A total team effort lifted the Vikings to a 3-0 sweep over Northwest Nazarene. PHOTO: WWU Athletics
#13 Vikings Sweep NNU for 8th Straight Win
September 14, 2018
NAMPA, Idaho – The No. 13 ranked Western Washington University volleyball team recorded its eighth consecutive victory with a three-game sweep over Northwest Nazarene Thursday evening in Great Northwest Athletic Conference action inside the Johnson Sports Center.
WWU improved to 8-3 overall and is off to a 3-0 start in GNAC play with the 25-21, 25-14, 25-18 victory. NNU, the conference runner-up behind the Vikings last season, falls to 1-9 overall and 1-2 in GNAC play.
“I think we grew within the match and really sided out well and that gave us chances on offense,” said 18th-year head coach Diane Flick-Williams. “The highlight of our match was our service game. JP (Janae Payne) was really great from the service line and really set the tone for us, especially in the second set. That was key for us to serve tough and win the pass game.”
Senior outside hitter Abby Phelps (Manson, WA/Chelan) continues to show why she is an All-American, recording her 10thdouble-double in 11 matches with 15 kills and 12 digs.
Middle hitters Michaela Hall (Sr., Centralia, WA) and Kayleigh Harper (Jr., Oak Harbor, WA) each contributed 10 kills, with Hall adding 5 blocks and Harper 4 blocks. The Vikings out-blocked the Nighthawks 9-3 in the match.
“Our middles and outside hitters were really efficient tonight and put a lot of pressure on the defense,” added Flick-Williams. “It was really a good team effort tonight. Brette’s (Brette Boesel) set distribution was one of the best it has been in her career.”
Senior libero Aubrey Stephens (Colville, WA) led all players with 17 digs and senior setter Brette Boesel (Brewster, WA) ran the offense with 41 assists.
Sophomore Janae Payne (Oak Harbor, WA) had 2 of WWU’s 5 service aces, giving her 11 aces on the season (0.35 per set).
WWU hit a season-high .322 (45 kills-8 errors-115 attacks) in the match, while holding NNU to a .115 mark.
NNU was led by 9 kills from Kayla Sale and 14-dig efforts from Cami Heninger and Shayli Siegfreid.
The Vikings continue on the road facing Central Washington on Saturday at 7 pm in Ellensburg, Wash. The match can be followed via live stats and webcast at GNAC.tv.
SET 1 (WWU 25, NNU 21): The Vikings stormed out to a 7-3 lead, but the set tightened with NNU going on a 10-6 run to level the score at 13-13. WWU pulled away from a 16-15 lead with a 4-0 run and never looked back in the 25-21 win to go up 1-0. Phelps tallied 6 kills and 5 digs, with Hall and Gunterman contributing 4 kills, and Harper adding 3 kills and a pair of blocks.
SET 2 (WWU 25, NNU 14): WWU again got off to a quick start in the second set building a 5-1 lead to force NNU to take their first timeout. NNU cut into Western’s lead to pull to within four points at 8-4, but the Vikings went on a 6-2 run to grow the lead to 14-6 forcing the Nighthawks second timeout. WWU closed out the set with the 25-14 win to go up 2-0 in the match. Phelps added 5 kills
SET 3 (WWU 25, NNU 17): The two teams were locked in a tight early part of the third set, with WWU leading 9-8. But the Vikings pulled away going on a 6-2 run to grab a 15-10 lead. NNU came out of its own timeout scoring consecutive points to cut the lead to 15-12, but the Vikings ended the match with a 10-6 run to record the sweep.
MATCH NOTES…the Vikings extended their winning streak to 8 consecutive matches after opening the season with three consecutive losses to top 25 teams at the West Florida Invitational (#24 Wheeling Jesuit, #2 Southwest Minnesota State, #7 Regis)…WWU has now won its last 21 GNAC matches dating back to its last conference loss on Sept. 16, 2017 at NNU…the Vikings now lead the all-time series vs. NNU 38-9…Aubrey Stephens crossed over the 900-dig mark for her career, now with 916 in her career to rank 18th in program history…Abby Phelps now has 10 double-doubles in 11 matches this season, and 65 in 104 career matches…Phelps now has 1,320 career kills to remain 3rd in WWU and 12th in GNAC history…Michaela Hall now has 353 career blocks, remaining 10th in WWU history and within 3 blocks of 9th place.
Kills - Phelps (15), Hall (10), Harper (10)
Aces - Payne (2), Boesel (1), Phelps (1)
Blocks - Hall (5), Harper (4), Davenport (3)
Assists - Boesel (41)
Digs - Stephens (17), Phelps (12), Davenport (7)
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