Seawolves follow conference opening loss with strong win

The UAA women’s volleyball team ended their first pair of home games going one for one. Following the Sept. 8 loss (3-2) to Western Oregon University (WOU), the ‘Wolves took down Saint Martins in the first three frames at their second home match.

“We know we can win, it’s not a question of that. It is being comfortable out there. It’s doing our job and focusing on the moment and each play one at a time,” junior outside hitter Nikkie Viotto said.

Despite the disappointing final score against WOU, the game kept fans on the edge of their seats in the neck and neck game.

“After that fourth set, I was just seeing red; trying to get into the fifth set, trying to get my team to not look down on it, to just get into the next one,” senior captain Jackie Matthisen said.

The first set went to WOU, but the ‘Wolves recovered taking the second set 25-21, followed by the third 25-18.

The two teams were toe to toe throughout the fourth frame. Fans began leaving and the crowd and players began anticipating a Seawolf victory until Matthisen’s serve went straight out of bounds, giving WOU a point.

“I was just rooting for them when I was on the sidelines, just hoping that we would get a good pass and just be able to put a ball away but Oregon’s defense was always right there,” sophomore middle blocker Robyn Burton said.

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The fourth frame ended 26-28, sending both squads into the fifth frame. WOU kept the lead throughout the majority of the fifth frame closing the game 7-15.

The Seawolves didn’t underestimate the young team, knowing that they have knowledge and experience working as unit, a quality hard for any team to beat, according to Head Volleyball Coach Chris Green.

The Seawolves came out strong against Saint Martins; taking the first frame followed by the next two to gain win on their home court. Despite the win coach Green was still displeased.

“I don’t know if we played that well. We know we got the win and a win is a win.” Green said.

Thus far in the season Saint Martins has gone 2-4, losing to Humboldt State, the Academy of Art, California State University, Bakersfield and UAA.

These games were follow-ups to a season already in full swing.

“(We had) two trips, one to Hawaii, one to California and I think that those teams we played are pretty tough so I think we’ve prepared ourselves well for the conference,” Green said.

The Seawolves traveled to Oahu, Hawaii August 26 and won against Hawaii Pacific University (HPU).

They took the first frame 25-22 followed by the second and third 25-23 and 19-25 and taking the match 25-19 in the fourth frame. Burton led the team with 17 kills followed by Matthiesen with 16.
“The HPU match was probably the best I’ve seen (Burton) play, so hopefully she can consistently bring that every time we get on the court,” Green said.

The girls also traveled back to Hawaii August 27 ending the trip 25-12, 25-17 and 25-14.

In San Bernardino, California the team competed at the Coyote Invitational in four matches. They closed the weekend two for two against BYU-Hawaii (0-3), Hawaii-Hilo (1-3) Hawaii-Pacific (3-1) and Chaminade (3-0).
Although the Sept. 8 match set back UAA this season, Matthisen and junior Nikkie Viotto set individual records.

Viotto led her second double-double so far in her career, with 16 kills and 12 digs.

Matthisen set an all time high of 23 digs so far in her career.

“I’m just trying to play it game by game and practice day by day. I can’t do what I do without the rest of my team behind me,” said Burton.

The UAA volleyball team will be on the road until Sept. 29, playing three road matches starting with UAF and followed by Simon Fraser and Western Washington.

“Our goal is always to win GNAC and if you win the conference then you get into the NCAA tournament so that was our goal to start the season,” Green said.