In an awesome display of offense, the Vikings turned up the pressure on two opposing defenses in the South Park Blocks over the weekend.

In an awesome display of offense, the Vikings turned up the pressure on two opposing defenses in the South Park Blocks over the weekend.

Punching their timecards as they entered the gym, the Portland State volleyball team came ready to work, sweeping Idaho State and Weber State on back-to-back nights.

The Viks seemed to have ice water running through their veins on Friday, as they kept cool throughout their match against a relentless Idaho State team. After jumping to early leads in each set, Portland State endured long runs by the Bengals before pulling away with a three-set sweep. Set scores were 25-22, 25-20 and 25-13.

“We would consistently pull away and would go up by a few points, but then we’d let them back in,” said head coach Michael Seemann.

In the first and most pivotal set, the Bengals rallied to tie the score at 22-all before the Vikings showed true grit by taking back control of the game for good. After quick thinking by junior middle blocker Lana Zielke led to a kill to put the score at 24-22, the Vikings went to junior outside hitter Whitney Phillips for the win and got the desired result.

“I thought we did a good job of executing,” Zielke said. “[We] were passing well enough to get the offense going, and we were terminating balls.”

In what seems to be the norm for senior setter Nique Fradella, she had over 40 assists with an impressive night of offensive hitting in addition to seven digs on the defensive end.

Phillips, too, played in her usual efficient form. She led with 20 kills and hit .302, while chipping in 12 digs on defense.

Portland State finished in dominating fashion, completing their sweep of the Bengals to maintain their unbeaten home streak.

The Vikings entered Saturday’s game with a must-win attitude after a shocking loss to Weber State in Ogden, Utah, earlier this season set the stage for a rematch, this time at home.

With solid team play, the Viks reaped the benefit of a 3-0 win against the Wildcats. Every starter contributed equally in a sweep that was highlighted by a season-high team hitting mark of .438, the best performance for any team in Big Sky Conference play this year.

Leading Portland State for the second time in the back-to-back games, Phillips was top in kills with 18. The front row combined to hit .638 on 36 attempts, with 24 kills and one error collectively for the night.

Taking the first two sets easily with set scores of 25-18 and 25-13, Portland State got their first test of the night on the third and final set of the match. The two squads went back and forth and would eventually tie at 25-all, but the Wildcats’ struggle would be for naught. A kill by senior Marija Vojnovic and a Weber State attack error off a Fradella serve would end the set and match at 27-25, giving the Vikings the revenge they craved.

The pair of wins keeps Portland State tied with Eastern Washington for first place in the Big Sky. Three of their final six games will be at home in the Stott, where they have been unbeatable in conference play this year.

Phillips knows the importance that home court has played for the Vikings this season.

“I think playing at home is always to your advantage,” she said. “[Against Weber] we definitely had the advantage in the first two sets.”

With Eastern Washington and Northern Colorado both also winning this week, the Vikings still have plenty of work to do in order to win the conference and grab the top seed in the postseason tournament.

The remaining work begins this Friday when they go on the road to face Montana then Montana State the next day.