No. 18 Vikings prevail against No. 23 Seawolves in anticipated match 3-1
ROHNERT PARK, Calif. -- In a battle of two nationally-ranked teams, the match that everyone had circled on the tournament schedule did not disappoint as the Vikings needed to go to extras in two of the sets to earn a hard-fought 22-25, 25-23, 33-31, 26-24 victory. The 18th-ranked Vikings got 25 kills from Marlayna Geary on the night as they improve to 7-1. Sonoma State, ranked 23rd in the nation, falls to 6-2.
Though it was close the entire way, Sonoma had the upperhand for most of the first set. The teams were tied at 17 and Western was within one at 22-21, but three Caylie Seitz kills closed things out for the Seawolves.
The second set was the opposite of the first, with Western Washington holding a narrow advantage throughout. Down 22-19, the Seawolves got three consecutive spikes to knot the set at 22 before the Vikings pulled away.
Sonoma opened up a four-point lead at 15-11 in the third set, but Western quickly closed the gap, eventually tying the match at 16-16 on a Geary service ace. The Seawolves jumped back on top 18-16, only to be answered again by two consecutive Viking points. Again, the Seawolves tried to stretch Western, going up 21-19 on a kill by Ally Sather and a Western Washington error, but the Vikings found a reply, tying it at 21.
Western Washington had six set points and Sonoma State had four before the Vikings finally put the set away with a service ace from Laurie Yearout.
The Vikings seemed to be on their way after they went up 12-6 early in the fourth. Sonoma had different plans, reeling off five points to draw within one. The set would stay within two points and would feature eight ties before the Vikings could finally string together two points and steal the set and the match.
Geary would finish the night with 25 kills on her way to Seawolf Spike MVP honors. She had three errors, supplied three blocks and 14 digs. Samantha Hutchinson had 33 digs and Laurie Yearout posted 58 assists. Both joined Geary on the All-Tournament Team.