Vikings, Seawolves Race To GNAC Team Of The Week Honors
A five-set thriller handed Western Washington its third regional title in program history on Saturday night in Bellingham.
A five-set thriller handed Western Washington its third regional title in program history on Saturday night in Bellingham.

Monday, November 19, 2018

PORTLAND, Ore. – A Saturday that featured multiple regional championship events across the country produced a pair of winners from the GNAC along with a pair of GNAC Team of the Week selections. 

The day got underway at the West Regional Cross Country Championships in Billings, where the Alaska Anchorage women's team raced past the field en route to the regional crown.

Fresh off a GNAC Championships title earlier in the month, the Seawolves parlayed some of the momentum gained throughout the postseason and took full advantage. They were paced by junior Emmah Chelimo and sophomore Nancy Jeptoo, who finished first and second to lead all individuals. 

Chelimo took home the individual title, finishing the 6,000-meter race in a time of 20:57.47. That mark was just ahead of her teammate Jeptoo, the next-highest finisher at 21:08.65.

"I was really happy with the performance of our team," head coach Michael Friess said. "We had great runs from everyone. We are excited to head to Pittsburgh for the national championships and see how we stack up against the best teams in the nation." 

Alaska Anchorage now has two weeks off ahead of the national championship meet, which will take place on Dec. 1. The team finished fifth at the national championships a year ago.

Over in Bellingham, Western Washington's volleyball team capped the day with a five-set victory in the West Regional Championship against No. 2 seed Cal State San Bernardino. The win gave the Vikings their third regional title in program history. 

A full five sets were needed to decide a winner between two of the country's best teams, with WWU ultimately coming back after a 23-25 loss in the first set. The team never trailed in the final set, using an Abby Phelps kill to punctuate a 15-12 victory that sent the home team to the national quarterfinals.

"The West Region is so tough because there's a ton of competitive volleyball out there," said head coach Diane Flick-Williams after the win. "A lot of this week's matches were point for point and that's typical for the region. I'm proud of every team that came here because they all played their hearts out."

The team is one of just eight still playing throughout the country, and they will converge in Pittsburgh on Nov. 29-Dec. 1 to decide the national championship. Western Washington's quarterfinal match is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. (PT) on Nov. 29 against Tarleton State.