Volleyball falls 3-0 to No. 16 Western Washington

Megan Morrison had a season-high five kills in the loss to WWU.

Jamie Foland

Marlayna Geary was the lone player to record double-figure kills and Western Washington notched a 3-0 (25-18, 25-19, 25-17) Great Northwest Athletic Conference volleyball victory against host Alaska on Thursday night at the Patty Center.

The Vikings improved to 13-2 overall and 6-1 in GNAC play with the win while the Nanooks dropped their 10th in a row to fall to 2-10 on the year and 0-6 in league action.

Geary of WWU registered a match-best 10 kills to go with her .318 attack percentage (10-3-22) and match-high 14 digs. Kayla Erickson and Kelsey Moore combined for 15 kills and seven block assists, respectively, and Laurie Yearout dished out a match-best 36 assists.

Alaska was led by freshman middle blocker Megan Morrison, freshman outside hitter Sam Harthun and senior outside hitter Reilly Stevens. All three players recorded team-highs of five kills, a season-high for Morrison, while Stevens contributed a team-best 13 digs. Sophomore middle blocker Britt Glaeser added three kills and hit .300 (3-0-10) as well as a match-high four blocks (two solo).

Western hit .217 (39-16-106) for the match, while limiting Alaska to just .017 (26-24-120) for the evening. The Vikings outscored the Nanooks 9-6 on blocks while the home team held a 5-2 edge on service aces. Teams combined for 13 service errors but WWU held the advantage on assists (38-26) and digs (53-45).

The first set was tight early on but with Alaska leading 9-8, Western Washington scored seven of eight, four by way of kills and three by Alaska errors, to grab a 15-10 advantge. Trailing 18-13, the Nanooks closed the gap with a 5-1 run, with a pair of Keri Knight kills, two WWU errors and a Stevens ace. The Vikings, however, wouldn’t give up another point, tallying the next six to win the first 25-18.

Western picked up the early lead and only tied Alaska thrice early, but with it knotted at 7-7, WWU scored four straight to lead 11-7. Teams traded points for the most part and the Nanooks never could get closer than two, with the last at 17-15. The Vikings bumped the lead quickly back to five at 21-16 and took the second 25-19.

Alaska surged to a 4-1 lead in the third and would lead by three at 8-5. WWU erased the deficit with three straight to tie it at eight. With the set tied at 10 apiece, the Vikings went on a 6-1 run, three coming from Nanook errors, to grab a comfortable 16-11 lead. Alaska crept back, getting to within a pair at 18-16, forcing the visitors to call timeout. Out of the break, the Nanooks committed three errors in four points to give Western a 22-16 advantage. WWU went on to take the third 25-17 to earn the sweep.

The ‘Nooks return to action Saturday at 7 p.m. when the host Simon Fraser, which fell 3-0 at Alaska Anchorage earlier Thursday.