SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS: Alaska Fairbanks has lost eight straight, including 24 of 28 sets, since starting the year with home wins over Findlay and Notre Dame de Namur … the Nanooks, who are 0-5 on the road, are led by 6-0 Fr. OH Sam Harthun (2.89 kps, .171 att%, 2.19 dps) and 5-6 Fr. S Katlyn Mataya (9.65 aps, 1.92 dps).
THE SERIES vs. UAF: UAA leads 58-34 (33-12 in Anchorage) Last Meeting: UAA 3-0 (10/15/11 at UAA) Streak: UAA 3 / Notes: UAA has won three in a row and five of the last six meetings after a 5-match losing streak against UAF from 2006-08 … the Seawolves swept both matches last season and have won nine of 10 sets during their current win streak … UAA leads 13-9 in GNAC meetings (since 2001) … teams have met at least twice per season every year since 1980.
TEAM COMPARISONS UAA UAF
Overall Record 8-4 2-8
GNAC Record 3-1 0-4
Current GNAC Place t-2nd t-9th
UAA Home/UAF Road 6-0 0-5
Kills per Set 13.0 11.7
Attack Pct. .211 .161
Assists per Set 12.2 11.2
Blocks per Set 1.7 1.3
Digs per Set 15.9 12.9
Aces per Set 1.7 1.2
ROAD GAUNTLET STARTS WITH SPLIT: UAA earned a split of its first Great Northwest Athletic Conference road series last week, falling 3-0 at preseason co-favorite Western Oregon on Sept. 20 before bouncing back with a sweep of their own at Saint Martin’s on Sept. 22 … in the first match, Sr. S Kimya Jafroudi had 34 assists and Fr. OH Katelynn Zanders registered 11 kills, but the Seawolves were out-hit .267 to .137 and outblocked 9-2 as they suffered their first 3-set conference loss since Nov. 6, 2010 – a span of 22 matches … Jr. L Siobhan Johansen was busy along the back row with an impressive 25 digs in the short affair … on Saturday, the Seawolves asserted themselves early with a 25-10 win in the first set and rolled to victory behind 12 kills and 8 digs from Fr. OH Sarah Johnson … Jr. MB Jodi Huddleston and So. MB/RS Maureen Sabado combined for 15 kills on .361 hitting and 8 block assists, helping UAA win the hitting battle .269 to .046 … Jafroudi was right on her average with 33 assists, while Johansen and So. DS Jordan Bush tallied 12 digs apiece … Bush also tied her career-high 3 aces as UAA beat SMU for the ninth straight time, including 27 of 28 sets.
TEAM NOTES: A win over UAF would tie the school record of 15 consecutive home victories, accomplished over the 1987 and 1988 seasons … UAA is 6-0 at the Wells Fargo Sports Complex this season and has not dropped a home match since Sept. 8, 2011, a 3-2 loss to Western Oregon … the Seawolves have won 31 of their last 33 home matches and are 34-4 at the WFSC since 2009 … the Seawolves rank 2nd in the GNAC stats in four of the seven major statistical categories — kills per set (13.0), assists per set (12.2), aces per set (1.7) and opponent attack pct. (.144) … the Seawolves are 0-1 this season and 8-19 overall against ranked opponents under head coach Chris Green; prior to Green’s arrival in 2008, UAA had lost 32 straight matches to ranked foes.
’WOLF NOTES: Reigning GNAC Newcomer of the Year and 2nd-Team all-league Sr. S Kimya Jafroudi has picked up where she left off, currently ranking 2nd in the league and 15th nationally with 11.02 assists per set … she is also 2nd in the GNAC with 0.53 aces per set … with 110 assists last week, including 59 in Thursday’s win over CWU, Jafroudi moved into 10th place on UAA’s career assists list, now with 1,295 … the Californian earned MVP honors at UAA’s own SpringHill Suites Invitational, Sept. 7-8, after pacing a Seawolf offense that hit .241, while her 6 aces against Dixie State were the most for a Seawolf since 2006 and the most for a GNAC player this year … Fr. OH Sarah Johnson has shown off her all-around skills early in her career, currently ranking 12th in the GNAC in both kills per set (2.83) and digs per set (2.86) … the South Anchorage HS product is one of four GNAC players in the top 15 in both categories, with the other three being seniors … Johnson was named the GNAC Red Lion Offensive Player of the Week for Sept. 10-16 after posting a .308 attack percentage and averages of 3.40 kills and 3.20 digs in wins over CWU and NNU … she leads the Seawolves with four double-doubles … with Johnson, Fr. OH Katelynn Zanders (3rd, 3.59 kps) and Fr. OH Julia Mackey (8th, 3.14 kps), the Seawolves have three of the GNAC’s top 12 leaders in kills per set … Jr. MB Jodi Huddleston leads the Seawolves and ranks 10th in the GNAC with a .307 attack pct. … with a season-best 5 total blocks against Saint Martin’s on Saturday, the Western Nebraska transfer also moved into the GNAC top 20 with 0.65 blocks per set (19th) … UAA is getting 96.4 percent of its kills output from newcomers, boosted further by the addition of redshirt So. MB Maureen Sabado … after missing the first eight matches, the Kodiak product has posted team-bests in attack percentage (.324) and blocks (1.25 bps) … Sabado premiered against CWU by becoming the first Seawolf in nearly a year to tally 10 total blocks … Jr. L Siobhan Johansen has taken over full-time duties at libero this season, ranking 7th in the GNAC with 4.17 digs per set and 5th with 0.37 aces per set … the Palmer (Colony HS) native’s 25 digs at WOU on Thursday were the most in a 3-set GNAC match so far this year … after seeing her career-long streak of 325 consecutive sets played end Sept. 7 because of a sprained ankle, Sr. OH/DS Nikkie Viotto has returned to the Seawolf lineup … Viotto now ranks in UAA’s career top 20 in four categories — total aces (t-8th, 107), aces per set (9th, 0.31), total digs (19th, 787) and sets played (19th, 341) … the Eagle River product will also move into the top 20 in matches played when she makes her 94th career appearance Saturday vs. UAF … after playing mainly as a serving specialist last year, So. DS Jordan Bush has stepped up her role, playing in all 43 sets and ranking 5th on the team with 2.00 dps … Bush matched her career-high for the third time with 3 aces — all in the first set — at Saint Martin’s last week.
SPRINGHILL CHAMPS: The Seawolves won the title of their own SpringHill Suites Invitational, Sept. 7-8, winning all four matches to begin the home campaign … UAA dropped only one set in victories over Dixie State, Adelphi and Western New Mexico (twice) as Sr. S Kimya Jafroudi earned tournament Most Outstanding Player honors … Jafroudi led the event with 10.92 assists and 1.00 aces per set, and was joined on the All-Tournament Team by Fr. OH Katelynn Zanders (4.00 kps, .286 att%), Fr. OH Julia Mackey (3.31 kps, .274 att%, 2.85 dps) and Fr. OH Sarah Johnson (2.15 kps, 2.77 dps) … Jafroudi paced the 25-20, 25-21, 25-16 sweep of WNMU in the title match with 35 assists, 6 digs and 3 aces, while Mackey accounted for 12 kills on .323 hitting and 9 digs … the title was UAA’s third straight and fifth overall in the tournament’s 16-year history … UAA is now 40-24 all-time in tourney play, winning 11 of its last 12.
SEAWOLVES PICKED 3RD IN POLL: The Seawolves were tabbed for third place in the 2012 GNAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll, released Aug. 21 … UAA received 70 points in the balloting, narrowly trailing Western Washington and Western Oregon:
Great Northwest Athletic Conference
2012 Volleyball Coaches Poll Rk Team (1st-pl. votes) 2011 Records Pts 1. W. Washington (3) 16-6 (14-4, 2nd-T) 72
2. Western Oregon (4) 14-8 (13-5, 4th) 71 3. Alaska Anchorage (2) 18-9 (14-4, 2nd-T) 70 4. Seattle Pacific 21-7 (15-3, 1st) 61
5. Northwest Nazarene 17-8 (12-6, 5th) 47
6. Central Washington 15-11 (9-9, 6th ) 42
7. Montana St. Billings 11-16 (5-13, 7th-T) 34
8. Saint Martin's 7-18 (5-13, 7th-T) 24
9. Alaska Fairbanks 2-24 (2-16, 9th) 20
10. Simon Fraser 1-21 (1-17, 10th) 9
(Note: First-place votes in parentheses. Points awarded on a 9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. Each coach ranked other nine teams)