Four players had six or more kills with a hitting percentage over .400 as Western Washington University swept Point Loma Nazarene University, 25-21, 27-25, 25-15, in a final-day match-up of nationally ranked opponents on Saturday, Sept. 12, at the Great Northwest Athletic Conference/Pacific West Conference Crossover Tournament held at Nicholson Pavilion on the campus of host Central Washington University.
It was the sixth straight win for the Vikings, ranked No.19 in this week’s American Volleyball Coaches Association NCAA Division II Top 25 Poll, who improved to 6-2 with wins in all four of their tournament matches.
PLNU, rated No. 20, dropped to 4-3.
Rachel Roeder (Sr., Sammamish/Issaquah) led WWU with 10 kills (.409). Joellee Buckner (So., Colville) had seven kills and a .500 attack percentage along with 12 digs, two service aces and one block.
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Kayleigh Harper (R-Fr., Oak Harbor) contributed seven kills (.412) and three blocks, Abby Phelps (R-Fr., Manson/Chelan) seven kills and six digs, Michaela Hall (R-Fr., Centralia) six kills (.429) and two blocks, Jennica McPherson (Sr., Seattle/Kennedy) four kills, six digs and three aces; and Bryce Larson (Jr., Mukilteo/Kamiak) 14 digs.
WWU setters Brette Boesel (R-Fr., Brewster) and Kristina Tribley (So., Wenatchee) had 24 and 14 assists, respectively.
“This was probably the most balanced offensive match we’ve had this season,” said WWU head coach Diane Flick (16th year, 323-87). “We continue to play as a team with everyone having a role and playing it to the maximum. And everyone did, and it was great.”
WWU never trailed in the first set, closing it with a 4-1 run as Hall and Phelps had kills. There were 15 ties and six lead changes in the second set which ended with two PLNU attack errors. The Vikings closed out the third set and the match with a 12-3 run.
WWU has faced five nationally ranked opponents in its first eight matches, defeating three of them.
The Vikings open GNAC play Thursday, Sept. 17 (7 p.m.), at the Whatcom CC Pavilion, playing host to Saint Martin’s University.
Outside hitter Rachel Roeder (Sr., Sammamish/Issaquah) was named to the Great Northwest Athletic Conference/Pacific West Conference Crossover all-tournament team announced Saturday, Sept. 12. She had 41 kills and an attack percentage of .347.