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Vikings Top West Region, Earn Team Of The Week
Western Washington came back from a 2-0 deficit to defeat Cal State San Bernardino in five sets in the finals.
Western Washington came back from a 2-0 deficit to defeat Cal State San Bernardino in five sets in the finals.
The Vikings advance to the Elite Eight for the first time since 2007. It is also the first time a GNAC team advanced since that year.
The Vikings advance to the Elite Eight for the first time since 2007. It is also the first time a GNAC team advanced since that year.

Monday, December 7, 2015

PORTLAND, Ore. – With back-to-back five-set victories, the Western Washington volleyball team claimed the NCAA Division II West Region title and earned the GNAC’s Red Lion Team of the Week award.

“This team will take us on every roller coaster possible,” said head coach Diane Flick. “I am so proud of them because they decided to fight and fight harder.”

The Vikings entered the regional tournament as the No. 2 seed, sweeping No. 7 Point Loma 25-23, 25-13, 25-19 in the opening round. Freshman Abby Phelps led the team with 13 kills, a .375 hitting percentage and 18 digs.

The Vikings then faced two five-set matches to advance to the NCAA Division II Volleyball Elite Eight. Against No. 6 seed UC San Diego, Western Washington responded from deficits of 1-0 and 2-1 to take the match in the final set. Phelps again led the team with 16 kills and 22 digs. Senior Rachel Roeder had 15 kills and a .319 hitting percentage. Freshman Kayleigh Harper added nine kills and a match high seven block assists.

In the final match, Western Washington faced a team with two come-from-behind victories in the tournament in Cal State San Bernardino. The Vikings found themselves behind after two sets, but turned the tables with their own comeback victory, winning the match 21-25, 14-25, 25-22, 25-23, 16-14. Western Washington trailed 14-13 in the final set with CSUSB on match point, but answered with three straight points to claim the tournament.

“My hat’s off to Cal State San Bernardino,” said Flick. “They put up some great competition. They have some great hitters, they play some good defense, they are well coached and they make good adjustments.”

Roeder led the team with 22 kills in the match, adding six block assists. Phelps had 17 kills and 23 digs and Harper had eight kills with nine block assists.

“I’m not ready to be done,” said Roeder. “I’m going to fight as hard as I can every day and I think that’s how the rest of this team is too.”

The Vikings advance to the Elite Eight for the first time since 2007. They travel to Tampa, Fla., to face Rockhurst at 11:30 a.m. Pacific time on Thurs., Dec. 10. Rockhurst enters with a 34-3 overall record while the Vikings come in at 26-5.

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