The Seawolves defeated both Western Oregon and Saint Martin's to secure the Great Northwest Athletic Conference title crown and enter the NCAA West Regional Championships as the No. 1 seed in the region.
Eve Stephens ripped 18 kills and Ellen Floyd delivered another strong all-around performance on Nov. 10 to sweep Western Oregon 25-19, 28-8 and 25-18 on the opposing team's home court.
Entering the game with an 18-match win streak over Western Oregon, the Seawolves were challenged in the opening frame. The opposing team erased a four-point deficit to forge a 17-17 tie. On the next point, Floyd set Stephens up for a kill, and UAA then capped a 4-0 run to retake control. The Seawolves got kills from Isabel Evans and Nicole Blue to win the frame 25-19.
After a brief 2-2 tie in the second, the Seawolves took off and dominated the remainder of the frame. UAA delivered an impressive hitting percentage of 0.619 with 13 kills, zero error, and 21 attacks. Lisa Jaunet had three kills on six swings and Evans hit 2-for-2 as UAA finished the frame on a 23-6 run.
The Seawolves erased an early 5-2 deficit in the third and then pulled away midway through to win the frame 25-18. They held the Western Oregon Wolves to a hitting percentage of -0.108.
Stephens recorded a match-high of seven total blocks and raised her GNAC all-time kills record to 1,897. Floyd delivered five kills and match-highs of 26 assists, five aces and nine digs. Blue had four kills and two aces, and Evans tallied four kills and five blocks.
With their victory over Western Oregon, UAA could clinch the GNAC title by winning their Nov. 12 game against Saint Martin's, or if Western Washington lost their game to Seattle Pacific.
The Seawolves got off to a rocky start against Saint Martin's in Lacey, Washington as the opposing team tied the first frame 18-18 on a kill. However, Floyd answered with a kill of her own to regain the lead. Blue then served two straight aces to help her team start a 7-2 run and win the first frame 25-20.
UAA dominated the second frame early with help of Reilly Plumhoff's seven straight aces. The Seawolves maintained their lead throughout the second to win the frame 25-17.
The Saints took control of the third frame to lead 15-10. Eager to secure their first GNAC title since 2016, the Seawolves responded with intensity and got back into the game. Jaunet ripped three kills to help her team go on a 6-0 run, and then the teams began to trade points.
The Saints blocked an attack by Stephen's to make it 23-23, but an SMU serving error on the next point allowed the Seawolves to regain the lead. On match point, Floyd delivered an ace to help her team win the frame 25-23 and the game in a 3-0 sweep, securing theGNAC title crown for the Seawolves.
"That was not a pretty victory tonight, but it's certainly a great feeling to accomplish our goal of winning the GNAC outright, and we as coaches could not be prouder of this group," said UAA coach Chris Green. "We will celebrate this tonight before we begin our focus on the NCAA playoffs next week."
Jaunet and Stephens led the Seawolves with nine kills each, Floyd recorded five digs, and Leilani Elder had a match-high of six total blocks.
The Seawolves will learn who their first opponent is for the upcoming NCAA West Regional Championships on Nov. 13. Visit ncaa.com to view the bracket.
UAA Volleyball Conference Titles
1990 Continental Divide Conference
1992 Pacific West Conference (co-champion)
2009 Great Northwest Athletic Conference
2015 Great Northwest Athletic Conference
2016 Great Northwest Athletic Conference
2022 Great Northwest Athletic Conference