BILLINGS, Mont. — Outside hitter Rachel Roeder (So., Sammamish/Issaquah) and middle blocker Kayla Erickson (Jr., Gig Harbor/Peninsula) combined for 22 kills and libero Samantha Hutchinson (Jr., University Place/Curtis) had a match-high 24 digs as Western Washington University began defense of its Great Northwest Athletic Conference championship with a sweep of Montana State University Billings, 25-14, 25-18, 25-18, on Thursday at Alterowitz Gymnasium on the MSUB campus.
The Vikings, No.11 in this week’s American Volleyball Coaches Association/NCAA Division II Top 25 Poll, improved to 8-1 overall.
MSUB, which lost its fifth straight match, fell to 2-9 overall and 0-3 in conference play. The Yellowjackets, who were playing in their home opener, were led by the 11 kills and 12 digs of Monica Grimsrud.
“We were calm throughout the entire match and played very steady,” said WWU head coach Diane Flick (14th year, 281-75).
Erickson had 10 kills and a .588 hitting percentage, and Roeder had a match-high 12 kills. Setter Taylor Dillard (Jr., Milton/Fife) contributed a match-best 28 assists.
Hutchinson entered the match ranked second nationally in digs per set (6.50) and Erickson was second in attack percentage at .476.
WWU has not lost to MSUB in 16 series meetings
The Vikings, who had a bye last week, complete a string of 10 straight road matches to open the season Saturday (5 p.m.), traveling to Seattle Pacific for a GNAC counter.