On Thursday, Nov. 8, the UAA volleyball team traveled to Ellensburg, Washington to compete against rivals Central Washington. They continued on to meet Northwest Nazarene on the court on Saturday, Nov. 10.
Central Washington is currently ahead of the Seawolves in the Great Northwest Athletic rankings while Northwest Nazarene is trailing behind significantly.
At No. 2, CWU has 15 conference wins and four losses, the Seawolves sit at No. 3 with a 13-6 record, while NNU nears the end of the list at No. 9 with just six wins, accompanied by 13 losses.
Against Central Washington, the Seawolves came close on all three sets but didn’t catch up quickly enough. Although the 3-0 (23-25, 19-25, 22-25) game added another loss to their record, several of the individuals found the ability to excel throughout the game.
With the first point of the game and the first three for UAA by freshman Eve Stephens, she continued to lead the Seawolves’ offense for the remainder of the night.
By the end of the night, Stephens had accumulated nine kills with just 2 errors, solidifying a .389 percent, the highest for the Seawolves. However, despite Stephens’ efforts, her percent was still masked by CWU’s Makala Swart with a .583.
Trailing behind Stephens, senior Tara Melton also accumulated nine kills, but with four errors, leading her to a .312 average. Also with nine kills was junior Vanessa Boyer, followed by senior Chrisalyn Johnson with eight.
Freshman setter Ellen Floyd also maxed out with assists, solidifying 22 by the end of the night, two more than sophomore Casey Davenport’s 20 assists.
On the defensive side of things, both Johnson and sophomore Anjoilyn Vreeland each accumulated 14 digs.
Despite their best efforts, the Seawolves still suffered a loss, pushing them down on the NCAA Division II West Region rankings to No. 10.
The Seawolves were able to get a chance to redeem themselves on Saturday, Nov. 10 against GNAC No. 10 Northwest Nazarene.
“You know, anytime a team comes in as the underdog they’re going to serve tough, so we’re used to that, and we as a team serve tough to each other, so we’re used to the tough serves coming at us,” Green said.
In another close call, the Seawolves were able to come out on top after a competitive four sets.
With a 4-point lead and a 9-point lead, the Seawolves overtook NNU for both the first and second set, respectively.
In the first set, UAA had an impressive .312 attack percentage which only improved to a .333 percent in the second set, a significant advantage over NNU’s .128 and .036 percentages.
The Seawolves’ offensive success was once again led by freshman Stephens, who ended the game with a .560 attack percentage after accumulating 14 kills for UAA.
Similarly, Boyer and Johnson played their part in the offensive schematics of the night with 10 kills each.
“Transitioning to outside was definitely hard and learning how to do the timing with the super high balls, but in practice we have been having a lot of long rallies,” Boyer said. “So, that has really helped getting off transition and being able to hit multiple times.”
As the night continued the Seawolves slowly lost their momentum from 19 kills in set one to 12 in set two, 14 in set three and then 10 in set four.
Their win streak kept until the third set when Northwest Nazarene took over. In an overtime match, the Seawolves suffered their only set loss of the match at 25-27.
UAA earned their redemption in the final set of the night with a 25-14 winning, leading them to an overall 3-1 win.
This was the final regular season game for the Seawolves. For the teams qualified to play in the NCAA Championships, visit www.ncaa.com.