Volleyball: Vikings Play BYU-Hawaii in Semifinals
Emily Boerger (10) had six blocks to key Western Washington victory.
Emily Boerger (10) had six blocks to key Western Washington victory.

Friday, November 30, 2012

LAIE, Hawaii - Outside hitter Kelsey Moore led a balanced attack with 10 kills as fourth-seed Western Washington defeated Sonoma State 25-20, 25-18, 26-24  in the opening round of the NCAA Division II West Regional Thursday at the Cannon Activities Center on the campus of host Brigham Young Hawaii.

WWU advances to the second round against top-seed BYU-Hawaii (22-3) which beat UC San Diego 3-1 in its quarterfinal.  The Seasiders are ranked fifth nationally and the Vikings are 15th.

The semifinal between WWU and BYUH will be televised on BYUTV (Comcast channel 232) beginning at 9:30 p.m. (Pacific).

In an earlier match Thursday, third-seed Cal State San Bernardino rallied from a 2-1 set deficit to beat sixth-seed Central Washington 25-16, 20-25, 24-26, 25-16, 15-13.

Western Washington trailed 11-9 in the opening set of its match, but went on a 6-1 run to take a 15-12 lead and led by at least two points the rest of the frame.

The Vikings took control of the second set quickly, jumping to a 6-0 lead. The Seawolves never got closer than four points after that.

“I was really excited about how we started the match,” said WWU coach Diane Flick. “It would be easy to be nervous and tentative, but we came out really aggressive. I thought we set a really good tone for ourselves in the first two sets.”

The final set was close throughout, with the score tied 11 times.  WWU had two match points at 24-22, only to have Sonoma State battle back to tie the score before kills by Kayla Erickson and Marlayna Geary  finally put the match away.

The Vikings were brilliant defensively at the net, holding Sonoma State to just .088 attack efficiency and notching 13 blocks to just one for the Seawolves. Erickson and Emily Boerger each had six blocks.

“Emily Boerger had the best blocking match I’ve seen her play,” said Flick. “She was a big force at the net. 

Four Vikings had between four and six kills.  Flick gave credit to setter Laurie Yearout for that balance.

“Laurie had a great match,” Flick said. “No particular person had great numbers, but they got kills at the right times because Laurie did a great job of distributing the offense.”

Cal State San Bernardino 3, Central Washington 2

Central Washington went toe-to-toe with Cal State San Bernardino before falling to the 22nd-ranked Coyotes in five sets ending their season with a 21-8 record.

The 21 victories by the Wildcats were the third-most in head coach Mario Andaya’s 17-year tenure.

Marcy Hjellum led CWU with a team-high 17 kills while adding 18 digs in her final collegiate match. Two of her teammates -- redshirt freshman Rachel Hanses and junior Emmy Dolan -- combined for 22 more kills with 12 and 10, respectively. Sophomore libero Kaely Kight finished one dig shy of her career-high, leading all players with 31 digs.

“Marcy showed so much heart and perseverance,” Andaya said of the Wildcats’ outside hitter. “She battled through shoulder pain but kept a highly competitive pulse that the team acquired and sustained all year, and that pulse was especially evident today and kept us fighting to the end.”

Statistically, CWU and CSUSB were nearly even in most categories including aces, digs, and blocks. The Wildcats finished with a 5-4 edge in aces, while the Coyotes had an 81-79 margin in digs and a 14-11 advantage in blocks. Cal State San Bernardino totaled 15 more kills than CWU, however and hit nearly 100 percentage points higher.

Cal State San Bernardino had four players with 12 or more kills, led by a match-high 21 from Alexandra Torline. Mercedes Winchester added 15 kills and a .371 percentage for the Coyotes, who will face Grand Canyon in the first of two regional semifinals Friday night.