Volleyball team celebrating over Montana. Eric Shelby/PSU Vanguard

Volleyball Viks see postseason in national invitational

Morales awarded All-Tourney at Hawai’i Classic



Getting outscored early in the game, the Viks fell to the crosstown rivals, the Portland Pilots, 69-54 on Tuesday night. The Viks went 10-32 in the first half, and 0-9 on three-pointers—only scoring 20 while the Pilots had 37. The Viks improved to 2-14 in the second half on three-pointers, making them 2-23 on threes in total. The Pilots now have a three-game winning streak over the Viks.


James Jean-Marie led the team with a season-high 17 points, going 7-17 and 3-4 on the line. Ezekiel Alley also led the team with 11 points and a three-pointer at the end of the game to close the lead a little. Alley was 5-9 and 1-3 on threes. Khalid Thomas put up 11 points with Marlon Ruffin putting up nine points, both shooting a low 3-12. Although Jean-Marie was the leading scorer of the game, the Pilots had three players scoring in the double digits. Chris Austin was the Pilots’ leading scorer, shooting 7-17 and a three-pointer.


After the loss, the Viks immediately headed to Iowa City to play the 5-0 Hawkeyes of the Big 10 Conference. The Viks fell to the undefeated Hawkeyes 85-51. With Iowa averaging 99 points per game, the Viks held them to only 85 points—making this Iowa’s lowest scoring game of the season so far. 51 points is also the lowest the Viks have scored this season. Viks had a 30.8% field goal percentage, compared to Iowa’s 48%. 


Ruffin was the leading scorer of that game, shooting 7-14 and 3-4 on the line for 18 points. Thomas went 5-13, but 0-5 on three-pointers—getting 11 points for the Viks. Going 3-10 and 1-2 on the line, Jean-Marie had himself 15 rebounds. Michael Carter III went 2-5 on three-pointers, shooting 3-7 and 8 points. Keegan Murray, Iowa’s leading scorer, put up 23 points and went 10-16.


The Viks begin conference play on Dec. 2 against the Bengals at Idaho State in Pocatello, Idaho. The Bengals went 13-11 last year and 8-6 in conference. The Viks split the series last year 1-1 with Idaho State, losing 57-64—then winning 69-43 the second game. The Bengals are currently 1-5 this season, averaging 59.8 points per game, but allowing 69 points per game. Bengals average 29.2 rebounds per game while allowing 32.2 for opponents. Robert Ford III is the Bengals’ leading scorer, averaging 11.2 points per game and 4.8 rebounds.


Viks currently average 74.6 points per game—allowing 65.8 to opponents—which is third in the Big Sky. Viks also average 44.4 rebounds per game—second in the Big Sky—and average the Big Sky high with 14.6 offensive rebounds per game. Jean-Marie and Ruffin were hot, both averaging 13.4 points per game. Jean-Marie also averaged 11.2 rebounds per game. 


Viks also lead the Big Sky with 10.2 steals per game. Adding to that, Paris Dawson is a perfect 14-14 on free throws, top in the Big Sky.



Scoring only nine in the first quarter and six in the fourth, the Viks couldn’t stop the Utah Valley Wolverines, losing 62-43. Our leading scorer, Esmeralda Morales, put up 10 points going 3-12, and 4-4 on the line with three rebounds and two assists. Redshirt senior Savannah Dhaliwal put up nine points, going 1-10 and 1-3 on three-pointers and six rebounds. The team struggled on three-pointers, going 1-13 or 7.7%. Reilly Kelty, in her 17 minutes of play, went 3-4 with six points, three rebounds and one block. Freshman Mia Uhila went 2-2 on the line with three assists. The Viks were not able to take the lead the whole game, with three of the Wolverines starters dropping points in the double digits.


Utah Valley’s leading scorer, Megan Jensen, dropped 19 points, going 9-14. Madison Grange shot 5-7, four three-pointers and a perfect 4-4 on the line—to give the Wolverines 18 points. Right behind the leading scorers, Josie Williams shot 7-9 and 3-4 on the free throw line, for 17 points. She also led with 19 rebounds. The Viks had a 5.7% higher free throw percentage than the Wolverines, who had 80%.


The Park Block Vikings look to end their two-game losing streak when they begin conference play against the Bengals at home on Dec. 2. The reigning Big Sky champions only have one win—and five losses. The Bengals average 54.7 points per game, and allow 71.3 per game. The Viks average 68.2 points, and allow a close 64.5 per game. Viks average 10 blocks per game, while the Bengals average 7.7. With a slightly higher field goal percentage of .374, the Bengals have an edge over the .338 Portland State. 




Though their conference championship run was cut short, our Portland State Vikings are headed to the postseason for the first time since 2010. They will be one of 31 teams to compete  in the NIVC (National Invitational Volleyball Championship) tournament hosted in Ogden, Utah. The first round of this single-elimination tournament is Friday, Dec. 3 against Pacific University at 2 p.m. PST. Weber State will also be in the tournament, facing California State University, Bakersfield. 

Volleyball team celebrating over Montana Eric Shelby/PSU Vanguard





Wearing #1 on the court, James Jean-Marie—a senior transfer from San Diego and Hawai’i —averaged 13.4 points per game, tying with Marlon Ruffin as the leading scorers for the team. A great addition to the team, James-Marie had four double-doubles in a row in his first four games as a Viking. The Canadian from Montreal, Quebec averages 11.2 rebounds per game, currently leading the Big Sky. He also has a .483 field goal percentage, eighth in the Big Sky. He had 10 rebounds and 14 points in his first game as a Viking, playing Oregon State.



From Spanaway, Washington, Esmeralda Morales is one of the many new additions to the Park Blocks that has made some noise recently. Last week, the freshman guard made the All-Tournament team at the Bank of Hawai’i Classic, playing Prairie View A&M and University of Hawai’i. As of right now, she averages 18.4 points per game, second in the Big Sky. She had 4.5 assists, 2.5 steals and two three-pointers per game in the tournament. Morales put up 32 points in her first-ever regular season game as a Viking—shooting 11-14 and eight three-pointers. She rocks #12 and you can see her at the Viking Pavilion on Dec. 2 against Idaho State.

Freshman guard Esmeralda Morales Eric Shelby/PSU Vanguard