Category: Sports

November 21, 2016 Lauren Cuddihy

Closing in on the end of their outrageously successfully season, the Seawolves played two different games in Washington on Thursday, Nov. 17 and Saturday, Nov. 19. These games secured the Great Northwest Athletic title that the Seawolves attained, but also elevated them two spots in the Division II standings to No. 9, as well as continuing to hold their position as No. 1 in the NCAA West Regional rankings.

Before coming into this weekend, UAA knew that they wanted to win the title outright and not just share it, “there’s definitely pressure but we’ve been working hard, we work day in and day out but we trust what our coaches have taught us and we will work off that,” sophomore outside hitter Leah Swiss said.

Thursday, Nov. 17 vs. Seattle Pacific University

Although the Seawolves came through with a 3-0 overall win, it wasn’t a necessarily easy game. UAA started the game with a quick lead in set one, contributing early on was senior setter Morgan Hooe with quick assists to initiate a strong offense. Furnishing a strong start to the game senior middle blocker Erin Braun stepped in on Hooe’s assists to help rack in the points. Finalizing their first win of the night, the Seawolves ended things up at 25-21.

To the Seawolves disadvantage, SPU slowly caught up while UAA was almost to set point. In the angst of the set closing in, the Seawolves struggled to keep their offense up which resulted in several errors. In a further disadvantage, SPU gained their two errors to tie the game up at 22-22.

After more toggling between the lead, Swiss stepped up to the net for a kill that brought the Seawolves up to set point. To final off their win, duo of Hooe and Braun got in a block that won the set at 28-26. Holding onto their senior and leader status was recognizable by head coach Chris Green

“Morgan and Erin were both spectacular tonight,” Green said.

In attempt to get in the winning set of the night, UAA and SPU stepped back onto the court for set three. With a minor scare half way through the set, the Seawolves were put temporarily behind. After a quick turnaround, UAA struck up a six point streak until a final kill from freshman Vanessa Hayes won the set and the game.

Final of 3-0 (25-21, 28-26, 25-21) won the game for the Seawolves. With this win, the Seawolves official extended a new program record with a total of 28 wins, passing last years 27. In addition, Braun passed 400 block assists and became the first person in the program to ever do so.

Saturday, Nov. 19 vs. Saint Martin’s

Following seven straight wins, the Seawolves remained in Washington to take on rival Saint Martin’s. UAA continues with their 19-1 conference record and with Saint Martin’s 2-18 record, this match was expected to be quick, which was seen in set one.

With the final score resulting in a complete blowout for the Seawolves, their lead excelled early and gave Saint Martin’s and initial eight-point deficit. With Hooe and middle blocker Diana Fa’amausili pairing up early, the duo quickly paired off assists with kills one after another until Saint Martin’s was left far behind.

Closing in on the end of the set, Taylor Noga stepped up to the line to get four successful serves in before Chrisalyn Johnson put in a kill for the set-winning point at 25-12.

With a change of pace, Saint Martin’s put UAA up to the test for the second set. Halfway through the set and Saint Martin’s even surpassed the Seawolves due to their offensive errors putting them in a five-point deficit. Slowly pulling back up, the scores tied at 21-21.

Several rallies continued until the usual 25 point win was surpassed and the game was tied up until 27-27. A kill by Fa’amausili gave the Seawolves the win they needed at 29-27.

Looking to final off the night, UAA and Saint Martin’s stepped up to set three, that resulted in almost a complete replicate of set one. Kyla Militante-Amper stepping in early to start the lead off with four successful serves. Soon, the Seawolves put them into a 5 point deficit. A final four serves from Militante-Amper and a kill from Fa’amausili gave UAA the win at 25-16.

With several strong weekends under their belt, the Seawolves have a new goal approaching: NCAA West Regionals. Head Coach Green looks ahead and plans for that.

“We are working hard not to have a let down as the West Regional approaches. We have a lot of work to do, and hopefully the girls realize that,” Green said.

NCAA West Regional Championships will be held Dec. 1 – Dec. 3.

November 6, 2016 Lauren Cuddihy

To start the weekend off, the UAA women’s volleyball traveled down to the state of Oregon to compete against two different schools. With a new streak of 4 wins, the Seawolves hold steady in their No. 1 Great Northwest Athletic Conference seeding, as well as their No. 11 Division II rank. With the season soon coming to an end in approximately a month, they Seawolves are showing off their strength and teamwork with two back-to-back wins.

UAA last competed against Concordia and Western Oregon a month ago at the Alaska Airlines Center where UAA won both games 3-0, but to change things up for these games, the Seawolves were hosted as the ‘away’ team on Oregon court.

Although beaten by UAA, Concordia boasts a 8-6 conference record, holding the No. 6 seed, but only No. 25 in Division II. On the other hand, Western Oregon stands at No. 8 with only a 5-9 conference rank.

Friday, Nov. 4 – Concordia in Portland, OR

To kick off the back-to-back games, the Seawolves debuted their weekend in Portland taking on Concordia.

Cutting it close in the beginning of the game, the Seawolves allowed not only set one, but also set two to go into overtime before capping off the two point win rule. The Seawolves, including sophomore outside hitter Chrisalyn Johnson, knew they would be in trouble in they didn’t do anything, “our game against Concordia, started out a little rough. We knew we had to eliminate our serving, hitting, and passing errors in order to win,” she said.

In set one, the Seawolves managed to get by with almost as many attack errors as they had kills, resulting in 10 and 13, respectively. Concordia was a decent amount behind until half way through the set, when they quickly caught up and even passed UAA’s lead temporarily.

Rounding up towards the end of the set, the power duo of setter Morgan Hooe and middle blocker Diana Fa’amausili stepped up to lead the Seawolves in for the win. With an assist from Hooe, Fa’amausili brought in a kill that allowed the Seawolves to get a win at 26-24.

The second set ran a bit more smoothly than the first. More kills, blocks, digs and less errors. Unfortunately, Concordia was on the same page and kicked their offense into high gear. With an immediate lead from CU, the Seawolves were already five points behind halfway through the set.

Slowly but surely, the Seawolves pulled ahead, with credit to middle blocker Erin Braun blocking the net left to right. CU barely reaching set point by the time UAA was right there. In an impressive comeback, the Seawolves pushed into overtime to let Hooe set Johnson the ball for the set-winning point at 29-27.

Heading into the third — and what could be the final set of the night — the Seawolves discovered early on that they were in for a challenge. Although UAA held the lead for the majority of the set, Concordia prospered to hand the Seawolves their first loss of the night. While UAA managed 14 kills with only 7 attack errors, CU beat them with a total of 16 kills and only 3 attack errors, prompting a score of 23-25.

In order to redeem themselves, the Seawolves pulled in an immediate lead, by nearly 8 points in a short amount of time. With help from Kyla Militante-Amper’s initial four serve streak, the Seawolves got back in the game.

Hooe and Johnson teamed up in the remaining of the set to pull the offense together. Several assists and kills later from the duo, UAA found themselves at set point. Militante-Amper stepped up the line to serve again, with a final service ace, the Seawolves won the set 25-17, and the game at 3-1.

Saturday, Nov. 5 – Western Oregon in Monmouth, OR

To finish up the weekend after their previous win, the Seawolves headed to Monmouth to compete against Western Oregon.

In a rather quick game, the Seawolves prospered in their second win for the weekend at 3-0. To continue their recently cut streak, UAA continued their new streak with this now fourth win in a row.

Although set one ended with WOU earning a higher average of attacks and kills that UAA, the Seawolves actually gained more points off of them due to their attack errors, letting set one end quickly at 25-21. The Seawolves realized they had to correct the weaknesses they suffered from the previous night.

“Our coach believes passing and serving wins games because offense will follow,” Johnson said.

It wasn’t until set two that the Seawolves experienced a turn around in their offensive line, although they started out slow with WOU topping their scores off every couple points, the Seawolves went out with a bang. Incorporated in this strong offensive turn around included a majority of them, 7 Seawolves being able to step up for a kill.

Stepping up to set three, UAA knew they could make it the last one for the night. Just like Johnson said, the team needed to be more consistent with their passing and serving, with that they were already on the right path for set three.

The Seawolves started strong and got a significant lead, but halfway through they slowed down, WOU caught up. In the closest set of the night, UAA found themselves at 25 points, with Western Oregon only one point behind.

With nerves on edge, it wasn’t known if WOU would overtake them and kill everything they earned in the first two sets, but that was quickly dismissed when UAA got their set and game-winning point on Western Oregon’s attack error, ending the set at 26-24.

After two back to back games, the Seawolves added two more wins to their streak. Winning against Concordia 3-1 (26-24, 29-27, 23-25, 25-17) and Western Oregon 3-0 (25-21, 25-19, 26-24).

November 6, 2016 Brenda Craig

Ski resorts are limited in the Anchorage area resulting in boredom for many experienced ski and snowboarders. Going to the same resorts repeatedly loses excitement and even motivation to go out and hit the slopes. An option that can help keep that passion would be to find new places to ride. If you don’t mind driving 45 minutes out to Girdwood for Alyeska, an hour-long drive and a little hiking can take you to new exciting places and give you more possibilities.

Flattop is known for its hiking trails in the summer time and Alaska’s most visited peak. This is located in town and is familiar to most who have hiked it, especially during the summer. During the winter, you can hike it the same way, with skis or snowboard and ride down the face, which contains the best snow. There are also the peaks behind flattop that is available to be trekked up and ride. This would be a good place for beginners to advanced ski or snowboarders to go if not a resort.

Hatcher’s Pass is located in Palmer in the Talkeetna mountains about an hour and a half outside of Anchorage. There are many different activities that can take place at Hatcher’s throughout the whole year, but what most look forward to is the backcountry skiing and snowboarding. Hatcher’s Pass hosts one of the best snow conditions in the state, usually starting in November. According to the Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation web page, “The High Glacier Peaks area north of Reed Lakes provides hearty backcountry traverses amongst the mountains and glaciers.” If you explore far enough, there are mountain huts that are open to the public. They warn only experienced skiers and climbers attempt to reach huts because it’s a several day trip with no designated trails. For more information on how to plan a trip to stay in these huts, the Alaska Mountaineering Club is willing to help.

Turnagain and Summit Pass is located in the Kenai mountains about half an hour past Girdwood. This is a great place to go after riding Alyeska and are looking for more of an adventure. Again, these backcountry areas are for advanced ski and snowboarders. Turnagain Pass has steep mountains similar to backcountry areas in Valdez, Alaska, because of the oceanic climate with deep and stable snowpack. After an hour of hiking, you will reach untracked snow and ready to shred. This is considered one of the best roadside backcountry areas in Alaska.

These are three places that have difference levels of expertise that don’t involve spending money on a lift ticket while also being able to venture out to a new spot. They do require a bit of hiking to be done, but is ultimately worth it. If you are looking for a new area to ski or snowboard, these can be an option for you. Before heading out to more of the advanced places such as Hatcher’s Pass and Turnagain Pass, check online about daily weather conditions and avalanche warnings. There are also free classes provided about avalanche safety and gear by many organizations such as Alaska Avalanche Information Center, Alaska Avalanche School and Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center.

October 30, 2016 Jordan Rodenberger

On a day that will be remembered for the waiver request of both men’s and women’s skiing and indoor track, UAA volleyball had to block out any empathy or distractions and focus on hosting Montana State-Billings (4-19, 2-11).

Assorted athletes gathered at the game with supportive signs for their classmates and fellow student-athletes.

The Seawolves (23-2, 13-1) gave everyone something to cheer about. This may have been UAA’s most complete game front-to-back, as they sailed to 25-16, 25-11, 25-12 sweep over the Yellowjackets.

Thanks to clean executing throughout all three sets, the 11th-ranked Seawolves finished with a season-high .376 hitting percentage compared to MSUB’s .053.

Sophomore Chrisalyn Johnson set the tone with her sixth straight double-double, piling up 13 kills with 11 digs while also chipping in two aces and three block assists. Diana Fa’amausili added eight kills, Leah Swiss punched in seven, and Morgan Hooe and Erin Braun had six each.

Braun won her 92nd game in green and gold, tied for the most in school history with Jen Szcerbinski.

UAA has had the upper-hand on Billings in their last 14 meetings, dating back to 2009.

The Seawolves look to take advantage of some much-needed rest. They have just concluded four home games in seven days and will recoup for eight days before heading to Oregon to take on Concordia (12-8, 8-4) and Western Oregon (8-12, 5-8).

October 30, 2016 Brenda Craig

Every year there is new technology forming within the snowboard community. The latest trend in the board sport world is splitboarding. Splitboarding has slowly made its way to Alaska and has rapidly spiked interest in the last couple years. With low snow seasons, snowboarders have been looking for another solution to be able to once…

October 30, 2016 Jordan Rodenberger

This academic year will likely encompass the final collegiate seasons of skiing and indoor track and field in the state of Alaska, as a result of Strategic Pathways.

University of Alaska President Jim Johnsen released that the university system submitted a waiver request to the National Collegiate Athletic Association on Oct. 19 for the discontinuation of men’s and women’s Nordic and alpine skiing at UAA and UAF, and men’s and women’s indoor track and field at UAA.

Per NCAA rules, schools in Division II must be competing in a minimum of 10 sports. The request Johnsen and UA has submitted is to cut the number of sports at UAA from 13 to nine and from 10 to eight at UAF.

According to UAA Athletic Director Keith Hackett, this decision will slice off 42 percent of the athletic budget cuts required, contributing around $1.95 million toward the budget reduction.

In an email message to the university system on Oct. 27, Johnsen stressed that this decision has not been an easy one.

“I love everything about the competitive nature of sports, I respect the men and women who compete as a Nanook or a Seawolf,” Johnsen said. “I can promise that we will do everything we can to ease the transition we all will face.”

Approximately 95 athletes overall, not including the coaching and support stats, will be impacted by the waver request, if it is accepted by the NCAA, who will meet in November to determine the outcome of the request. If accepted, the proposal will then move to the Board of Regents for final approval.

October 30, 2016 Jordan Rodenberger

UAA opened Western Collegiate Hockey Association play with an away series against the 20th-ranked Bemidji State Beavers, who is undefeated in the conference. The Beavers fended off the Seawolves’ late rally in the first game as UAA fell 2-1 in overtime. BSU opened the game with a power-play goal off of a rebound and retained…

October 24, 2016 Brenda Craig

Finding something to be completely passionate about can be a rare thing in life. Interests are easily turned into just another phase in life. Who knows if you’ll be doing the same things your 14 year-old self was doing. However, for Jason Borgstede, hobbies from his teenage years are no longer hobbies, but a way…

October 17, 2016 Lauren Cuddihy

As the season rolls on and the UAA women’s volleyball continues to move up in the charts, they took on two more rivals: Central Washington and Northwest Nazarene. Two of the highest ranked teams in the conference behind UAA, the Seawolves knew it wouldn’t be a walk in the park.

Volunteer coach Siobhan Johansen was still optimistic.

“CWU and NNU are both tough teams and as long as UAA comes into the game[s] focused on playing their best game, I think they’re going to do really well,” Johansen said.

After last week’s games, the Seawolves were able to pull up to be No. 8 in the entire division II volleyball standings. In addition, they had an impressive 17 game win streak that they increased to 18 following the previous match.

Central Washington became the first rival of the weekend for the Seawolves on Thursday, Oct. 13. Compared to UAA’s No. 1 rank in the conference, CWU isn’t far behind at No. 3 with a 6-2 streak.

Set one wasn’t a complete blowout for the Seawolves like it seems to have been in the past. Instead of starting off quick and pushing an immediate lead for the entire set, the Seawolves experienced a change in pace. CWU managed to hold on to the Seawolves’ energy and play at the same pace, which is almost expected since CWU is only two spots down from UAA in the rankings.

The beginning of the set proved to be a little bit of a struggle for the Seawolves, resulting in many errors, but none the less sophomore outside hitter Chrisalyn Johnson helped keep the team together with repeated digs.

While rallying the ball back and fourth, senior setter Morgan Hooe kept up with the assists, accumulating a total of 11 in the set, to give Diana Fa’amausili and Leah Swiss the ball for many kills a piece.

Halfway through the set, the Seawolves were able to pull in a much larger lead, but only briefly. Fa’amausili got up to the net for another kill, as well as freshman Vanessa Hayes.

Coming in towards the end, Swiss and Erin Braun held the defense up with several blocks to prevents CWU from scoring. The set point was won with teamwork while Hooe set the ball to Swiss for a kill. The set ended in UAA’s favor, 25-19.

Set two kept everyone anxious and on their feet. The rallies lasted long and the scores stayed close. Half way through the set and the Seawolves still lacked a lead, but their score continued to increase and their energy stayed high.

The end of the set kept everyone the most anxious. At 24-23 CWU held the lead, and also the set point. UAA pulled in a point, then CWU. The score toggled back and forth, needing a two-point lead for a win.

The tension was definitely high as the teams battled out the last several minutes. With excellent offense and teamwork, Johnson and Hooe helped lead the team to the win, with help from Braun and Swiss. The final score for set two ended at an astonishing 31-29 for a second win of the night on the Seawolves’ side.

After the previous battle for a win in the second set, Hooe managed to accumulate a total of 22 assists in just the set, as well as Johnson with 10 kills and sophomore libero Kyla Miltante-Amper with 14 digs.

Set three again proved to be rough for the Seawolves. CMU showed their determination and kept their lead over UAA until finally at 20-20 it evened out.

The first half of the set lacked defense from the Seawolves, CMU kept getting in hit after hit and UAA wasn’t able to keep up. In addition, the Seawolves added their own offensive errors on top of it give Central Washington a strong lead.

It was in the last ten minutes that things once again got interesting. Just like set two, UAA and CMU toggled after the set winning point and rallied for extensive periods of time. This set left everyone even more anxious; if the Seawolves could pull through on this set, they could win the game.

Yet again, Hooe and Johnson stepped up together. But, not without help from Swiss, who pulled in eight kills and eight digs during the set, and Johnson with six kills. After an anxiously long wait, UAA again pulled out a third win at 31-29.

In an astonishing comparison, UAA accumulated at total of 63 kills, 60 assists and 82 digs during the entire game while their rivals CWU managed 30 kills, 27 assists and 56 digs.

Even though the close scores of the sets, UAA did manage to have some flaws, as noticed by volunteer coach Johansen.

We struggled a little with being consistent hitters and servers. But overall UAA fought hard and came back strong from big deficits in the second and third sets,” Johansen said.

After the win, the Seawolves now increased their winning streak to 18 games. With another chance to increase it even more, the Seawolves take on Northwest Nazarene on Saturday, Oct. 15.

October 9, 2016 Lauren Cuddihy

Following a first win back on Alaska ground on Thursday, UAA lined up again in the Alaska Airlines Center two days later to play against Concordia University.

While the Seawolves continued to stay in the spotlight with their undefeated conference status and school record 16 game win steak, Concordia was making it by with a 4-3 record in the conference. Freshman Vanessa Hayes realized that a record doesn’t always mean everything but it also shouldn’t determine how your team should play.

“I’ve never seen them play but I hear that they’re a pretty good team this year. We just have to handle business on our side of the net,” Hayes said.

The Seawolves started off strong against their rivals. They debuted in set one by obtaining an immediate lead. Senior setter Morgan Hooe relinquished her power with a kill right away, assisted by senior Leah Swiss. Afterwards, with a lead almost double Concordia’s score, Diana Fa’amausili and Swiss took over the kills while Hooe stepped back as setter to assist them.

With a lot of positive energy on the Seawolves side of the court, they continued to increase their lead in set one. Swiss and Fa’amausili continued to rack up the kills, while sophomore libero Kyla Militante-Amper held everything together in the back diving down dig after dig.

For the Seawolves set winning point, Concordia lined up to serve. For an easy win, the serve went out of bounds, putting UAA at 25-15.

Jumping into set two, the Seawolves were put into an immediate lead due to a service error from Concordia, but their lead did drop from there.

Militante-Amper got up to serve and successfully pulled 4 points out of them until an attack error on the Seawolves’ side. Next, showing off their superb defense skills, UAA only let Concordia get one serve over the net until the ball was back in their possession.

Half way through the set, Fa’amausili and Hooe debuted several kills of their own, letting the Seawolves sit at a comfortable 7 point lead.

Nearing the end of set two, Swiss was up to serve. Impressively, not one or two, but all three of Swiss’ final serves resulted in a service ace, giving the Seawolves the final set winning points. Final score of set two being 25-14.

At halftime, both teams took a break to recover and strategize the third, and final, set of the game. During this time, the Seawolves recounted the fact that that they lost several strong seniors from the previous season and how important it is that they can’t dwell on that.

Instead of reminiscing about the team from last year the players needed to work together with each other and the new players to win the games they needed. Hooe being a senior and star player of the team knew this to be true and realized a common attitude that her teammates have taken.

“I’m not harping on you for your position, I’m just harping on you in order for you to be better and for this team to be better,” Hooe said at halftime.

After taking a well-needed rest, set three was jump started with serves from Hooe. Rallying back and forth, the Seawolves were able to get a couple points off Concordia’s errors.

With the scores staying close together, most of the points earned on either side of the court was due to errors by their rivals. Outside hitter Chrisalyn Johnson stood out several times taking an offensive stance and getting some kills over the net. Eventually joined by Fa’amausili, the two made several more kills over the net to get a relatively safe lead.

Not for long though, before the errors on UAA’s side started to add up. Close to finishing off the set but Concordia continued to gain on them.

Sophomore outside hitter Taylor Noga finally stepped up the serve, making 3 serves over all while getting points on errors from Concordia. Again, Johnson stepped into the picture and got a kill over the net to put the Seawolves at game point. To end the game off, Hooe set the ball back over to Fa’amausili to get in a kill and leave the Seawolves at 25-18.

After playing and witnessing how well the season has gone Johnson knew this was important.

“The chemistry is just there. It’s nice when we can convert how we work together at practice and make that happen here on the court,” Johnson said.

Finishing off the weekend, the Seawolves managed to pull through another 3-0 win. This win added up to be the astonishing 17th in their streak. How the players work together on and off the court is very important and this is an aspect that the Seawolves have come to strength with.