. “This was a full team effort with Brette (Boesel) running a great offense, our middles being consistent go-to weapons and our defense giving us second and third opportunities.”
Senior outside hitter Abby Phelps (Manson, WA/Chelan) led the Vikings with 24 kills, the second-best kill performance of her career (28 vs. Alaska Anchorage in last year’s NCAA Championships). She added 15 digs for her third double-double of the season and also had a service ace for 25.0 total points.
Sophomore outside hitter Alison Davenport (Auburn, WA/Auburn Riverside) concluded a solid tournament with her second double-double of the day, contributing 10 kills, 16 digs and a career-high 7 blocks.
“Alison’s block set the tone for us and was solid all match,” said Flick-Williams.
Junior middle Kayleigh Harper (Oak Harbor, WA) tallied a match-high 8 blocks, and added 12 kills on a .333 attack percentage.
Senior setter Brette Boesel (Brewster, WA) recorded a career-high 58 assists and senior libero Aubrey Stephens (Colville, WA) recorded a match-high 26 digs.
The Vikings held an advantage in nearly every statistical category, including Kills (67-65), Blocks (13-6), digs (91-83) and assists (63-59).
West Florida was led by 18 kills from junior outside hitter Jordyn Poppen and a 10-kill, 4-block effort from senior middle Mackenzie Chrisman.
The Vikings return to action next week closing out the non-conference portion of the season with four matches at the D2 West Region Showcase in Azusa, California, hosted by Azusa Pacific University. The tournament matches up all the West Region volleyball teams, with the Vikings playing in the A Pod (top two teams from the GNAC, CCAA, PacWest) against Cal State San Bernardino, Sonoma State, Biola and Azusa Pacific. Live links to follow the matches via webcast and live stats are available at WWUVikings.com/Live.
PHELPS NAMED TO ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM…Abby Phelps was named to the seven-player West Florida Invitational All-Tournament Team…Phelps averaged 3.67 kills and 4.33 digs per set in WWU’s four matches, all against ranked opponents…her kills per game average was second-best in the tournament behind the 5.80 mark by Southwest Minnesota State’s Taylor Reiss.
WWU CAREER KILL LEADERS…Abby Phelps moved into 4th place in WWU history, becoming just the fourth player in program history to pass the 1,200 kill mark for a career…Phelps also moved into 19th place in GNAC history.
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.
Kills – Phelps (24), Harper (12), Davenport (10)
Service Aces – Phelps (1), Davenport (1), Payne (1)
Blocks – Harper (8), Davenport (7), Hall (5), Gunterman (3)
Assists – Boesel (58)
Digs – Stephens (26), Thungc (18), Davenport (16), Phelps (15)
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