News

WWU ranked No.12 nationally in AVCA Preseason Top 25

WWU ranked No.12 nationally in AVCA Preseason Top 25

Photo: KPUG/Courtesy of WWU Athletics

 

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — Western Washington University is ranked No.12 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association Division II Coaches Top 25 Preseason Poll released Monday,

The Vikings lost just one starter from last year’s 23-4 team that won the Great Northwest Athletic Conference championship and reached the first round of the NCAA DII West Regional.

Defending national champion Concordia-St. Paul (35-3) is ranked No.1 with 1,186 points. Tampa (31-2) is No.2 at 1,151 and Minnesota Duluth (33-3) No.3 at 1,086.

Four West Region teams, besides WWU, in the Top 25 are defending West Regional champion BYU-Hawaii No.4, Cal State San Bernardino No.8, UC San Diego No.11 and Sonoma State No.16.

In 2013, WWU won its second straight Great Northwest Athletic Conference championship and made its fifth NCAA II national tournament appearance in the last eight years.

The Vikings return 10 letter winners, including two All-Americans, for coach Diane Flick (15th year, 296-78), the school’s record holder in career victories and winning percentage (.791).

The two All-Americans back are senior libero Samantha Hutchinson (University Place/Curtis) and senior middle blocker Kayla Erickson (Gig Harbor/Peninsula).

Hutchinson was a first-team AVCA All-American last year and is a two-time GNAC Defensive Player of the Year. Her 6.91 digs per set last season were second in NCAA Division II, and her 1,671 career digs are third in school history, just 37 short of second place Allison Gotz.

Erickson, the 2013 GNAC Player of the Year, was a second-team Daktronics All-American and earned AVCA honorable mention. She averaged 3.65 kills and 1.18 blocks, notching a .380 attack percentage. Erickson enters the season with a career attack percentage of .360, the best in school history.

WWU opens its season on Sept. 4-6 at the Central Washington Wildcat Invitational, meeting three nationally top 25 teams in Sonoma State, UC San Diego and Cal State San Bernardino.

The Vikings’ home opener is Sept. 9 versus Hawaii Pacific at Squalicum High School.

–         WWU –

Recent Headlines

in Music

Journey drummer Castronovo charged with rape

Fresh
deencastrono

The rocker also faces charges including assault and menacing and is being held without bail in an Oregon jail.

in Entertainment

Men bring the moves, but ladies take charge in ‘Magic Mike XXL’

Fresh
14-overlay11

The film, which hits theaters July 1, follows 2012's surprise hit with Channing Tatum rejoining the Kings of Tampa, his rogue band of male entertainers.

in Music

Chris Brown: ‘Everything’ is about his daughter now

20-overlay11

The singer won big at the BET Awards Sunday night, and gushed about how becoming a father has changed his life.

in Music

‘Changed’ Justin Bieber attends Sydney church conference

18-overlay7

The "Baby" hitmaker is mingling with thousands of Christians at the five-day event down under.