PHOTOS: WWU Athletics
WWU Volleyball: Phelps Honored as Team Moves Up.
October 22, 2018
ABBY PHELPS NAMED GNAC VOLLEYBALL DEFENSIVE
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
BELLINGHAM, Wash. – Western Washington University senior outside hitter Abby Phelps has been named the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Volleyball Defensive Player of the Week, for matches played during the week of October 15-21.
Phelps (Manson, WA/Chelan) helped lead the No. 4 nationally-ranked Vikings to a road sweep over Alaska Anchorage (3-1) and Alaska Fairbanks (3-0) by averaging 5.29 digs and 0.86 blocks per set. She also tallied 25 kills for a team-best 3.57 kills per set average. In the 3-1 win over UAA she recorded 21 digs and one block (and 14 kills) and against UAF she had 16 digs and 5 blocks (11 kills).
“With the great numbers that Abby puts up offensively, sometimes her defense gets overlooked,” said head coach Diane Flick-Williams. “What was impressive this weekend was how much her countless hours of blocking work paid off. This weekend, her front court and back court play was very solid.”
The GNAC weekly award was the eighth of her career to set the conference record for most player of the week awards in a career, passing the seven player of the week awards by Seattle Pacific’s Alyssa Given from 2004-07. Phelps has earned three awards this season (2 offense, 1 defense) and also won two as a sophomore and three as a junior. Over her career, eight of the five player of the week awards have been for offense, with three on defense.
“Abby has worked so hard to be a complete player and I’m so proud of her for always working to improve her game,” added Flick-Williams. “It not only pays off for her individually but her leadership in terms of work ethic will be a lasting legacy at WWU.”
In 22 matches this season, Phelps has recorded 18 double-doubles (kills-digs) and leads the conference averaging 4.01 kills per set and is 8th averaging 4.52 digs per set. She is also the conference leader in points with 347.5 (4.51/set).
Over her four-year career, the 2017 AVCA First Team All-American and GNAC Player of the Year is the WWU all-time leader in kills with 1,464, third-most in conference history. She is now just 50 kills short of breaking the all-time GNAC record of 1,513 held by Alaska Fairbanks Sam Harthun.
With Phelps’ record eighth career player of the week award and third this season, WWU has now had seven GNAC Player of the Week selections this season. Phelps (3), Kayleigh Harper (3) and Brette Boesel (1) have combined for the seven weekly awards.
The Vikings (19-3 overall, 14-0 GNAC) have a quick turnaround after the road trip to Alaska, hosting Simon Fraser Tuesday night in Carver Gym (7 pm) and then take right back to the road travelling to play Montana State Billings on Thursday night (7 pm MT/6 pm PT). WWU has won its last 19 matches, the fifth-longest winning streak in program history.
WWU VOLLEYBALL RISES TO NO. 2 IN AVCA
DIVISION II COACHES POLL
BELLINGHAM, Wash. – The Western Washington University volleyball team moved up to No. 2 in this week’s American Volleyball Coaches Association Division II Coaches Poll.
Riding a current 19-match winning streak and coming off a road sweep of the Alaska schools, the Vikings climbed two spots from No. 4 to No. 2 in the rankings to match the highest ranking in program history. WWU ended the 2007 season No. 2 as the national runner-up and also had a No. 2 ranking near the end of the 2003 season.
WWU received 1,091 total poll points and tallied seven of the 48 first-place votes. The national top five includes No. 1 Concordia-St. Paul (21-4), No. 2 WWU (19-3), No. 3 Cal State San Bernardino (20-2), No. 4 Tampa (23-1) and No. 5 Northern State (22-2).
The Vikings are 19-3 overall and are perfect in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference at 14-0. This marks the third consecutive week the Vikings have moved up in the rankings, moving from No. 7 to No. 4 and now to No. 2.
After starting the season 0-3, all losses against ranked opponents, the Vikings have won each of their last 19 matches beginning with a 3-2 win over then No. 15 West Florida on August 25. The 19-match winning streak is 5th-longest in program history and currently the 4th-longest active streak in NCAA Division II. During the streak, WWU has won 57 of 67 sets, including recording 12 3-0 sweeps. WWU has also won its last 32 conference matches dating back to the beginning of the 2017 season.
WWU has now been ranked in 90 consecutive national polls dating back to the beginning of the 2012 season. WWU has finished each of the last six seasons (since 2012) ranked in the top 25, including No. 7 last season.
The NCAA will release the first of its three West Region rankings on Wednesday (Oct. 24), with additional release dates on Oct. 31 and Nov. 7. The NCAA regional rankings decide the eight-team field that will make up the NCAA II West Regional Championship, with the No. 1 seed often hosting the regional.
The Vikings (19-3 overall, 14-0 GNAC) have a quick turnaround after the road trip to Alaska, hosting Simon Fraser Tuesday night in Carver Gym (7 pm) and then take right back to the road travelling to play Montana State Billings on Thursday night (7 pm MT/6 pm PT).
Here is a look at the Oct. 22 (Week #9) AVCA Division II Coaches Top 25:
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