CWU volleyball upsets rival Western Washington in four sets - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

CWU volleyball upsets rival Western Washington in four sets

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By CWU Athletics
 
ELLENSBURG, Wash. (Nov. 10) -- Junior Jordan Offutt (Leavenworth, Wash./Cascade HS) had 19 kills, including 14 in the first two sets, helping jumpstart the Central Washington University volleyball team to a four-set upset win over visiting Western Washington University on Thursday night at Nicholson Pavilion. Set scores were 25-18, 25-20, 9-25, 25-19.

The Wildcats improved to 14-11 overall and 8-9 in Great Northwest Athletic Conference play, while WWU fell to 15-6 overall and 13-4 in the conference.

"Jordan was on fire early, and was a force on the block," CWU head coach Mario Andaya said. "The team has been playing well as of late, and to be playing at this level this late (in the season) shows they are still invested. The season is not over, but to have our seniors end their last meeting with Western with a win is a great feeling. Western is a championship contender, and we played to win tonight; I am very proud of our team effort."

Offutt's early production included nine of Central Washington's 14 kills in the opening set, as the Wildcats hit .419 as a team while taking advantage of nine Western Washington hitting errors in the opening frame. CWU led from start to finish, with the exception of a single tie at 3-3.

The second set was quite similar, although the Wildcats' hitting efficiency cooled to a .211 clip. They did not trail in the set, and faced just two ties, with the latest being at 9-9. Western Washington did close to within one on numerous occasions, including at 20-19, but three straight tallies including a kill by freshman Cheltzie Williams (Twin Falls, Idaho) and a block by Williams and Offutt gave the Wildcats a four-point lead as part of a 5-1 set-ending run.

Following the intermission between the second and third sets, Western raced out to leads of 6-0, 9-1, and 13-4, and later used a 7-0 scoring run to go in front 22-7, as the Wildcats, who had a combined five hitting errors in the first two sets, had nine miscues in the third set alone while completing just six kills. The visiting Vikings had their most efficient hitting set of the night at .360, as Marlayna Geary erupted for nine kills in 12 attempts in the period.

Central Washington responded in the fourth set, returning its game to resemble the play of the opening two sets. The Wildcats broke a 1-1 tie with three straight points, and led the rest of the way, with Williams capping the match with a kill on Central's first set point of the night. CWU scored the final three points of the contest to earn just its second win over Western Washington since 2006.

Offutt was the only Wildcat player to finish with more than seven kills, coming two kills shy of her season- and career-high in that department. She hit at a .385 percentage on the night -- tops by any attacker with at least 10 attempts. Senior setter Carlee Marble (La Conner, Wash.) finished with 36 assists and two kills, helping Central Washington hit .221 as a team for the match.

"Carlee set an amazing match, and kept Western off balance," Andaya said. "She is such a competitor, and it truly showed tonight."

Defensively, the Wildcats were led by freshman Kaely Kight (Spokane, Wash./Mead HS) with 18 digs and junior Marcy Hjellum (Kennewick, Wash./Kamiakin HS) with 10. Offutt contributed to all three of Central Washington's blocks in the match.

Western Washington finished the match with a 55-45 advantage in kills, and a 60-51 edge in digs. Geary finished with a season-high 27 kills, two shy of her career-high, with 17 of those kills came in the final two sets. Laurie Yearout had 48 assists, and Samantha Hutchinson led all players with 18 digs for the Vikings.

Central Washington will close out its 2011 campaign on Saturday night (Nov. 12), hosting Simon Fraser University at 7 p.m. in Nicholson Pavilion. The match will be the career finale for Marble and fellow senior captain Meg Ryan (Spokane, Wash./Mead HS), who will be recognized prior to the start of the match.
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