The Western Washington University volleyball team will get another chance to celebrate the amazing 2018 season by being honored prior to the Seattle Mariners game on April 16 at T-Mobile Park in Seattle.
The Bellingham Vikings will be on the field prior to the game and a member of the team will throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the 7:10 p.m. game vs. the Cleveland Indians.
The entire 2018 team and coaching staff will be in attendance at the game, and friends, family, alumni and fans are invited to join the Vikings for the special evening at the ballpark. Visit Mariners.com/WWUVolleyball to get special $30 tickets to sit in the same section as the team. Tickets will be available for purchase online until noon on the day of the game (April 16).
“This is a tremendous honor for our program and we are very thankful to the Seattle Mariners organization for recognizing such a memorable season,” said head coach Diane Flick-Williams. “Our senior class was very special, and for them to help take this program to the national championships in their freshman and senior seasons is remarkable. This will be the perfect way to get together one last time before they all graduate and celebrate a wonderful group of student-athletes.”
This marks the second time the WWU Volleyball team will throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Mariners game, also having the honor during the 2008 Mariners season following the 2007 national runner-up finish. The Western Washington men’s basketball team, women’s soccer team and women’s rowing team have also been invited to throw out the ceremonial first pitch to honor their national championship seasons.
WWU finished the historic 2018 season with a 30-4 overall record and were a perfect 20-0 in Great Northwest Athletic Conference play to win the conference championship for the second consecutive season. The Vikings were selected as the No. 1 seed in the West Region and hosted the NCAA II West Regional Championship in Carver Gym for the first time in program history. WWU defeated rival Cal State San Bernardino in the regional final to advance to the NCAA Elite 8 for the third time in program history.
After defeating Tarleton State (3-0) and Lewis (3-1) in the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at the NCAA II Fall Championships Festival, the Vikings came up short in the national championship match in a 5-set defeat to the University of Tampa. WWU recorded a school-record 30-match winning streak leading up to the national championship match.
The 2018 Vikings featured All-Americans Abby Phelps, Brette Boesel, Kayleigh Harper and Aubrey Stephens, with Phelps earning her second straight First Team AVCA All-America honor and was selected as the GNAC Player of the Year for the second straight season.
Flick-Williams was selected as the GNAC Coach of the Year for the 10th time and has led the Vikings to a 424-107 record in her 19 seasons at the helm of the program. WWU has advanced to the NCAA II Championships in each of the last seven seasons and played in the West Regional title match four consecutive years. Over the last four seasons the Vikings have combined to go 107-22 (.829) with a 73-7 (.913) record in GNAC play.
WWU is scheduled to open the 2019 season Sept. 6-7 at the West Florida Invitational in Pensacola, Florida. WWU’s first home match of the season will be Sept. 19 vs. Northwest Nazarene on WECU Court in Carver Gym. More information on WWU Volleyball, including the complete 2019 schedule can be viewed online at WWUVikings.com/VB.