The nationally ranked Western Washington University volleyball team swept Wayne State University, 25-18, 25-22, 25-12, in its final match at the University of Tampa Classic on Saturday, Sept. 5.
The Vikings, ranked No.24 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association NCAA Division II Preseason Poll, improved to 2-2. Earlier in the day, they rallied to defeat No.4 University of Minnesota Duluth, 26-24, 22-25, 15-25, 25-18, 15-10.
Wayne State, which fell to 0-4, was led by the 12 kills of Hannah Moore.
“This match was a lot better as far as balance between offense and defense,” said WWU head coach Diane Flick (16th year, 319-87). “We had a much better offensive effort, but we had that because our defense played so well and gave us so many more opportunities to take swings.”
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“Every team we faced was a different type of team and I was happy with how our young team responded with a short turnaround after an emotional match.”
Opposite-side hitter Joellee Buckner (So., Colville) had eight kills and 14 digs for the Vikings, and outside hitter Abby Phelps (R-Fr., Manson/Chelan) contributed six kills, eight digs and two blocks.
Jennica McPherson (Sr., Seattle/Kennedy) had six kills and eight digs, Rachel Roeder (Sr., Sammamish/Issaquah) nine kills and two blocks and Kayleigh Harper (R-Fr., Oak Harbor) eight kills and three blocks.
In game one, WWU scored eight straight points, Buckner having three kills and Roeder two, for an early 11-5 lead and upped its lead to as many as 10 points following a 7-1 run.
The Vikings never trailed in games two and three, closing the match with an 8-1 run. They finished with a .278 hitting percentage to .133 for WSU.
WWU setters Kristina Tribley (So., Wenatchee) and Brette Boesel (R-Fr., Brewster) had 21 and 19 assists, respectively.
The Vikings, who opened their season Friday with 3-0 losses to No.9 Wheeling Jesuit and No.1 and defending national champion Tampa, next compete in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference/Pacific West Conference Crossover Tournament at Ellensburg on Sept. 11-12.