TUKWILA, Wash. – Brina Sych (Sr., Vancouver/Union) scored just over two minutes into overtime, lifting Western Washington University to a 2-1 victory over Western Oregon University on Thursday in the opening round of Great Northwest Athletic Conference Women’s Soccer Championship Tournament at the Starfire Sports Complex.
Brianna Jones (Jr., Bonney Lake) had a goal and an assist for the defending tourney champion Vikings, who improved to 18-1-0 and are ranked No.10 nationally in this week’s National Soccer Coaches Association of America/NCAA Division II Top 25. WWU had earned the top seed by taking the GNAC regular-season title for the second straight year with a 13-1-0 record.
“It really helps to get the kind of performance we got from Bri Jones,” said WWU coach Travis Connell (11th year, 138-60-19). “She was dominant defensively, and then she adds a goal and an assist.”
WWU moves on to face archrival Seattle Pacific in the GNAC title game Saturday, Nov. 9, at 1 p.m. The Falcons claimed a come-from-behind 2-1 win over Central Washington in the other first-round contest Thursday.
BELLINGHAM, Wash. – Libero Samantha Hutchinson (Jr., University Place/Curtis) averaged 10.7 digs per game and outside hitter Kelsey Moore (Jr., Bellevue/Newport) had a match-high 13 kills, lifting Western Washington University to a, 25-21, 25-17, 27-25, victory over Western Oregon University in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference volleyball match Thursday, Nov. 7, at Sam Carver Gymnasium on the WWU campus.
The Vikings, ranked No.10 in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association/NCAA Division II Top 25 Poll, improved to 18-3 overall and moved into a tie for first place in the GNAC standings at 11-2 with Alaska Anchorage, which was idle.
The sweep was the 16th of the season for WWU.
Western Oregon fell to 8-15 overall and 5-8 in conference play. Hannah Deede led the Wolves with 10 kills and Megan Triggs had 22 digs.
Hutchinson, who entered the match ranked second nationally in digs per game at 6.81, finished with 32. That matched the fifth best three-set total in GNAC history. Former WWU All-American Courtney Schneider had matches of 35, 34, 34, 33, 32 and 32.
Kayla Erickson (Jr., Gig Harbor) had 11 kills and a match-high four blocks for the Vikings.
WWU used a 7-3 run to take a 17-13 lead in winning game one. The Vikings took a 2-0 lead after scoring 12 of the first 16 points in game two, and ended the match on a kill by Erickson and an attack error to break a 25-25 tie.
WWU has now won nine of its last 10 meetings with WOU.
Setter Taylor Dillard (Jr., Milton/Fife) had 39 assists, nine digs, three kills and two service aces for the Vikings, and Bryce Larson (R-Fr., Mukilteo/Kamiak) had 13 digs.
WWU hosts Saint Martin’s on Saturday, Nov. 9 (7 p.m.), in a GNAC contest.