THIS WEEK IN SEAWOLF VOLLEYBALL...
Thursday, Sept. 21 — 7 pm ADT — Alaska Airlines Center — Anchorage, Alaska
Saint Martin's (6-4, 1-1 GNAC) at #20 Alaska Anchorage (7-4, 2-0 GNAC)
Saturday, Sept. 23 — 7 pm ADT — Alaska Airlines Center — Anchorage, Alaska
Seattle Pacific (6-4, 1-1 GNAC [Thu. @UAF]) at #20 Alaska Anchorage
ON TV: Both matches, live throughout Alaska on GCI Channel 907 (hd) and 1 (sd)
LIVE VIDEO & STATS (free): portal.stretchinternet.com/uaa
SOCIAL MEDIA: Check the @UAAVolleyball Twitter feed for in-match updates.
DIG FOR LIZ: UAA will host the 2nd annual 'Dig for Liz' night on Saturday's SPU match, giving fans the opportunity to donate to the Liz Hooe Memorial Scholarship fund, which goes to a deserving UAA volleyball player ... donate by texting 'DigForLiz' to 41444 (any time before, during or after the match that night) ... for more info, surf to GoSeawolves.com and click on Special Events, then Seawolves vs Cancer.
TICKETS: $10 general admission, $8 discounted, UAA students free with valid WolfCard ... visit GoSeawolves.com or call 907-786-1562 for all ticket info.
UAA PROBABLE STARTERS (2017 stats)
S—Madison Fisher, 5-9, So. (5.02 aps, 1.65 dps)
MB—Vanessa Hayes, 5-11, So. (1.31 kps, .285 att%, 0.78 bps, 0.27 ace/set)
MB—Tara Melton, 6-0, Jr. (1.12 kps, .190 att%, 1.17 bps)
OH—Leah Swiss, 6-0, Jr. (2.76 kps, .211 att%, 2.37 dps, 0.37 bps, 0.48 ace/set)
OH—Chrisalyn Johnson, 5-9, Jr. (2.83 kps, .173 att%, 1.52 dps, 0.37 bps, 0.30 ace/set)
RS—Diana Fa'amausili, So. (2.54 kps, .219 att%, 0.91 bps)
L—Keala Kaio-Perez, 5-7, Sr. (4.28 dps, 0.52 ace/set, 0.61 asst/set)
KNOW THE FOES: At 6-4, Saint Martin's has already equaled its overall win total from 2016, going 2-2 at its West Region Showcase pod and splitting its GNAC openers last week against Western Oregon (L, 0-3) and Concordia-Portland (W, 3-1) ... the Saints have one common opponent thus far with UAA, losing 3-0 at Point Loma ... the Lacey, Wash., program is led by 5-9 Sr. OH Rebecca Mitchell (3.72 kps, .168 att%, 3.28 dps, 0.44 bps) and 5-10 Jr. OH Rachel Gondrezick (2.86 kps, .149 att%) ... Seattle Pacific suffered one of its early losses to #3 Nebraska Kearney and went 3-1 at its Showcase pod, earning wins over CSU East Bay, Fresno Pacific and CSU San Marcos ... the falcons started GNAC play last week with a split against Concordia (L, 1-3) and WOU (W, 3-0) ... SPU is led by 5-9 So. OH Gabby Oddo (2.87 kps, .196 att%) and 6-0 Sr. OH Hannah Lautenbach (2.42 kps, .196 att%, 2.20 dps, 0.77 bps).
UAA SMU SPU
UAA Home/Opp. Road 2-2 1-1 1-1
Kills per Set 11.7 12.0 11.7
Attack Pct. .192 .167 .182
Opponent Attack Pct. .158 .170 .175
Assists per Set 10.6 11.5 11.1
Digs per Set 14.9 17.1 14.5
Blocks per Set 2.2 1.8 1.8
Aces per Set 2.0 1.2 1.2
vs Saint Martin's: UAA leads 30-4 overall
In Anchorage: UAA leads 15-1 / Last: UAA 3-0 (11/19/16 at SMU) / Streak: UAA 18 / Notes: UAA's 18-match win streak is the longest in program history against any opponent ... the Seawolves have won 27 straight and 54 of 56 sets during the streak, which started in 2008 ... SMU swept the 2007 series with a pair of 3-0 wins ... UAA leads 28-4 in GNAC matches (since 2001) ... teams played first two matches as Pac West Conference opponents in 1998 and 1999.
vs Seattle Pacific: SPU leads 28-22 overall
In Anchorage: UAA leads 13-12 / Last: UAA 3-0 (11/17/16 at SPU) / Streak: UAA 8 / Notes: UAA’s win streak is already its longest in series history ... UAA has won four straight and eight of the last nine in Anchorage ... UAA has won the last four matches by sweeps and claimed 24 of 26 sets during its current win streak ... SPU’s last win was a 4-setter in Anchorage, Nov. 10, 2012 ... UAA is 14-4 against SPU under head coach Chris Green and leads 18-14 in GNAC matches ... first meetings came in 1991 as members of the Pac West Conference.
'WOLVES DISPATCH RIVALS, ROCKY: The then-No. 18 Seawolves started GNAC play and finished non-conference play in solid fashion by sweeping a three-match road swing Sept. 12-16, earning wins at longtime league rivals Alaska Fairbanks (25-21, 25-19, 25-22) and MSU Billings (25-11, 25-22, 23-25, 25-9), sandwiched around a 22-25, 25-22, 25-18, 25-15 decision at NAIA foe Rocky Mountain ... at UAF, Jr. OH Leah Swiss recorded a double-double and Jr. OH Chrisalyn Johnson smashed 13 kills as UAA won for the 14th straight time in the series and the ninth straight time at the Patty Center ... the Seawolves got 11 kills and 12 digs from Swiss, So. S Madison Fisher and Fr. S Casey Davenport combined for 38 assists and 12 digs, and Sr. L Keala Kaio-Perez tallied 15 digs ... in Montana, Kaio-Perez starred with a career-high 32 digs in Friday's non-conference finale against the NAIA program, while So. RS Diana Fa'amausili came one shy of her career high with 16 kills ... at MSUB, Fa'amausili added 13 kills and Swiss tallied 12 kills on .344 hitting, 10 digs, 4 aces and 3 block assists to help UAA overcome a 3rd-set hiccup against the Yellowjackets ... Jr. MB Tara Melton delivered 5 kills and posted a match-best 7 block assists as UAA beat the 'Jackets for the 15th straight time overall and eighth straight time in Billings.
TEAM NOTES: UAA ranks 2nd in the GNAC in both opponent attack percentage (.158) and aces per set (2.02) ... the Seawolves hold top-50 national ranks in aces per set (29th) and blocks per set (2.21, 43rd) ... last week's victories extended a pair of program records, giving UAA 16 straight road wins and 18 straight GNAC road wins ... the Seawolves are 42-8 at the Alaska Airlines Center since its opening in Sept. 2014, and 88-19 at home since 2009 ... UAA is 1-2 against AVCA Top 25 teams this year and is 16-7 against ranked teams since 2014 ... UAA is 26-34 against ranked opponents under head coach Chris Green, after having lost 32 straight prior to his arrival in 2008 ... the season-opening loss to UCSD snapped a 26-match win streak in the month of September, dating back to Sept. 25, 2014.
A HOWL LOTTA LOVE: UAA led NCAA Div. II Volleyball in attendance the past two seasons, and 2017 looks like it may be a familiar story, as the Seawolves currently rank No. 2 among teams that have hosted at least one match thus far with an average of 816 ... last season, UAA drew a program and GNAC-record 1,387 per game and had five of the year's top seven single-match attendance totals, with the 2,710 for the West Regional final standing as the program record and the second-highest attendance for any D-II match since 2013.
2017 NCAA Div. II Average Attendance (min. 2 matches)
Rk Team Avg Matches
1. Northwestern Oklahoma 831 2
2. Alaska Anchorage 816 4
3. Angelo State 629 4
4. Mary 580 2
5. Nebraska Kearney 571 5
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 2016 AVCA Second Team All-American and two-time All-GNAC performer has registered at least nine kills in 41 of the last 48 matches, including a season-high 17 in the 4-set win over Chico State on Sept. 7 ... in the GNAC stats, Swiss ranks 4th in aces per set (0.48) and 10th in points per set (3.47), recording a team-best five double-doubles ... last week the former Dimond High star moved into the top 10 on UAA's career lists for both kills (10th, 884) and aces (8th, 112), becoming just the third player in program history to accumulate at least 800 kills and 110 aces ... her other UAA career ranks include 8th in kills per set (3.04), 16th in attack pct. (.229), 3rd in aces per set (0.38) and 9th in victories (69) ... she also owns 26 career double-doubles after posting a pair last week at UAF and MSUB.
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 ... an All-NCAA Tournament Team performer at the Elite Eight last season, Johnson currently paces the Seawolves and ranks 12th in the GNAC with 2.83 kills per set, boosted by a UAA season-high and career-high-tying 22 kills in the 5-set loss to No. 11 Cal State San Bernardino ... the former Dimond High star has accounted for at least seven kills in 42 of the last 48 matches, including 27 times in double figures ... meanwhile, Fa'amausili has remained an offensive and defensive force after capturing the AVCA West Region and GNAC freshman-of-the-year awards in 2016, along with All-GNAC honors ... the Federal Way, Wash. (Kent-Meridian HS) product holds GNAC top-20 ranks in kills (2.54), points (3.07) and blocks (0.91) per set, connecting for double-digit kills in seven of 11 matches ... earlier this year, Fa'amausili broke UAA's rally-scoring era record with 12 total blocks in the loss to Azusa Pacific, becoming the first Seawolf to tally a dozen blocks this century Fa’amausili has delivered at least 5 kills in all of her 48 matches as a Seawolf.
DEPENDABLE DUO: In addition to their three preseason all-conference picks, the Seawolves have two other players – Jr. DS/L/RS Taylor Noga and So. MB Vanessa Hayes – who played in all 132 sets on last year's NCAA Runner-Up squad ... 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 committed just six reception errors in her final 246 attempts (.976) last season, and she leads UAA this year with a .964 reception percentage ... Hayes remained a consistent presence in the middle, notching multiple kills and multiple blocks in 37 of 48 career matches ... the Salem, Ore. (McNary HS) native leads UAA and ranks 8th in the GNAC with a .285 attack percentage, boosted by career-high .600 hitting (7-1-10) in the sweep of Cal State LA and a .545 (7-1-11) performance last week at UAF ... she also delivered 7 kills, 5 blocks and 3 aces in the win over Chico State.
HOLLAH FOR 'ALA : Sr. L/DS Keala Kaio-Perez – known to her teammates as 'Ala' – has grown more comfortable each week in her new role as UAA's primary libero and now ranks 10th in the GNAC with 4.28 digs per set ... returning from and ACL injury suffered a year ago, the Waimanalo, Hawaii (Kailua HS) native and Western Nebraska CC transfer has posted at least 15 digs in all but one match this season, including a career-best 32 in last week's 3-1 victory over Rocky Mountain ... Kaio-Perez also leads the GNAC and ranks 52nd nationally with 0.52 aces per set, recording multiple aces in seven of 11 matches.
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 ... running a '6-2' system thus far, Fisher has posted 5.02 assists and 1.65 digs per set, while Davenport is averaging 4.33 aps and 1.46 dps.
MELTON TOGETHER: Jr. MB Tara Melton has shown impressive flashes since debuting in Green & Gold earlier this month, posting at least five kills in seven of 11 matches, including four times with six kills ... a former JC All-American at her hometown Glendale (Ariz.) Community College, Melton leads UAA with 1.17 bocks per set and ranks 7th in the GNAC and 46th nationally ... she has five matches with 5-plus blocks, including 10 block assists against Azusa Pacific and 7 block assists in the wins over Concordia-Irvine and MSU Billings.
GREEN MACHINE: Having led UAA to an unprecedented nine straight winning seasons, UAA head coach Chris Green (200-76, .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 .809 clip (110-26) since the start of the 2013 campaign, including .885 (69-9) in league play ... 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