Western volleyball’s senior outside hitter Rachel Roeder, led a sweep of 11 kills and 5 digs to continue a 14-game winning streak for the Vikings on Saturday, Oct. 10, at home against Western Oregon University.
This win marks the program’s longest winning streak since 2008, according to Western Athletics.
Vikings took the lead early and held off Western Oregon to win the first game. Although they fell behind by two points, Vikings pushed for a 10-2 streak to close out the second game.
“Western Oregon did a good job putting some pressure on us especially from the service line,” head coach Diane Flick said.
In the third game, pushing forward from a 12-12 tie, Vikings closed out the match with a kill by redshirt freshman middle blocker Michaela Hall.
The match ended with Vikings winning the first three games, 25-19, 25-19 and 25-20.
“We did really well running through the middle,” Roeder said. “Our middles and our setters were connecting well tonight, which is what we have been working on.”
Redshirt freshman and middle blocker Kayleigh Harper added 10 kills along with Hall’s eighth to earn the big win.
“We were battling back and forth, we just needed to wait for our turn to go ahead,” junior libero Bryce Larson said.
Hall ended the two longest rallies of the game, both with a hard driven kill down the middle of the court.
At times, it was a challenging to stay patient, Roeder said.
“Western Oregon is a great defensive team so they were digging a lot of balls,” she said. “As a hitter, that is really frustrating.”
Vikings also kept up a quick defense with digs coming from every spot on the court.
Larson picked up seven digs, redshirt freshman and outside hitter Joellee Buckner had 17, senior and right side hitter Jennica McPherson had 11 and redshirt freshman and setter Brette Boesel had 10.
Coming into the game the Vikings were looking to accomplish things they’ve been working on in practice, Flick said.
Despite the win, Flick wants to keep pushing to make sure her team does not lose focus on the fundamentals of the game.
“We’ve let some discipline go as we’ve been playing longer and longer, so we’ve just got to get back to basics,” Flick said.
The Vikings are already looking to practice to make small improvements that could help them as they begin the second half of their season.
Flick wants to see her team continue to be aggressive, especially at serve receive.
“This week we will probably be working on the details of the game and simplifying everything,” Roeder said. “Getting the skills down and working on being more disciplined.”
The Vikings hope to extend their winning streak on Thursday, Oct. 15, when they travel to Alaska to take on Anchorage.