Volleyball: 7 GNAC Teams Head To California This Weekend
Nikki Lowell blocks ball at net for Seattle Pacific.  Lowell had 26 blocks as Falcons split four matches last week at San Bernardino.
Nikki Lowell blocks ball at net for Seattle Pacific. Lowell had 26 blocks as Falcons split four matches last week at San Bernardino.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

PORTLAND, Ore. - Seven GNAC teams including nationally 12th ranked Western Washington, head to California this weekend to compete in tournaments to highlight the second and final week of non-conference action prior to the start of the conference season Sept. 19.

The Vikings will be seeking to set a GNAC record for most consecutive 3-0 victories to start a season when they take on Cal State Stanislaus Friday in their opening match of the Sonoma State Invitational at Rohnert Park.

Last weekend WWU won 12 straight sets in cruising to four victories at the Western Oregon Invitational joining the 2002 Seattle University team as the only squad in GNAC history to start the season with four consecutive 3-0 wins.  The Vikings are the first to accomplish that feat against Division II teams as all four of the Redhawk victories came against NAIA or Division III opponents.

The four wins helped the Vikings climb five spots to 12th in this week's AVCA national poll just ahead of 13th ranked UC San Diego.

Joining Western Washington at Rohnert Park is Montana State Billings, which won one of four matches last week at Point Loma Nazarene.

Alaska Anchorage, which is off to a 5-3 start, travels to San Diego this weekend to compete in the UC San Diego Invitational.  The Seawolves play the nationally-ranked Tritons Saturday in their final tournament match.

Four GNAC teams - Seattle Pacific, Saint Martin's, Northwest Nazarene and Alaska Fairbanks - head to the Bay area to compete in the Cal State East Bay / Notre Dame de Namur Invitational.

Meanwhile, Central Washington, which climbed two positions and is now ranked 22nd in the AVCA national poll, and Western Oregon travel to Colorado to compete in the Colorado Mines Oredigger Invitational.

Simon Fraser is the lone team to stay at home as it begins its 2013 season hosting the Hilton Metrotown BC Challenge.

Falcons, Wildcats Win First Matches Against San Bernardino

Both Central Washington and Seattle Pacific earned their first-ever victories last weekend against perennial national power Cal State San Bernardino in the CSUSB Coyote Classic.

Both teams has been winless in seven previous matches with the Coyotes, who slipped from 14th to 18th in the poll after splitting four matches.

Seven Players Earn All-Tournament Honors

Seven players including GNAC Red Lion Defensive Player of the Week Nikki Lowell of Seattle Pacific earned all-tournament honors in various tournaments.

Joining Lowell, who had 32 kills and 26 blocks, on the all-tournament team at San Bernardino was Central Washington setter Catie Fry.  Chelsey Walter of MSU Billings was an all-tournament selection at Point Loma Nazarene.

Three Alaska Anchorage players - Julia Mackey, Jodi Huddleston and Quinn Barker - were all-tournament selections in the UAA Spring Hills Suites Classic.  Sam Harthun of Alaska Fairbanks earned all-tournament honors in the Alaska Nanook Classic.

There was no all-tournament team selected in the Western Oregon Invitational, however, Kayla Erickson of Western Washington earned GNAC Red Lion Offensive Player of the Week honors for her 50 kill, 15 block performance at Monmouth.

Check out the GNAC Weekly release in the Related Links section for more details.