The weekend primer: Volleyball team squares off at home
The Seawolf volleyball teams back home this weekend for two matches against fellow GNAC squads, the Northwest Nazarene Crusaders and Central Washington Wildcats.
Both visitors are sitting in the top half of the GNAC standings. The two crews have also tangled with the Seawolves earlier this season, with each of them losing 3-1 in their own backyards.
UAA is currently riding a wave of electric play. And they have been nearly unbeatable at the Wells Fargo Complex, giving up just one loss on the season.
Outside hitters Julia Mackey and Katelynn Zanders are giving the ‘Wolves a hefty edge. The sophomore tandem sits three and four in total kills amongst all GNAC players.
With these two flying in off the edges, UAA is boasting the second best hitting percentage (0.234) in the conference. But two teams are creeping up behind them in this category: Northwest Nazarene and Central Washington.
First up are the Crusaders, who will look a lot like the Seawolves Thursday night. The two teams have similar builds and win games using comparable styles.
For one, the Crusaders floor two offensive threats that should keep the ‘Wolves on their heels. Their duo of hitters — Andrea Terpstra and Elayna Rice — can trade blows with Mackey and Zanders.
The Crusaders are well put together on defense, too. They have high block marks and get plenty of second chance opportunities through their digs.
The most important defensive number is 0.166 — that’s the hitting percentage they’re allowing opponents this year. It’s the third-lowest in the conference.
The ‘Wolves didn’t have much trouble with the Crusaders back in September, but this is still a tight matchup.
Saturday brings a clash with the Wildcats, who are a middling team that’s trying to move their arrow in an upward direction.
The Wildcats have their own pair of studs, but theirs aren’t flashy point scorers. Setter Catie Fry and libero Kaely Kight are having stellar seasons at positions that are easily overlooked.
Fry is a distributor — possibly the best one this conference has to offer. She has amassed 648 assists, and is averaging 10.62 per set.
Kight has an absurd 342 digs, which puts her at 5.61 per set. Like Fry, she has constructed a strong case for being the best at her position in the GNAC.
If Kight and Fry get the right amount of help Saturday night, the upset could be in play.
If they don’t, the Seawolves should continue to electrify.