10th-ranked Vikings stop UAA spikers in four sets

Payback is no fun, as the UAA volleyball team learned Thursday night.

Almost a month after UAA beat Western Washington on the road to grab sole possession of first place in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, the Vikings came to Anchorage and returned the favor.

Western Washington downed the Seawolves 22-25, 25-17, 25-15, 25-15 at the Wells Fargo Sports Complex to break a first-place tie between the teams.

The 10th-ranked Vikings (20-3 overall, 13-2 GNAC) put on a hitting clinic, compiling a .294 team attack percentage and getting stellar performances from four hitters.

Leading the way was Emily Boerger, who racked up 11 kills on 16 attempts with just one error for a eye-popping .625 attack percentage. Providing balance were Kayla Erickson (13 kills, .400 percentage), Rachel Roeder (12 kills, .310 percentage) and Jennica McPherson (9 kills, .267 percentage).

The Vikings tallied 56 kills to UAA's 51, and perhaps just as important, they made 14 hitting errors to UAA's 25. The Seawolves hit .160 for the night, with Katelynn Zanders getting 20 kills and Brooke Pottle 16 kills.

UAA (18-9, 12-3) came up short in nearly every statistical category. Western Washington had more digs (76-69), more blocks (12-4, with Boeger getting six and Erickson four) and more aces (6-1). The Vikings ended the match with an ace from Samantha Hutchinson.

The loss was a big one for the Seawolves, who earlier in the week dropped from fifth place to ninth place in the NCAA Divison II West Region rankings. That's critical, because the rankings help decide which eight teams advance to the West Region playoffs.

UAA has three matches left in the regular season, just one of them at home -- Saturday night's Senior Night match against Simon Fraser.


Anchorage Daily News