Western Washington University had five players with eight or more kills and six with two or more blocks as it upended Brigham Young Hawaii, 25-13, 25-20, 24-26, 25-11, in a battle between nationally ranked opponents on Friday, Sept. 11, at a Great Northwest Athletic Conference/Pacific West Conference Crossover Tournament being held at Nicholson Pavilion on the campus of host Central Washington University.
The Vikings, ranked No.19 in this week’s American Volleyball Coaches Association NCAA Division II Top 25 Poll, won their fifth straight match in improving to 5-2. They close out the tourney Saturday, Sept. 12 (9:30 a.m.), against No.20 Point Loma Nazarene.
BYUH, rated No. 21, fell to 2-4.
WWU’s Joellee Buckner (So., Colville) had a match-high 13 kills along with 12 digs and three blocks. Also posting match bests were Kayleigh Harper (R-Fr., Oak Harbor) with eight blocks and Jennica McPherson (Sr., Seattle/Kennedy) with six service aces.
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McPherson also had 15 digs and three blocks, and Harper added eight kills.
The Vikings also got 10 kills and four blocks from Abby Phelps (R-Fr., Manson/Chelan), eight kills and four blocks from Michaela Hall (R-Fr., Centralia), 16 digs from Bryce Larson (Jr., Mukilteo/Kamiak) and eight kills from Rachel Roeder (Sr., Sammamish/Issaquah).
WWU setters Brette Boesel (R-Fr., Brewster) and Kristina Tribley (So., Wenatchee) contributed 24 and 19 assists, respectively, and Hall and Harper each had .400 hitting percentages.
“No. 1, we’re passing the ball well, and the setters are running a balanced attack,” said WWU head coach Diane Flick (16th year, 322-87). “This was a good win for us and we hope that we can finish the tournament in the right way.”
The Vikings scored the first 10 points, three on aces by McPherson, in winning game one and took a 2-0 lead as Buckner and Harper finished off game two with kills.
After falling in game three following five ties in the final 13 points, WWU ended the match with a 20-6 run in game four.
WWU has now played four nationally ranked opponents in its first seven matches.