After a three-set loss to No. 11 ranked University of Alaska Anchorage, Western’s volleyball team is now tied for second with Central Washington University in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.
The matchup on Saturday, Nov. 14, was Senior Night for the Vikings, and the last home game for the two seniors, outside hitter Rachel Roeder and opposite hitter Jennica McPherson.
“The game felt different because we weren’t in Carver and we feel like we have so much more of a season left,” McPherson said. “It didn’t feel like it was our ‘goodbyes’ or anything, it felt more of like a senior appreciation night.”
In the first game, Western took the early lead 10-1 with the help of McPherson’s three consecutive aces. The Vikings weren’t able to hold off UAA’s explosive offense as the team won set one, 25-19.
“At times we ran the game plan we should have run, but other times we got lost in the emotion of the game and didn’t really focus on the right things,” head coach Diane Flick said.
The Vikings started the second set off strong leading most of the game until Alaska-Anchorage came back, scoring 10 points for the victory, 25-20.
Starting off the third set, Western led early, 17-12, but UAA fought back tying the game at 23-23. The teams traded points, until Alaska-Anchorage won 30-28.
After this loss, the Vikings record stands at 15-3 in GNAC play.
Western’s offense is led by Roeder who leads the team with 292 kills along with redshirt freshman and outside hitter Abby Phelps who leads the team with 320.5 points.
“We need to work on hitting some out of system things, and just shortening up our game a little bit,” Flick said. “ We’re not far from where we’re at we just didn’t put in the fight, effort or focus that we needed to.”
The Vikings hope to add to the team’s wins on Thursday, Nov. 19, in Seattle against Seattle Pacific University at 7 p.m., where the team need to run the game and plan and come out attacking, McPherson said.
“[Playing against SPU] there is always a good crowd down at their place because we have a lot of families from that area,” Flick said. “And I’m just looking forward to getting back in the gym and preparing for the next level.”