Over the weekend of Oct. 19, the Seawolves traveled to Washington to take on two separate teams: Seattle Pacific and Saint Martin’s.
The first match against Seattle Pacific resulted in a long game that came down to five sets, eventually ending with a win for the Seawolves.
Every single match went up until the last minute, all within several points of each other. The final scores of each match resulted as 25-22, 23-25, 25-22, 22-25 with a final match only to 15 points with a 15-6 win for UAA.
“This was a difficult match against maybe the most improved team in our league,” head coach Chris Green said. “We did a nice job of withstanding their runs and took control there in the fifth. Leah [Swiss] was really zoned in offensively most of the night, and it was encouraging to see us come up with a big edge in digs with some improved play along the back row.”
In their match against Saint Martin’s, the Seawolves had another successful win, with a slightly shorter night, of a 3-1 win after a discouraging start (19-25, 25-19, 25-17, 25-17).
“We looked slow at the outset tonight, but we started playing our kind of volleyball about midway through the second set and continued for the rest of the match. Casey [Davenport] did a nice job of distributing the ball among our hitters and keeping SMU off balance, and she used great judgment when choosing to attack,” Green said.
That weekend proved to be successful for several key players of the team, including junior outside hitter Leah Swiss, junior outside hitter Chrisalyn Johnson, freshmen setter Casey Davenport, sophomore middle blocker Vanessa Hayes and defensive specialist Keala Kaio-Perez.
Swiss boasts the accomplishment of passing 1,000 career kills against Seattle Pacific on Oct. 19. She went into the game only needing an additional 8 kills to make it on the list, along with the previous seven who have made it. Swiss surpassed the necessary 11 with 23 kills — a season high.
In addition, Swiss’ 23 kills put her on the all-time high list at seventh, holding a tie with Sabrina Bingham (1996-99).
Swiss continued on Saturday with 13 kills and 11 digs.
Johnson also accumulated a high number of kills for during the weekend. Against Seattle Pacific, she managed 17 kills, 13 digs and 5 block assists. Saturday, against Saint Martin’s, Johnson ended with the second highest amount of kills, only trailing Swiss with 11 kills and 13 digs.
As a newcomer and after only a few collegiate games playing as setter, Davenport ended with two impressive numbers of assists. On Thursday, Davenport recorded 46 assists, 5 kills and a career-high 21 digs. She continued her success on Saturday finishing with a final count of 42 assists, which almost doubled Saint Martin’s setter who accumulated 22.
Davenport managed 2 aces, 6 kills, and no service or attack errors. Her 6 kills tied her season-high for the third time.
A consistent key player for the Seawolves, Hayes, helped carry the team Thursday night with a match-best 0.412 attack percentage and 8 kills. In another match-best, she accumulated 4 digs.
Saturday ended with Hayes in a tie with Tara Melton for third highest amount of kills on the game, finishing with 10. Hayes also accumulated 3 blocks and 2 digs.
Seawolf volleyball returns to the Alaska Airlines Center on Oct. 26 and 28 for games against Central Washington and Northwest Nazarene.