Maddison Coleman (21), junior guard, scores 17 points in 25 minutes of play time for Western’s women’s basketball team defeating Western Colorado 69-66 in a down to the wire game on Friday, Nov. 22. // Photos by Alex Moreno
Western had two non-conference wins over the weekend. On Friday, Nov. 22, the Vikings beat Western Colorado University by three points, 69-66, at home in the WECU Court in Sam Carver Gymnasium. Maddison Coleman led the team to victory with 17 points.
The Vikings beat Central Washington University with a 3-0 match on Thursday, Nov. 21, in Nicholson Pavilion in Ellensburg, Washington. They went on to claim their third consecutive Great Northwest Athletic Conference championship with a four-set victory against Northwest Nazarene University on Saturday, Nov. 23, at Johnson Sports Center in Nampa, Idaho.
The No. 4 nationally-ranked Vikings defeated NNU with scores of 25-16, 25-7, 23-25, 25-15 to finish the regular season 26-2 overall and 18-2 in conference play to record a third straight GNAC title. Western also won titles in 2017 (19-1) and 2018 (20-0) for a combined record of 57-3 over the last three seasons in GNAC play.
“I am so proud of this young team winning the conference title with the huge expectations they shouldered this year,” said head coach Diane Flick-Williams, in her 20th year leading the program. “Our seniors – Joslyn, Mae, Kayleigh – led this group and we are where we are because of them.”
The Vikings were led by 16 kills each from senior middle Kayleigh Harper and sophomore outside hitter Gabby Gunterman. Harper finished with a team-high 20.5 points, also contributing five blocks and a pair of service aces.
Redshirt freshman outside hitter Calley Heilborn scored her 17th double-double of the season with 13 kills and 19 digs. Senior libero Mae Thungc recorded a match high of 26 digs, falling one short of her single-match career high. GNAC leading setter redshirt freshman Malia Aleaga served up 47 assists along with 8 digs and 4 blocks.
Western will face University of Hawaii Hilo in the NCAA Division II West Regional Championship Tournament in San Bernardino, California. The tournament will take place Dec. 5-7.