Sports Briefs 11/3/09

UAA downs WOU on road, 3-1, increase GNAC lead

Sophomore outside hitter Jackie Matthisen pounded 18 kills and made a career-high 19 digs against her former team Oct. 29 to boost the UAA volleyball team to its eighth straight victory, 23-25, 25-22, 25-22, 25-20, over Western Oregon.

UAA won with another balanced statistical effort, getting 14 kills and 10 digs from sophomore outside hitter McKenzie Moss, 13 kills and two big solo blocks from junior middle blocker Cortney Lundberg, and 48 assists from the league’s leading setter, senior Calli Scott. Senior libero Stacie Meisner patrolled the back row for a team-high 20 digs.

After losing a 22-20 lead in the first set and trailing 16-20 in the second, things looked bleak for the visitors. But UAA got a kill from Scott to start a 5-0 run, and Moss and Lundberg combined for four kills in the final five points to even the match.

UAA trailed 11-17 midway through the third before rallying yet again. Matthisen, who played her freshman season at WOU in 2007, kick-started the comeback with three straight kills. Then, facing a 20-22 deficit, freshman outside hitter Marie Borowikow ripped one of her six kills, and Moss followed with two more to highlight a 5-0, set-ending run.

The Seawolves took control at the start of the fourth set with an early 11-4 advantage and hung on despite a late rally by the Wolves.

UAA swept the season series from WOU for the first time since 2004 and evened the all-time series between the schools at 10 matches apiece.
Seawolves move up to No. 5 in West Region

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The UAA volleyball team moved up two spots to No. 5 in the latest NCAA Div. II West Region rankings, released Oct. 29.

The Seawolves currently lead the Great Northwest Athletic Conference by one-half match with five left to play.

The top four spots in the rankings remained the same, with UAA leapfrogging Cal State-Los Angeles and Seattle Pacific for the fifth slot. CSULA sits at No. 6, while Chico State moved up three places to No. 7. GNAC squads SPU, Northwest Nazarene and Western Washington hold down the final three positions.

The bi-weekly rankings rate the top 10 teams in all eight Division II regions, helping to determine which eight teams per region qualify for the NCAA Tournament.

UAA currently holds a 5-3 record against regionally ranked squads, with wins over SPU, NNU, CSULA and WWU (twice), and losses to No. 1 Cal State-San Bernardino, No. 2 UC San Diego and No. 4 Hawaii-Hilo. The final next rankings will be released Nov. 12, preceding the last weekend of regular-season play.

UAA CC: UAA upholds No. 5 ranking in poll

Following a successful weekend at the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Championships, the Seawolf women’s cross country team upheld its No. 5 ranking in the U.S. Track and Field Cross Country Coaches Association poll for the fifth straight week.

The men’s team dropped one position to No. 22 in week seven of the poll, announced on Oct. 28.

The women have retained their ranking since moving into the No. 5 position on Sept. 30. Earning the top position for the first time is Grand Valley State, which overtook West Region foe, Chico State (No. 2). Missouri Southern State and Adams State maintain the No. 3 and No. 4 slots, respectively.

Trailing UAA is the GNAC’s Seattle Pacific at No. 6, moving up one spot from last week. Western Washington fell two places to No. 10.

On the men’s side, UAA registered its lowest ranking of the season. Ahead of the Seawolves in the West Region are Chico State (No. 3), Western Washington (No. 6) and Cal Poly Pomona (No. 16).

The Seawolves will have the weekend off to prepare for the upcoming NCAA Div. II West Region Championships in San Francisco, Calif. on Nov. 7.

-compiled by Damaris Craig