With none of the sets decided by more than three points, Western Washington University prevailed against host Sonoma State 22-25 25-23, 33-31, 26-24 in an epic battle between two nationally ranked teams Saturday, Sept. 8, that concluded the Seawolf Spike Invitational Volleyball Tournament held on the SSU campus.
The Vikings, ranked No.18 in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association NCAA Division II Coaches' Poll, improved to 7-1 and tied for the tourney title as they defeated Chico State, 25-14, 19-25, 25-20, 25-23, earlier in the day. Sonoma State, rated No.23, fell to 6-2, and the loss was Chico State's first after opening with six wins.
"I wish that I had the words to describe how well we played, " WWU head coach Diane Flick said in a press release. "It wasn't just about executing, it was the fact when we got in a tight situation, we just rallied back and forth and took advantage of an opportunity here and there, and that was the difference in three of those games."
WWU outside hitter Marlayna Geary had 25 kills, libero Samantha Hutchinson 33 digs, and setter Laurie Yearout 58 assists, all match highs.
Geary, who hit for a .489 percentage, also had 14 digs, the double-double being her seventh in eight matches this season.
Middle blocker Kayla Erickson had 14 kills for WWU and Emily Boerger added 10 kills and a match-high five blocks.
The Vikings, the preseason Great Northwest Athletic Conference preseason favorite, begin league play this weekend, entertaining Montana State Billings at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14, at WWU.