Senior outside hitter Rachel Roeder recorded 22 kills, including the match winner, to lead the No. 2 seed Western Washington University Vikings to the NCAA Division II Volleyball West Regional Championship with a 3-2 comeback win over Cal State San Bernardino Sunday evening, Dec. 6, at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage, Alaska
The Vikings trailed 2-0 in the match before staging the comeback to advance to the Elite 8 in Tampa, Fla. Game scores were 21-25, 14-25, 25-22, 25-23, 16-14 to give the Vikings their second appearance in the Elite 8 — the last came in 2007.
WWU will face Midwest Regional Champion Rockhurst in the national quarterfinal on Thursday, Dec. 10, at the Bob Martinez Athletics Complex on the University of Tampa campus.
“It is hard to put this into words what it means to advance to an Elite 8,” said 16th-year head coach Diane Flick. “This team, they will just take us on just about every roller coaster possible. But they will take us to the end of the road. They decided to fight, and fight harder.”
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Roeder finished with the second most kills in a match during her WWU career, trailing just a 24-kill performance Sept. 6, 2014 vs. the same Cal State San Bernardino squad. Roeder also added six block-assists in the victory while being named to the 2015 NCAA II West Regional Volleyball Championships All-Tournament Team.
Redshirt freshman Abby Phelps notched her team-high 11th double-double of the season with 17 kills and 23 digs. The 2015 GNAC Freshman of the Year enters the NCAA quarterfinal with a string of five consecutive double-doubles. She was also named to the all-tournament team.
Redshirt freshman Kayleigh Harper recorded 9 total blocks to join Roeder and Phelps on the All-Tournament team.