Outside hitter Kelsey Moore delivered 20 kills and libero Samantha Hutchinson contributed 41 digs, both match highs, but their efforts were not enough as nationally ranked Western Washington University was upset by Montana State University Billings, 16-25, 25-20, 26-24, 17-25, 15-13, in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference volleyball match Saturday, Sept. 27, at Alterowitz Gymnasium on the MSUB campus.
Right-side hitter Jennica McPherson had her second straight double-double with 13 kills and 13 digs and middle blocker Kayla Erickson had 14 kills and five blocks for the Vikings, rated No.11 in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association NCAA Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll, who had a three-match winning streak snapped. They fell to10-4 overall and 3-2 in conference action.
MSUB, 7-1 at home this season, improved to 9-5 overall and 4-2 in GNAC play. The Yellowjackets got 19 kills from Ashlynn Ward, while Monica Grimsrud had 16 and Chelsey Walter 14.
The Vikings had five blocks in the first set, using a 9-3 run to close it out. They held a 10-4 lead in the second set, but MSUB came back and tied the match at 1-1.
There were 15 ties and seven lead changes in the third set, the Yellowjackets scoring four straight points for the win after trailing 24-22.
But WWU knotted the match at two games apiece with a 9-2 burst to end the fourth set.
Trailing 14-10 in the fifth set, the Vikings rallied to within one, 14-13, before Walter ended the match with a kill.
WWU returns home where it hosts GNAC matches against Central Washington on Thursday, Oct. 2 (7 p.m.), and Northwest Nazarene on Saturday, Oct. 4 (7 p.m.).