THIS WEEK IN SEAWOLF VOLLEYBALL...
2017 D2 West Region Volleyball Showcase, presented by Hilton Garden Inn
Sept. 7-9 — Alaska Airlines Center — Anchorage, Alaska
Thursday, Sept. 7
3 pm: #24 Cal Baptist (3-0) vs #10 Western Washington (3-1)
5:30 pm: #15 Concordia Irvine (3-0) vs #11 Cal State San Bernardino (3-1)
8 pm: Chico State (4-1) vs #14 Alaska Anchorage (2-2)
Friday, Sept. 8
10 am: #11 Cal State San Bernardino vs #10 Western Washington
12:30 pm: #15 Concordia Irvine vs Chico State
3 pm: #24 Cal Baptist vs #14 Alaska Anchorage
5:30 pm: #15 Concordia Irvine vs #10 Western Washington
8 pm: #24 Cal Baptist vs Chico State
Saturday, Sept. 9
10:30 am: #15 Concordia Irvine vs #14 Alaska Anchorage
1 pm: #24 Cal Baptist vs #11 Cal State San Bernardino
3:30 pm: Chico State vs #10 Western Washington
7 pm: #11 Cal State San Bernardino vs #14 Alaska Anchorage
ON TV: UAA's three evening matches will be televised live throughout Alaska on GCI Cable channels 907 (hd) and 1 (sd) ... the Concordia-UAA match will shown delayed, following the UAA-CSUSB match, at 9:30 p.m. Saturday.
LIVE VIDEO & STATS (all matches free): portal.stretchinternet.com/uaa
SOCIAL MEDIA: Check the @UAAVolleyball Twitter feed for in-match updates.
SHOWCASE SHOWDOWNS: The Seawolves will host the 'A' pod of the 2017 D2 West Region Volleyball Showcase, presented by Hilton Garden Inn, this week at the Alaska Airlines Center on the UAA campus ... played on the same court as last year's Div. II West Regional Championships, the event features the top two finishers from each of the region's three conferences, with a predetermined 'cross-over' schedule ... the 'A' pod features five nationally ranked teams (No. 10 Western Washington, No. 11 Cal State San Bernardino, No. 14 UAA, No. 15 Concordia-Irvine and No. 24 Cal Baptist) and five teams that made the NCAA Tournament last season (UAA, WWU, CSUSB, CBU and Chico State) ... along with Anchorage, the Showcase will feature pods in Ellensburg, Wash.; Nampa, Idaho; Lacey, Wash.; Monmouth, Ore.; and San Francisco ... this is the fourth year of the Showcase, which featured only GNAC and Pac West Conference teams in 2014 and 2015, before adding CCAA programs in 2016.
UAA SHOWCASE HISTORY: The Seawolves are 11-1 in the Showcase with eight straight victories, suffering their lone loss in a 5-setter to Pac West foe Dixie State in 2014 ... last year in Rohnert Park, Calif., UAA beat Cal State San Bernardino (3-2), Dixie State (3-1), Cal Baptist (3-1) and host Sonoma State (3-1) ... overall, UAA is 9-1 vs the Pac West and 2-0 vs. the CCAA.
UAA PROBABLE STARTERS (2017 stats)
S—Madison Fisher, 5-9, So. (4.94 aps, 1.22 dps)
MB—Vanessa Hayes, 5-11, So. (1.18 kps, .304 att%, 0.94 bps, 0.29 ace/set)
MB—Tara Melton, 6-0, Jr. (1.07 kps, .119 att%, 1.36 bps)
OH—Leah Swiss, 6-0, Jr. (2.78 kps, .231 att%, 2.33 dps, 0.28 bps, 0.61 ace/set)
OH—Chrisalyn Johnson, 5-9, Jr. (2.72 kps, .128 att%, 1.44 dps, 0.39 bps)
DS—Taylor Noga, 5-8, Jr. (1.28 dps)
or RS—Diana Fa'amausili, So. (2.39 kps, .206 att%, 1.28 bps)
L—Keala Kaio-Perez, 5-7, Sr. (3.22 dps, 0.50 ace/set, 0.39 aps)
vs Chico State: UAA leads 5-4 overall, 3-2 at home
Last: UAA 3-0 (12/1/16 at UAA) / Streak: UAA 2 / Notes: UAA won the first postseason meeting between the program's with last year's NCAA Tournament First Round sweep ... teams played five times between 1985-93 but did not meet between 1994-2010 ... Chico State's last win came 3-0 in 1993 at UC Davis.
vs Cal Baptist: UAA leads 3-0 overall, 1-0 neutral
Last: UAA 3-1 (9/10/16 at Rohnert Park, CA) / Notes: UAA won the initial neutral-court meeting vs. then-No. 25 CBU at the D2 West Region Showcase last year at Sonoma State ... the first meeting was a 3-1 UAA victory in 2003 when CBU was an NAIA program ... this will likely be the last meeting in a long while between the programs as CBU is headed to Div. I next season.
vs Concordia-Irvine: First meeting
vs CSU San Bernardino: CSUSB leads 7-3 overall, 1-0 at UAA
Last: UAA 3-2 (9/8/16 at UAA) / Streak: CSUSB 1 / Notes: The last two meetings have gone five sets, with UAA winning at last year's West Region Showcase in Rohnert Park, Calif., and the Coyotes prevailing in the 2015 NCAA Tournament Second Round clash in Anchorage ... teams have played nine times since 2009 ... first meeting was a 3-0 UAA neutral-court win in 1993.
SEASIDE SPLIT: The then-No. 4 Seawolves opened by splitting four matches against West Region competition at the Seaside Invitational in San Diego last week, beating Cal State LA (3-0) and host Point Loma (3-2), and losing in 5-setters to UC San Diego and Azusa Pacific ... Jr. OH Leah Swiss hit .256 with 22 combined kills in the two victories to earn a spot on the all-tournament team, and So. Diana Fa'amausili racked up 43 kills and 23 blocks throughout the four matches ... UAA used its new '6-2' offensive scheme, with So. S Madison Fisher and Fr. S Casey Davenport combining for 9.24 assists per set ... Sr. L Keala Kaio-Perez made her debut as starting libero with 3.22 digs per set and 9 aces, while Jr. MB Tara Melton – one of six Seawolf newcomers – had a team-best 1.36 blocks per set and tallied 15 kills over the final three matches.
BRIEF SEASON PREVIEW: The Seawolves return four starters – including all-conference hitters Leah Swiss and Diana Fa'amausili – and five reserves from their 2016 NCAA Runner-Up team as they seek a third straight Great Northwest Athletic Conference title and a fifth straight NCAA Tournament berth ... six newcomers will vie for playing time, too, as UAA tries to offset the loss of all-conference performers at setter, middle blocker and libero.
SEAWOLVES TOP PRESEASON POLL: The Seawolves earned the favorite's designation by the narrowest of margin in the 2017 GNAC Presason Coaches' Poll, release Aug. 22:
2017 Great Northwest Athletic Conference
Preseason Volleyball Coaches’ Poll
Rk Team (1st-place votes) 2016 Records Pts
1. Alaska Anchorage (5) 34-3, 19-1 (1st) 110
2. Western Washington (3) 23-8, 17-3 (2nd) 109
3. NW Nazarene (3) 22-7, 13-7 (t4th) 106
4. Central Washington 17-12, 13-7 (t4th) 89
5. Simon Fraser 21-8, 14-6 (3rd) 77
6. Concordia-Portland 15-13, 11-9 (6th) 67
7. Western Oregon 10-17, 7-13 (t7th) 50
8. Seattle Pacific 11-17, 7-13 (t7th) 46
9. Saint Martin's 6-18, 2-18 (t10th) 26
10. Alaska Fairbanks 3-24, 2-18 (t10th) 25
11. MSU Billings 7-23, 5-15 (9th) 21
2016 SEASON RECAP: The 2016 UAA volleyball team recorded the best season in program history, reaching the NCAA Div. II National Title Match and earning its second straight Great Northwest Athletic Conference outright title, while posting records of 34-3 overall and 19-1 in league ... among their 40 school records included marks for most victories, longest win streak (20) and most consecutive NCAA Tournament berths (4) as the Seawolves won their first West Region title ... led by National Coach of the Year Chris Green and GNAC and West Region player of the year Morgan Hooe, UAA posted seven wins over nationally ranked opponents and went 33-1 from Aug. 27-Dec. 9, with that lone loss coming in a 20-18 fifth set against the league runner-up ... in addition to All-America honors for Hooe and Leah Swiss, right-side hitter Diana Fa'amausili was tabbed the GNAC and West Region freshman of the year.
ELITE EIGHT RECAP: The Seawolves reached their first NCAA Div. II Elite Eight in program history in 2016, earning the No. 6 seed for the national quarterfinal, semifinal and final rounds, Dec. 8-10 at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota ... the nationally 9th-ranked Seawolves posted 4-set wins over 12th-ranked Angelo State and 10th-ranked Palm Beach Atlantic to earn a berth in their first NCAA Title Match, where they fell in straight sets to top-ranked and 8-time national champion Concordia St. Paul ... Sr. S Morgan Hooe and Chrisalyn Johnson were both named to the All-NCAA Tournament Team.
2016 WEST REGION CHAMPS: The regionally top-seeded Seawolves earned their program's first regional title with a wins over Chico State, Northwest Nazarene and No. 16 Western Washington in the West Regional Championships at the Alaska Airlines Center, Dec. 1-3 ... after an impressive sweep of Chico State (25-21, 25-18, 25-15) in the first round, UAA needed a dramatic comeback to fend off 5th-seeded and GNAC rival NNU (25-17, 22-25, 25-21, 23-25, 15-10) in the regional semis ... trailing 9-5 in the 5th set against NNU, Leah Swiss ripped six kills and Sr. MB Erin Braun accounted for three points in the final 11 rallies to earn UAA's first-ever NCAA 2nd Round victory ... in the regional final, Swiss had 16 kills and 12 digs, and Sr. S Morgan Hooe made a dramatic return from injury to power a 19-25, 27-25, 25-21, 25-23 win over 16th-ranked and 3rd-seeded Western Washington ... Braun had 15 kills on .424 hitting, Chrisalyn Johnson had 10 kills and a career-high 24 digs, and So. L Kyla Militante-Amper tied the the second-most digs in the UAA single-match history with 39 ... Hooe, Swiss, Braun and Diana Fa'amausili gave UAA four of the 12 honorees on the all-tournament team.
A HOWL LOTTA LOVE: UAA led NCAA Div. II Volleyball in attendance for the second straight season in 2016, with its 1,387 per game far outdistancing Angelo State ... the Seawolves drew five of the year's top seven single-match attendance totals, with their 2,710 for the West Regional final standing as the program record and the second-highest attendance for any D-II match since 2013.
TEAM NOTES: Boosted by its NCAA Tournament run, UAA went 7-2 last season against AVCA Top 25 teams and is 15-5 against ranked teams since 2014 ... UAA is 25-32 against ranked opponents under Green, after having lost 32 straight prior to his arrival in 2008 ... UAA has gone 20-3 against regular-season, non-conference opponents since 2015, including 8-0 at home ... the season-opening loss to UCSD snapped a 26-match win streak in the month of September, dating back to Sept. 25, 2014 ... the Seawolves are 40-6 at the Alaska Airlines Center since its opening in Sept. 2014, and 86-17 at home since 2009 ... among their 40 program team and individual records in 2016, the Seawolves broke the marks for victories and winning percentage set in 2015 by the 27-3 squad ... the 2016 Seawolves also put up team records for most road wins (13), most consecutive wins (20), most consecutive sweeps (6), most consecutive sets won (22) and highest AVCA national ranking (No. 3) ... the five longest win streaks in program history have all occurred since head coach Chris Green's second season in 2009.
SWISS (CAN'T) MISS: After capturing All-GNAC honors for the second year in a row and 2016 AVCA Second Team All-America honors, Jr. OH Leah Swiss was voted the 2017 GNAC Preseason Player of the Year in balloting by the league's head coaches in August, and she started the year with all-tourney honors at the Seaside Invitational ... the team's most potent offensive threat in 2016, she has smashed at least 9 kills in 36 of the last 41 matches, including all four in San Diego last week ... last year the former Dimond High star ranked 2nd in the GNAC with 3.56 kills and 4.18 points per set, plus 3rd in aces per set (0.38) and 16th in attack pct. (.242) ... in the NCAA West Regional Championships, she accounted for 4.25 kps, 3.00 dps and 0.67 bps, posting double-doubles in all three matches and making the all-tournament team ... Swiss now owns 23 career double-doubles after posting a pair last week ... on the Seawolves' career lists, she already ranks 13th in kills (807), 7th in kills per set (3.07), 16th in attack pct. (.232), 16th in aces (101), 3rd in aces per set (0.38) and 9th in victories (64); she needs just six more aces to break into the top 10 on that list.
OUTSIDE CHANCE: Alongside Leah Swiss, the Seawolves boast one of the strongest outside-hitting trios in the nation with fellow Preseason All-GNAC picks Jr. OH Chrisalyn Johnson and So. RS Diana Fa'amausili ... in 2016, Johnson collected 163 kills – 50 percent of her regular-season total – in the final 12 matches, and was a major force during UAA's NCAA Tournament run, notching match-point kills in the regional final and NCAA semifinals, and making the All-NCAA Tournament Team at the Elite Eight ... the former Dimond High star has accounted for at least 7 kills in 36 of the last 41 matches, including 24 times in double figures ... meanwhile, Fa'amausili got off to a strong start last week with 2.39 kills and 1.28 blocks per set at the Seaside Invitational last week ... the AVCA West Region Freshman of the Year, GNAC Freshman of the Year and the only freshman on the All-GNAC team in 2016, Fa'amausili broke UAA's rally-scoring era record with 12 total blocks in Saturday's loss to Azusa Pacific, becoming the first Seawolf to tally a dozen blocks this century ... the Federal Way, Wash. (Kent-Meridian HS) product was UAA’s 2nd-leading blocker with 1.05 bps last season, ranking 8th in the GNAC, 56th nationally overall and 5th nationally among freshmen (2nd among right sides) ... Fa’amausili has delivered at least 5 kills in all of her 41 matches as a Seawolf.
DEPENDABLE DUO: In addition to their three preseason all-conference picks, the Seawolves return two players – Jr. DS/L/RS Taylor Noga and So. MB Vanessa Hayes – who played in all 132 sets last year ... Noga was a major unsung hero in UAA's NCAA Tournament run, totaling 30 digs (3.33 dps) and 4 assists in the victories over NNU and WWU, including a then-season-high 17 against the Crusaders ... the former East Anchorage HS standout recorded double-digit digs 13 times as a sophomore, including 11 against Angelo State and a career-high-tying 19 against Palm Beach Atlantic in the NCAA quarterfinals and semifinals ... Noga had 14 digs and 2 aces in the regular-season road win over NNU, and she committed just six reception errors in 246 attempts (.976) after Oct. 6 ... Hayes was a consistent presence in the middle her freshman season, notching multiple kills and multiple blocks in 27 of 37 matches ... the Salem, Ore. (McNary HS) native hit .364 with 6 kills and 5 block assists in the win over No. 15 Cal St. San Bernardino, and she delivered two of her best attack percentages in UAA’s road victories at NCAA qualifiers Simon Fraser and Western Washington, combining for 13 kills on .462 hitting in those seven sets ... Hayes equaled her season-high 8 kills for the fourth time against Palm Beach Atlantic in the NCAA Semis, and she ranked 11th in the GNAC with 0.95 bps.
SENIORS RETURNING STRONG: Both of the seniors on the 2017 roster are healthy and contributing after suffering season-ending knee injuries in their debut campaign ... last year, Sr. L/DS Keala Kaio-Perez (Waimanalo, Hawaii/Kailua HS/Western Nebraska CC) had played in every set as a defensive specialist, averaging 1.88 digs and a team-best 0.43 aces per set when she went down in practice in late September ... Kaio-Perez has taken over as the primary libero in 2017, averaging 3.22 digs and 0.39 aces per set at the Seaside Invitational ... UAA's hitting depth has improves as well with the return of Sr. OH Anais Vargas (Greeley, Colo./University HS/Northeastern JC), who played in six matches before being hurt in practice in mid-September ... Vargas delivered a career-best 6 kills in the loss to UCSD and tallied 3 kills and 3 block assists in the sweep of CSULA.
YOUTH MOVEMENT SETTING UP: For the first time since 2012, the full- or part-time setting duties have fallen to someone other than former All-American Morgan Hooe, who finished as the program's all-time assists leader last fall ... between So. S Madison Fisher and true Fr. S Casey Davenport, the Seawolves began the year with a combined one match of collegiate experience at the position ... in her lone action of 2016, Fisher played well as an emergency injury replacement for Hooe in the West Region Championships title match, notching 3 kills, 6 assists and 5 digs in less than a full set of action ... running a '6-2' system thus far, Fisher has posted 4.94 assists and 1.22 digs per set, while Davenport is averaging 4.28 aps and 1.22 dps.
GREEN MACHINE: Having led UAA to an unprecedented nine straight winning seasons, UAA head coach Chris Green (195-74, .725) has established himself as the most successful coach in program history and one of the top mentors in the NCAA Div. II ranks, earning the 2016 AVCA D-II National Coach of the Year award ... now a 4-time GNAC Coach of the Year (2009, 2013, 2015, 2016) and 2-time AVCA D-II West Region Coach of the Year (2009, 2015), Green has led UAA to NCAA Tournament berths in seven of the last eight seasons, capturing the program’s highest-ever seeds the last three years ... in the 28 years before Green’s arrival, the Seawolves made two NCAAs ... UAA has won at an .813 clip (105-24) since the start of the 2013 campaign, including .882 (67-9) in league play ... after helping the Seawolves to a 10-win turnaround in his first season, Green earned both GNAC and NCAA Div. II West Region coach-of-the-year honors in 2009 when he piloted UAA to its first GNAC title and the program’s first-ever NCAA victory ... Green’s UAA teams have produced six All-Americans, five GNAC Players of the Year, five GNAC Newcomers of the Year and three GNAC Freshmen of the Year ... hired in Feb. 2008 as the sixth coach in UAA Volleyball history, Green spent the previous nine seasons (1999-07) as the head coach at Western Nebraska Community College, where he built a powerhouse program. Among his list of accomplishments at WNCC were a 453-55 record, the 2007 NJCAA Div. I national championship, 2006 NJCAA runner-up, and four straight ‘Final 4’ berths ... the Cougars finished in the top 10 at the national tournament in all of Green’s seasons, producing a total of 10 first-team and six second-team All-America certificates ... in 2011, he was inducted into the NJCAA Hall of Fame.
2017 INDIVIDUAL HONORS
Preseason All-GNAC Team
Preseason All-GNAC Team
GNAC Preseason Player of the Year
Preseason All-GNAC Team
Seaside Invitational All-Tournament Team