UAA stomps Nanooks to keep pace in GNAC

The UAA Volleyball teamcrushed UAF in an energeticmatch Oct. 15 supported by oneof the best fan turnouts UAA hasseen so far this year of nearly 800people.

The girls swept the first set25-16 followed by a close secondset, 25-22.

“Fairbanks did really well thesecond set they picked up theirgame a lot,” sophomore middleblocker Robyn Burton said. “Theyhad a lot of ups and had some goodserves. We had a few misreads onour side of the net, but we lookedpast it and did what we had to doon our side to win it.”

The girls seemed to strugglein the beginning of the thirdand had difficultycommunicating on the court.

“It’s different whenyou have 800 people, it’shard to hear each other,”UAA Head Coach ChrisGreen said.

Despite the fewerrors, the squad pulledthrough and took thethird set 25-13 winningthe match 3-0.

“We just took a fewdeep breaths and cametogether as a team,motivated each otherand fired each other up,”Burton said.

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The team not only stomped their biggest rival, but also set anattack percentage of .412, which is a high forthis season and their bestsince 2002.

Burton had a .765 attack percentage contributing 13 kills on 17 attacks.

“Our passing was on and whenthe pass is on, the set is usuallyperfect and we can just swing away,” Burton said. “Everything just came together.”’

Senior outside hitter Jackie Matthisen also had 13 kills tocontinue her strong play as of late.Junior hitter Ariel Austin alsopitched in with seven kills of herown on the night.

Kimya Jafroudi, a 5’7 junior setter, helped lead the offense with 37 assists.“Offensively, we did a great job, passing was pretty good,”Green said. “Kimya ran a greatoffense and our hitters, we have togive credit to our hitters. They dida great job,”

On the defensive side, sophomore libero Quincy Haughthad 10 digs. The win moves the team to12-6 overall and 8-2 in the GNAC. Also, the victory keeps UAA in asecond place tie in the conferenceand a half game out of first place. The race for the GNAC titlecontinues to tighten as the seasonapproaches the home stretch. Western Washington (11-4Overall, 9-2 GNAC) is a halfgame up on both UAA and Seattle Pacific (14-5, 8-2). Northwest Nazarene (11-5, 8-3) is also within striking distance, as they are onlya game back of WWU. Western Oregon (8-7, 7-4) is still very much in the fray as well just two games back.

Next up for ‘Wolves is ameeting with the Vikings ofWWU on Oct. 20 at the Wells Fargo Sports Complex. The Seawolves have already dealt Western a defeat back onSep. 24 when UAA went into Bellingham, WA and beat the Vikings 3-1.In a game that has all the makings for a classic, Green knows how big the home-court advantage could play for the Seawolves as they look to leapfrog the Vikings by sweeping theseason series.

“We would love to have this crowd on Thursday night against  Western Washington,” said Green.“It’s going to be a big game.”

The season-high crowd against UAF was the fifth-largest crowd toever attend a Seawolves volleyball home game. After the showdown with WWU, the ‘Wolves will play host to win less Simon Fraser (0-15,0-11) on Oct. 22.