WWU Senior Abby Phelps logs another double-double with 11 kills and 19 digs in victory. PHOTO: WWU Athletics
WWU Volleyball Claims 2 Wins in California
August 31, 2018
AZUSA, Calif. – Led by another double-double from senior outside hitter Abby Phelps and an 8-kill, 8-block performance by junior middle Kayleigh Harper, the No. 15-ranked Western Washington University volleyball team recorded a 3-0 sweep over Azusa Pacific Thursday evening to cap the first day of the 2018 D2 West Region Volleyball Showcase at the Felix Event Center.
The Vikings won their third consecutive match to even the season record at 3-3, with tonight’s victory over the tournament host Cougars the first against a team not ranked in the AVCA top-25. APU, the preseason favorite to win the PacWest, evened its season record at 3-3. Game scores were 25-19, 25-22, 25-15 in favor of the Vikings.
“This was a very solid match after a grueling five-set match earlier in the day,” said head coach Diane Flick-Williams. “I’m so proud of our approach and how well they were prepared for this match.”
Phelps (Manson, WA/Chelan) recorded her fifth double-double in six matches this season with registering match highs with 11 kills and 19 digs. She also had 3 service aces and one block assist to finish with a team-high 14.5 points.
Harper (Oak Harbor, WA) completed a 20-block day with 8 against APU (had 12 in 5-set victory over Cal State San Bernardino earlier today), and added 8 kills on a .316 hitting percentage.
Senior middle Michaela Hall (Centralia, WA) added 8 kills on a .421 hitting percentage, and contributed 3 blocks.
Senior setter Brette Boesel (Brewster, WA) ran the offense to perfection with 31 assists, also chipping in 3 kills, 7 digs and 3 blocks.
“Brette set a great offense today and really put our hitters in the best position to score,” added Flick-Williams on her senior setter.
The defensive specialist duo of senior Aubrey Stephens (Colville, WA) and junior Mae Thungc (Kent, WA/Kentridge) combined for 28 digs, with Thungc recording 15 digs.
Azusa Pacific was led by 10 kills from Aliyah Morrison (.333) and 17 digs from Sophia Newhouse.
EARLIER ON THURSDAY...In a rematch of two of the last three West Regional finals, the Western Washington University volleyball team came from behind to rally for a 3-2 victory over Cal State San Bernardino Thursday afternoon in the 2018 D2 West Region Volleyball Classic.
The No. 15-ranked Vikings overcame a 2-1 deficit, winning the fourth and fifth sets in dominating fashion for the 22-25, 25-22, 17-25, 25-17, 15-11 victory in the Felix Event Center on the Azusa Pacific University campus. WWU improved to 2-3 on the season while playing its fifth consecutive match vs. a ranked opponent, while CSUSB suffered its first defeat of the season to fall to 4-1.
“That was a gritty match by both teams,” said 19th-year head coach Diane Flick-Williams, who is now four wins shy of 400 for her WWU career. “It’s always a battle with San Bernardino and I’m happy with how we got better throughout the match.”
Junior middle Kayleigh Harper (Oak Harbor, WA) led the way for the Vikings with an 18-kill, 12-block effort to record a match-high 26.0 points. Senior outside hitter Abby Phelps (Manson, WA/Chelan) added a 21-kill, 25-dig double-double.
“Kayleigh was outstanding this match. She not only was aggressive at the net, she was smart too,” added Flick-Williams. “And her blocking really created some opportunities for us.”
The Vikings return to action on Friday during the second day of the D2 West Region Volleyball Showcase facing Sonoma State (4-3) at 3 pm at the Felix Event Center on the Azusa Pacific campus. The game can be followed via live stats and a pay-per-view webcast with links available at WWUVikings.com/Live.
MATCH NOTES…WWU improved to 3-0 all-time vs. Azusa Pacific, with previous victories over the Cougars in 2014 (3-1) and 1997 (3-0)…in the fifth year of the West Region Showcase, WWU is now 15-3 all-time in the D2 West Region Showcase since the first year in 2014…head coach Diane Flick-Williams is now 3 wins shy of becoming the 33rd NCAA II head coach to record the 400-win milestone (397-106/.789)…Abby Phelps played in her 99th career match and has recorded a double-double in 60 of those matches (61%)…Phelps moved into 4th in WWU history (and 16th in GNAC history) with 1,487 career digs, moving past former teammate Joellee Buckner (2014-17) on both lists…Kayleigh Harper is averaging 1.61 blocks per set this season (37 blocks)…sophomore Janae Payne had 2 service aces, and has recorded at least one ace in 4 of the 5 matches she has appeared in.
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.
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 (11), Hall (8), Harper (8)
Aces – Phelps (3), Payne (2)
Blocks – Harper (8), Boesel (3), Hall (3)
Assists – Boesel (31)
Digs – Phelps (19), Thungc (15), Stephens (13)
-- @WWUVolleyball --
Kayleigh Harper recorded 26.0 points via 18 kills and 12 blocks in the 3-2 victory over Cal State San Bernardino. PHOTO: WWU Athletics