Nine GNAC Players, Flick-Williams, Earn AVCA Region Honors
Clockwise From Top Left: Abby Phelps (WWU), Brette Boesel (WWU), Diane Flick-Williams (WWU), Makala Swart (CWU), Kyla Morgan (CWU) and Kayleigh Harper (WWU).
Clockwise From Top Left: Abby Phelps (WWU), Brette Boesel (WWU), Diane Flick-Williams (WWU), Makala Swart (CWU), Kyla Morgan (CWU) and Kayleigh Harper (WWU).

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The conference’s two national tournament qualifiers are well represented once again with Western Washington and Central Washington leading the GNAC selections to the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s Division II All-West Region Team.

The Vikings picked up a trio of first-team selections in senior outside hitter Abby Phelps, senior setter Brette Boesel and junior middle blocker Kayleigh Harper. Central Washington is represented by junior libero Kyla Morgan and sophomore outside hitter Makala Swart.

In addition to the first team honors, Western Washington head coach Diane Flick-Williams was named the West Region Coach of the Year. It is the third time in her career that Flick-Williams has earned the award and the first time since 2007.

Earning honorable mention to the AVCA All-West Region Team were Central Washington junior setter Gabrielle Aihara, Simon Fraser senior middle blocker Tessa May, Western Washington senior outside hitter Aubrey Stephens and Alaska Anchorage freshman right side Eve Stephens.

The three first-team selections for Western Washington have led a program that won both the GNAC and NCAA West Region championships and enters the NCAA Division II Volleyball Championship’s quarterfinals on a 28-match win streak. Phelps, who was also named GNAC Player of the Year, led the conference and is 26th in Division II with 3.94 kills per set. She is also the league leader and ranks 21st in Division II with 4.46 points per set.

Boesel was a First Team All-GNAC selection after she led the conference in assists. She enters the NCAA quarterfinals ranked eighth in Division II with 11.94 assists per set and paced a Vikings’ squad that was 22nd in Division II with 13.17 assists per set. Harper leads the GNAC and is ranked third in Division II with a .402 hitting percentage and with 1.43 blocks per set. She paces a WWU squad that is fourth in the nation with 2.79 blocks per set.

Flick-Williams, in her 19th year as Western Washington head coach, led the Vikings to their second consecutive GNAC championship. After dropping the first three matches of the season, all to top-25 ranked teams, Flick-Williams saw her program roll to 28 consecutive victories as the 2018 Vikings became the sixth GNAC program to finish the conference season undefeated and the first to go 20-0 since the conference expanded to 11 teams. Western Washington also earned the West Region’s No. 1 seed and the right to host the regional tournament for the first time in program history.

Morgan and Swart are among the leader of a Central Washington program that advanced to the NCAA West Regional for the seventh consecutive year and won its first postseason match since 2005. Morgan, who was the GNAC Defensive Player of the Year, led the conference and is 20th in Division II with 5.84 digs per set and is 50th nationally with 596 total digs. Swart finished third in the GNAC and was among the top-100 in Division II with 3.62 kills per set. She was also third in the GNAC with 369 total kills.

All nine GNAC honorees on the AVCA All-West Region Team were First Team All-GNAC selections. Phelps and Harper were also D2CCA First Team All-West Region selections with Morgan and Boesel as second-team honorees. In addition, Phelps was selected to the Google Cloud/CoSIDA Division II Academic All-District 8 Volleyball Team.