Seawolf volleyball loses against in-state rival

The Seawolf volleyball team kicked off their week with a Tuesday night game against their in-state rivals, the Nanooks. UAA traveled to Fairbanks to compete in a four-set match that ultimately earned them another loss. The 3-1 game (21-25, 25-19, 25-22, 25-22) ruined the Seawolves’ previous four-game win streak.

The Seawolf volleyball team traveled to Fairbanks to take on the UAF Nanook volleyball team on Sept. 24. Photo courtesy of Skip Hickey.

The Seawolves started off strong with their first and only win of the match being the first set. They left the Nanooks in a four-point deficit, with a 25-21 win.

Despite the win, it was UAA’s weakest set overall, with only six total kills and a .143 average hit percentage. The Seawolves prospered off the Nanook’s mistakes, who managed 10 total kills, 11 errors and a -.029 average hit percentage.

UAA stayed consistent for the following three sets. However, UAF cut their average errors per set almost in half and increased their number of kills.

The Nanooks started off the game with 11 errors in set one but continued with six, five and three errors in each of the following sets, respectively. In addition, they progressively increased their number of kills. While UAF ended all four sets with a total of 50 kills, UAA accumulated 41.

UAA head coach Chris Green acknowledged that UAF improved substantially throughout the game.

“We needed to be better in every phase of the game to win this match tonight. Fairbanks responded well after the first set and became the aggressors, and we never answered, which is disappointing,” Green said.

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Despite the loss, sophomore Eve Stephens still managed to accumulate an impressive 17 kills over the course of the game. This was a match-high between both teams.

Following Stephens, junior Kayla McGlathery accumulated 10 kills and senior Vanessa Hayes notched six.

The team had a few days off before returning to play against Montana State Billings Yellowjackets on Sept. 28 for the Seawolves’ first home GNAC game.

In a competitive four-set game, the Seawolves were able to redeem themselves after their previous loss against UAF. With 25-23, 19-25, 25-22, 25-10 sets, UAA was able to outscore Montana State at the Alaska Airlines Center.

The Seawolves took the lead early, with a win in the first set just two points ahead of the Yellowjackets. The Yellowjackets continued with their only win of the night in the second set before the Seawolves overtook them in the third and fourth sets.

“I was pleased with our toughness in that third set, which really made the difference, and we just got on an incredible roll in the fourth. It’s really encouraging to see us hit for such a high percentage and to get a lot of different people involved in the offense,” Green said.

The Seawolves were able to prosper due to several career-best offensive efforts. Four players managed to make double-digit kills, Stephens (.405) collected a total of 22 with freshman Hannah Pembroke (.391) behind her with a career-high 11, as well as junior Vera Pluharova (.533) and Hayes (.286), both with 10.

In addition, collectively, the Seawolves ended with a .320 average, passing up Montana’s .231 average.

UAA also managed to collect 12 aces and 57 assists to out-do MSU’s eight and 40, respectively. Floyd managed to accumulate 52 of the 57 assists on the Seawolves’ side.

The Seawolves now sit at second in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference with a 3-1 conference record. UAF and Western Washington are in a tie for first with a current 4-0 undefeated conference record.

For full results and a UAA volleyball schedule, visit www.goseawolves.com

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