WWU Vikings

Vikings volleyball win fourth straight with 31st consecutive win over Saints

Middle blocker Kayla Erickson had a match-high 13 kills on .500 attack efficiency and a team-high four blocks as Western Washington University swept Saint Martin’s University, 25-22, 25-23, 25-11, in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference volleyball match on Saturday, Oct. 11, at Marcus Pavilion on the SMU campus.

Libero Samantha Hutchinson, the national leader in digs, had a match-high 29 for the Vikings, rated No.10 in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association NCAA Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll, who defeated the Saints for the 31st consecutive time.

WWU improved to 14-4 overall and 7-2 in the GNAC play with its fourth straight victory.

SMU, which dropped to 4-16 overall and 1-8 in conference action, got a match-high six blocks from Hope Martensen. Maddie Knecht had nine kills and Jessica Riddle 18 digs for the Saints.

Outside hitter Kelsey Moore contributed 10 kills and Rachel Roeder had eight for WWU, which finished with a .257 attack percentage, while holding SMU to .076.

Though never trailing in the match, WWU led by just two, 24-22, in the first set and by only one, 23-22, in the second before closing them out. The Vikings easily won the match-ending third set, finishing it with a 13-4 run.

“It wasn’t pretty, but we did a good job of upgrading in the third set,” said WWU volleyball coach Diane Flick (15th year, 310-82).

The Vikings, whose last loss to the Saints came in 1998, upped their series advantage to 52-5.

WWU’s next match is a GNAC counter at Simon Fraser on Saturday, Oct. 18 (7 p.m.)