Phelps, Wheelhouse Lead Volleyball All-GNAC Selections
Abby Phelps was named by coaches as the 2017 Player of the Year after finishing the regular season ranked second in the league in kills and points.
Abby Phelps was named by coaches as the 2017 Player of the Year after finishing the regular season ranked second in the league in kills and points.
Western Washington's Diane Flick-Williams earned GNAC Coach of the Year honors for the ninth time.
Western Washington's Diane Flick-Williams earned GNAC Coach of the Year honors for the ninth time.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

PORTLAND, Ore. – The prime movers behind Western Washington’s impressive run through the season headline the 2017 Great Northwest Athletic Conference Volleyball All-Conference Team.

Junior outside hitter Abby Phelps was selected by conference coaches as the Player of the Year in addition to receiving her third consecutive First Team All-GNAC selection. Vikings head coach Diane Flick-Williams was honored as the league’s Coach of the Year.

Phelps leads five all-conference selections for Western Washington, including four first-team honorees. The Vikings won their first GNAC championship since 2013 with a 19-1 record, tying the season record for conference wins, and enter the NCAA West Regional with a 25-3 overall record.

Central Washington senior middle blocker Sabrina Wheelhouse, the Division II leader in blocks, was named the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year. Alaska Anchorage setter Casey Davenport was voted the Freshman of the Year while Simon Fraser sophomore middle blocker Angelica Kilberg and Alaska Anchorage junior middle blocker Tara Melton shared Newcomer of the Year honors.

Phelps is the leader of a Western Washington offense that leads the GNAC and ranks among the top-30 in Division II in hitting percentage, kills, digs and blocks. The junior closed the regular season second in the GNAC and 20th in Division II with 4.15 kills per set while also ranking second in the league in points (4.78 per set) and seventh in digs (4.48 per set). Phelps’ 12.49 attacks per set ranks eighth nationally.

Phelps finished with double-digit kills in all but two matches during the regular season and had 22 double-doubles, paced by her 19-kill, 31-dig performance against Simon Fraser on Sept. 19.

Flick-Williams earned her ninth GNAC Coach of the Year award and her first since 2013. She led the Vikings to their first GNAC championship since 2013 with a 19-1 record, which tied last year’s Alaska Anchorage squad for the conference season win record. The Vikings enter their sixth straight NCAA West Regional Tournament with a 25-3 record and an 18-match win streak.

Wheelhouse enters the NCAA West Regional as the Division II leader in blocks, averaging 1.50 per set, and paces a Wildcats’ squad that ranks third in Division II with 2.78 blocks per set. A steady presence at the net all season, Wheelhouse had five or more blocks in 18 different matches, topped by a 14-block performance in a five-set win over Alaska on Sept. 28.

Davenport started the season as the Seawolves’ secondary setter, but roster changes midway through the season forced the freshman into a full-time starting role. She rose to the occasion, finishing eighth in the GNAC with 7.11 assists per set. Davenport had 30 or more assists on 13 occasions, which included a double-double of 53 assists and 16 digs at Concordia on Oct. 13. Davenport was one of two freshmen to earn Honorable Mention All-GNAC honors.

Kilberg was a solid complement at the net for First Team All-GNAC selection Tessa May at middle blocker. She finished the season with an average of 1.40 kills per set, 0.59 blocks per set and a .269 hitting percentage. She saved her best performance for last, finishing with 11 kills and three blocks in a season-closing four-set win over Central Washington on Nov. 16.

Melton was the Seawolves’ primary presence at the net. She finished the regular season with 111 blocks and averaged 0.99 blocks while adding 1.45 kills per set and a .219 hitting percentage. She finished with a season-high 10 blocks in a five-set match with Azusa Pacific on Sept. 2 and had 11 kills against Central Washington on Oct. 26.

Joining Phelps as first-team selections for Western Washington is senior opposite Joellee Buckner, junior middle blocker Brette Boesel and junior middle blocker Michaela Hall. Northwest Nazarene landed three first team selections in senior middle blocker Madi Farrell, senior outside hitter Kendra Bodine and senior setter Hailey Cook. Farell was named to her fourth all-conference team while she and Bodine are three-time first team selections.

Wheelhouse was joined on the first team for Central Washington by junior outside hitter Shelby Mauritson. Alaska Anchorage netted two first team selections in junior outside hitter Leah Swiss, who earned her third first-team selection, and senior libero Keala Kaio-Perez. Rounding out the first team is Simon Fraser’s May, Concordia senior opposite Lindsey Dorsey and Seattle Pacific sophomore Gabby Oddo.

The 2017 GNAC All-Conference Team features 13 repeat selections, including seven who are repeating as first-team honorees, and seven unanimous selections. Eleven of the 14 first team selections will be in action during next week’s NCAA West Regional, which takes place Nov. 30-Dec. 2 in Riverside, California.

Player of the Year: Abby Phelps, Western Washington
Coach of the Year: Diane Flick-Williams, Western Washington
Defensive Player of the Year: Sabrina Wheelhouse, Central Washington
Freshman of the Year: Casey Davenport, Alaska Anchorage
Newcomer of the Year: Angelica Kilberg, Simon Fraser & Tara Melton, Alaska Anchorage

FIRST TEAM          
Name School Pos. Ht. Yr. Hometown (Previous School)
*+# Abby Phelps Western Washington OH 5-10 Jr. Manson, Wash. (Chelan)
*+#^ Madi Farrell Northwest Nazarene MB 6-2 Sr. Coeur d’Alene, Idaho (Lake City)
*+# Kendra Bodine Northwest Nazarene OH 5-10 Sr. Eugene, Ore. (Churchill)
*+# Leah Swiss Alaska Anchorage OH 6-0 Jr. Anchorage, Alaska (Dimond)
*Joellee Buckner Western Washington OPP 5-10 Sr. Colville, Wash. (Colville)
*+# Sabrina Wheelhouse Central Washington MB 6-3 Sr. Eugene, Ore. (Sheldon)
Brette Boesel Western Washington S 5-9 Jr. Brewster, Wash. (Brewster)
*+$ Tessa May Simon Fraser MB 6-3 Jr. Roberts Creek, B.C. (Elphinstone)
Shelby Mauritson Central Washington OH 5-10 Jr. Madras, Ore. (Madras)
+# Lindsey Dorsey Concordia OPP 5-9 Sr. Salem, Ore. (Sprague)
@$ Hailey Cook Northwest Nazarene S 5-10 Sr. Nampa, Idaho (Skyview)
@ Gabby Oddo Seattle Pacific OH 5-9 So. Alta Loma, Calif. (Alta Loma)
Keala Kaio-Perez Alaska Anchorage L 5-7 Sr. Waimanalo, Hawaii
(Western Nebraska CC)
Michaela Hall Western Washington MB 6-1 Jr. Centralia, Wash. (Centralia)
Name School Pos. Ht. Yr. Hometown (Previous School)
Riley Podowicz Alaska MB 6-0 Sr. Olympia, Wash. (Timberline)
Kim Wong Alaska MB 5-11 So. Spokane, Wash. (Mead)
Casey Davenport Alaska Anchorage S 5-6 Fr. Auburn, Wash. (Mountainview)
Chrisalyn Johnson Alaska Anchorage OH 5-8 Jr. Anchorage, Alaska (Dimond)
Kyla Morgan Central Washington L 5-4 So. Graham, Wash. (Bethel)
@ Colby Barnette Concordia MB 6-0 Sr. Puyallup, Wash. (Olympic CC)
@ Michele Brown Concordia S 5-7 Sr. Issaquah, Wash. (Univ. of Idaho)
Izela Alvarez Montana State Billings L 5-2 Fr. Dumas, Texas (Dumas)
Rebecca Mitchell Saint Martin’s OH 5-9 Sr. Gresham, Ore. (Barlow)
Hannah Lautenbach Seattle Pacific OH/RS 6-0 Sr. Portland, Ore. (Westview)
@ Symone Tran Seattle Pacific S 5-8 Jr. Portland, Ore. (Jesuit)
Jayme Bratsberg Simon Fraser L 5-9 Jr. North Vancouver, B.C. (Argyle)
@ Alisha Bettinson Western Oregon OH 5-10 Sr. Richland, Wash. (Richland)
Aubrey Buckner Western Washington L 5-10 Jr. Colville, Wash. (Colville)

* - Unanimous Selection
+ - First Team Selection in 2016   @ - Honorable Mention in 2016
# - First Team Selection in 2015   $ - Honorable Mention in 2015
& - First Team Selection in 2014