WWU Vikings

WWU wraps up regular season with marathon victory over Anchorage

Outside hitter Kelsey Moore had a career-high 23 kills as No. 15 Western Washington University edged No. 24 University of Alaska Anchorage, 23-25, 25-22, 25-23, 13-25, 17-15, in a marathon Great Northwest Athletic Conference volleyball match late Saturday, Nov. 15, at Anchorage.

It was the regular-season finale for both teams, but each was expected to receive an at-large berth in next week’s NCAA Division II West Regional on Sunday Nov. 16.

The Vikings (21-6) finished third in the GNAC standings at 14-4 with their fourth straight victory.

With the fifth set tied at 15-all, Moore and middle blocker Kayla Erickson each had kills to give the Vikings the hard-earned victory. WWU trailed 10-7 in the set which was tied eight times.

Erickson, who was ill on Friday, had just eight kills, an average of 1.6 per set. She entered the match as the Vikings’ leader in that category at 3.53.

“Before the match, the whole team surrounded Kayla and said, ‘You do the best you can, and we’ll get it done,’” said WWU head coach Diane Flick. “It was a great team effort. Kelsey Moore was just absolutely outstanding. We rode her back for most of the match. I’m just so proud of each and every one of them.”

Rachel Roeder had 13 kills for WWU, and Joellee Buckner added 12. Libero Samantha Hutchinson, the national dig leader, had a match-high 34.