{Seawolves on the Road}

Hockey


Seawolves toppled by Mankato

Riding in the fast lane with a three-game winning streak and the momentum of a series sweep over Minnesota-Duluth, the Seawolves experienced a blowout in Mankato, Minnesota. They hit their first serious pothole of the season this weekend against the Western Collegiate Hockey Association rival Minnesota State Mankato Mavericks.

The unranked Mavericks (4-5-1, 2-5-1 WCHA) swept the No. 15 ranked Seawolves (5-4-1, 3-3-0 WCHA), winning in convincing fashion, 6-3 Nov. 12 and 5-2 Nov. 13.

Hitting the road in Mankato after making their first appearance in a national poll since the 1991-92 season was not successful for a youthful squad.

“We’ve got such a young team, and these guys start to buy into the papers too easily,” assistant coach Jack Kowal told KENI radio. “We’ve got some kids that are just being absolutely stupid out there on the ice. And it’s not from lack of preparation, it’s from guys trying to do their own thing out there and being too cocky.”

The hot goaltending of UAA goalies John DeCaro and Nathan Lawson didn’t carry over from their series sweep of Duluth and quickly melted against the Mavericks. Mankato’s senior netminder Jon Volp was good enough to collect both wins on a combined 56 saves. But the play between the pipes wasn’t the only letdown; the defensive zone was horrible both Friday and Saturday night.

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“It’s a bear to win hockey games on the road in the WCHA, and the guys got caught up in the rankings,” Kowal said. “We played bad defensive hockey and left our goalies out to dry.”

The defensive debacle started Friday night when the Seawolves allowed Mavericks sophomore sniper Travis Morin to shoot them down by scoring a hat-trick and ending the weekend with four goals. DeCaro was pulled for Lawson after giving up four goals only five minutes and 20 seconds into the second period.

“With a chance to come down here and win our fourth in a row, we peed down our legs,” Kowal said. “It’s tough to take as a coaching staff and a team as a whole.”

Nick Lowe and Justin Johnson both tallied their first goals of the season, and Lowe finished the weekend with two goals. There weren’t many highlights for the Seawolves in Mankato besides UAA leading scorers Chris Tarkir and Justin Bourne both getting their fifth goals on the season.

“We were out of it this weekend literally five minutes into the game Friday night,” Kowal said. “Our so-called best players (top two lines) didn’t bring there A-game this weekend.”

The Seawolves next come home to play the no. 6 ranked University of Wisconsin Badgers, who are coming off of a series sweep over no. 5 North Dakota. The two teams will take the ice at Sullivan Arena Nov. 19 and 20.

“Wisconsin is going to be a lot tougher than Mankato,” Kowal said.

-Will Merrill, Northern Light

Volleyball


Seawolves end season with sweep

When the UAA volleyball team started struggling this season, they had to look elsewhere for motivation. The playoff possibilities were gone. All they had to play for was a chance to finish at .500.

The UAA volleyball team took its final road matches of the season against Humboldt State and Western Oregon to end the year on a three-game winning streak and avoid their first losing season since 2000.

UAA (13-13, 7-11 GNAC) rode the momentum from a Nov. 6 home win over Alaska Fairbanks into Monmouth, Ore. Nov. 11 and knocked out the Wolves 30-28, 30-18, 14-30, 19-30, 15-13.

Playing in their second-to-last games, seniors Carolyn DeKay and Katina Ozrelic provided most of the damage. Ozrelic had a season-high 18 kills on a .552 hitting percentage and DeKay pitched in 16 kills as well. Libero Rachel Knecht had 25 digs and setter Bethan Murphy finished with a game-high 50 assists.

The Wolves lost their seventh straight match and nearly recovered from an early 2-0 deficit to eke out the win. They were led by 18 kills apiece from Nicole Kludt and Mandy Veley.

It was a senior’s story again on Saturday as the Seawolves took out the Lumberjacks 30-22, 30-20, 27-30, 30-19. Team captain Jenny Mitchell led all players with 18 kills and 21 digs. Ozrelic has 10 kills and five blocks while Mindy Lindquist added 11 kills and five blocks. UAA also got big efforts from Diana Gordon (29 digs), Knecht (23 digs) and Murphy (51 assists).

Humboldt State got its best performance from Jessica Murray with 16 kills and 15 digs.

-Brian Singler, Northern Light

Men’s Basketball


Seawolves struggle in California

A Division I transfer and a player who could have gone DI weren’t good enough for the UAA men’s basketball team to actually take down a DI team.

Newcomers Marcus Robinson and Brad Evans combined for 29 points but the Seawolves were blasted 91-63 in their season-opening exhibition contest against Long Beach State.

The 49ers won their second game against a DII opponent to open the season with five players in double figures including center Anthony Coleman’s 17 points and 10 rebounds. They shot 58 percent to UAA’s 38 percent and jumped out to a 14-2 lead to open the game and led 52-24 at the break.

Meanwhile, Robinson has 16 points to go along with five rebounds and three steals for UAA. Evans added 13 points and freshman Carl Arts made a solid debut with seven rebounds and eight points.

The banged-up Seawolves were without center Bryan Freshwater (ankle sprain), Kemmy Burgess (shoulder) and Aaron Lawrence (foot).

The Seawolves will next take on Caldwell (N.J.) College in the first game of the AT&T Alascom Jamboree Nov. 18 before taking on more DI opponents in the Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout Nov. 24-27.

-Brian Singler, Northern Light