Seawolves sit atop GNAC after wins over WWU, SFU at home
UAA followed up their victory in Fairbanks with a solid win against Western Washington University (WWU) on Oct. 20 winning the match 3-0.
The ‘Wolves were lead by senior outside hitter Jackie Matthisen and junior setter Kimya Jafroudi.
Matthisen led the match with 12 kills and also set Seawolf history becoming the fifth player in UAA history to have 1,000 recorded career kills.
Jafroudi landed a solid 35 assists and 12 digs as well as setting a career high of three kills.
Sophomore Robyn Burton, right side hitter Ariel Austin, and junior Nikkie Viotto, who earned eight kills each also helped to lead the team.
The team was supported by an attendance of 765 fans. This is the sixth highest attendance in UAA history in WWU match.
Sophomore defensive specialist Quincy Haught, contributed to the team’s victory setting a match high of 21 digs, the most in a three set match this year.
UAA dominated the first match 25-12 sending the crowd into early celebrations cheering and dancing to the beat of the drum line, celebrating the first match point.
In the second game however WWU came back determined and ready for action, putting up a strong fight.
“It got really quiet on the court and I just really tried to focus on talking and communicating making sure there wasn’t a silent moment out there,” said Matthisen.
Spectators yelled louder than ever showing their support from chanting different cheers to booing bad calls as the intensity migrated through the gym.
“In the second game I think we just weren’t at our best,” Head Coach Chris Green said. “We weren’t passing real well, serving wasn’t very good, we missed some serves and then we weren’t serving very tough.”
The score was tied throughout up until the two teams hit 23 points and the ‘Wolves pulled ahead by two taking the match point.
The girls went into the third game composed and confident after a pep –talk from Green.
“(I told the girls) we just need to get better, I think the first and second games didn’t do things we did last Saturday,” Green said.
The third game started much like the second, but the team kept their cool and sky rocketed towards the end of the game doubling the score.
The celebrations both on and off the court grew louder with each point. The Wolves’ won the game 25-15 sending rest of the team running onto the court to celebrate with their teammates.
“I just have chills right now,” Jafroudi said.
The crowd erupted with smiles and cheers, celebrating the well-earned victory over one our biggest rivals in the GNAC.
“(After winning I felt) pure enjoyment! (Laughs) It’s good to just really go on this high right now from the win,” Matthisen said. “But as soon as we leave the gym it’s working on Simon Frasier, it’s working on Montana, and Seattle Pacific down the road and then Central Washington and everyone else we have left to play in the conference.”
This is the fifth win UAA has claimed against WWU out the last seven times we have played them. In addition the victory bumped the team into first in the GNAC’s.
UAA maintained their lead in the GNAC’s after defeating Simon Frasier University (SFU) on Oct. 22.
They were lead by Matthisen with 18 kills, Burton with 17 and 45 assists from Jafroudi.
The match was a solid win for the ‘Wolves however it didn’t come as easy as their victory against the Vikings.
They took the first set 25-17 easily as well as the second 25-14.
In the third set however the Clan hit a spark that led them to steal the set 22-25.
“I knew we had to take it to another level,” Austin said. “Being number one in GNAC is a lot of pressure but we have to find a way to stay focused and consistent the whole time and play at our level.”
UAA redeemed themselves in the fourth set winning them set point as well as the game 25-13 and a total score of 4-1.
Matthisen followed up her record setting game against the Vikings moving up to No. 4 on the UAA career kills list recording 1,021 accumulative kills.
Austin and Viotto also helped to lead the match recording seven kills each and Haught with a match-high of 15 digs.
“I wouldn’t say I’m please (with our performance), but we do have a lot of work to do before the end of the season.” Austin said. “We have to get better every day.”
The Seawolves travel to play Montana State Billings on Oct. 27 and the team knows that they have to work especially hard this week to hold their rank in the GNAC.
Each player has something they need to work.” Green said. “We’re just gonna’ work on those little things and try to get better individually so that as a group we’re a better team than what we showed tonight.”