No. 17 WWU beats volleyball in straight sets

Photo by Nick Gonzalez, WWU Photography

Jamie Foland

Western Washington made 15 blocks and used 26 Alaska errors to pick up a 3-0 Great Northwest Athletic Conference volleyball victory on Saturday night at Carver Gymnasium.

The Vikings (20-3, 13-2 GNAC) won the match by set scores of 25-11, 25-17 an 25-11 against the Nanooks (5-15, 3-11 GNAC) and they hold a 1.5 game lead over Western Oregon atop the league standings with three conference matches to play.

Marlayna Geary had a team-best eight kills and hit .261 (8-2-23) to go with two blocks (one solo) while Kayla Erickson tallied seven kills and hit for .294 (7-2-17) along with seven total blocks (one solo). Samantha Hutchinson tallied 21 digs, a match-high, while Laurie Yearout dished out 29 assists and Emily Boerger and Kelsey Moore each had five blocks, respectively.

Freshman middle blocker Megan Morrison had a match-high nine kills while freshman outside hitter Sam Harthun had seven terminations and 11 digs. Senior libero Allison Oddy totaled 18 digs and freshman setter Katlyn Mataya added 17 assists.

WWU hit .267 as a team while limited Alaska to -.038 for the night. The Vikings outscored the Nanooks 15-3 on blocks and 10-2 on service aces. Alaska made 26 attack errors while Western made only eight attack blunders.

In the first set, the Vikings surged out to a 6-0 lead due in part to four Alaska errors. Trailing 10-2, the ‘Nooks had a pair of kills and a WWU error to trim the deficit to 10-5. Later on with Western up 14-9, a pair of Nanook errors gave way for a 7-0 run and the Vikings would go on to take the first 25-11.

Alaska kept it close in the second but leading 11-10, WWU scored four in a row to go up 14-11. Later on with the home team up 20-15, Alaska got to within four twice but after a Reilly Stevens service error, Geary served up an ace and the Vikings got kills from Moore and Boerger to close the set 25-17.

Western opened the third on an 11-2 run to set the tone. The lead stretched to double digits at 13-3 and the Nanooks never drew closer than nine the rest of the frame as the Vikings won the third 25-11 to sweep the match.

The ‘Nooks return home next Thursday when they take on Seattle Pacific at 7 p.m. Two days later, Alaska closes out the home portion of the schedule with Senior Day at 3 p.m. against Montana State-Billings.