BILLINGS, Mont. - Freshman Sarah Johnson posted a
double-double and the Alaska Anchorage volleyball team came up with big plays
late in the final two sets to earn a 25-19, 19-25, 25-23, 23-19 victory over
Montana State Billings at Alterowitz Gymnasium on Saturday night.
The Seawolves (12-5, 7-2 GNAC) also got a clutch showing from junior middle blocker Jodi Huddleston, who had 10 kills, including match point.
The Yellowjackets (8-9, 5-4) were led by 12 kills apiece from Jody Lutz and Monica Grimsrud, but the hosts lost despite out-hitting the Seawolves .152 to .122.
UAA - which moved two matches ahead of MSUB for third place in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference standings - won thanks to a 59-52 edge in digs and an 8-2 advantage in aces. Sophomore Jordan Bush matched her career high with three aces for UAA, while committing no service errors.
After mirroring each other's effort in the first two sets, the longtime rivals found themselves tied 23-23 in the pivotal third frame. Receiving serve, UAA setter Kimya Jafroudi set up Huddleston for a kill, then fed Johnson on the ensuing point to take the 2-1 edge.
The Seawolves erased an early 3-1 deficit in the fourth and surged ahead with a six-point run that made it 12-6. MSUB got within 19-17 and 22-19 before UAA clinched it with the final three points, including kills by Julia Mackey and Huddleston.
Johnson finished with 12 kills and 13 digs for her team-high sixth double-double of the year, while Mackey accounted for 11 kills. UAA also got another strong match from freshman middle blocker Breanne Sytnyk, who had six kills on a team-best .385 attack percentage.
Jafroudi finished with 41 assists and 12 digs, while Siobhan Johansen had 15 digs and Nikkie Viotto 12 digs along the back row.
UAA returns to the Wells Fargo Sports Complex next week to begin the second half of the GNAC schedule, hosting Saint Martin's on Thursday and Western Oregon on Saturday. Both matches begin at 7 p.m.
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