THIS WEEK IN SEAWOLF VOLLEYBALL...
Thursday, Sept. 28 — 5 pm ADT — Johnson Sports Center — Nampa, Idaho
#21 Alaska Anchorage (9-4, 4-0 GNAC)
at #12 Northwest Nazarene (12-0, 4-0 GNAC)
Saturday, Sept. 30 — 6 pm ADT — Nicholson Pavilion — Ellensburg, Wash.
#21 Alaska Anchorage at Central Washington (8-4, 3-1 GNAC [Thu. vs UAF])
SOCIAL MEDIA: Check the @UAAVolleyball Twitter feed for in-match updates.
UAA PROBABLE STARTERS (2017 stats)
S—Madison Fisher, 5-9, So. (5.28 aps, 1.87 dps)
MB—Vanessa Hayes, 5-11, So. (1.38 kps, .284 att%, 0.75 bps, 0.25 ace/set)
MB—Tara Melton, 6-0, Jr. (1.15 kps, .180 att%, 1.15 bps)
OH—Leah Swiss, 6-0, Jr. (2.87 kps, .218 att%, 2.49 dps, 0.38 bps, 0.53 ace/set)
OH—Chrisalyn Johnson, 5-9, Jr. (2.89 kps, .170 att%, 1.64 dps, 0.45 bps, 0.32 ace/set)
RS—Diana Fa'amausili, So. (2.62 kps, .220 att%, 0.89 bps)
L—Keala Kaio-Perez, 5-7, Sr. (4.75 dps, 0.53 ace/set, 0.70 asst/set)
KNOW THE FOES: One of six remaining unbeatens in NCAA Div. II Volleyball, 12th-ranked Northwest Nazarene will be looking to avenge its 5-set loss to the Seawolves in last season's NCAA Div. II West Regional Championships semifinals ... the Crusaders have been pushed to five sets twice this year, including last week at Western Oregon (15-11), and they are 1-0 against nationally ranked teams with their 3-1 home win over Western Washington on Sept. 16 ... NNU is led by a trio of all-conference performers in OH Kendra Bodine (GNAC-best 4.26 kps, .262 att%, 2.84 dps, 0.58 bps), MB Madi Farrell (4.12 kps, GNAC-best .438 att%, 1.33 bps) and S Hailey Cook (GNAC-best 11.83 aps, 2.12 dps, 0.50 bps) ... coming off an NCAA First Round appearance last year, Central Washington has once again emerged as a playoff contender, garnering 19 votes (35th place) in this week's AVCA DII Top 25 poll ... the Wildcats have suffered half their losses to top-10 foes, falling 3-1 to defending national champ Concordia-St. Paul on Sept. 2 and at 3-1 at home vs. No. 10 WWU on Sept. 14 ... CWU is led by OH Shelby Mauritson (3.43 kps, .179 att%, 3.50 dps, 0.48 bps) and All-GNAC MB Sabrina Wheelhouse (2.09 kps, .353 att%, GNAC-best 1.57 bps).
UAA NNU CWU
UAA Road/Opp. Home 4-0 6-0 2-3
Kills per Set 12.0 14.1 12.8
Attack Pct. .194 .252 .215
Opponent Attack Pct. .148 .151 .153
Assists per Set 10.9 13.7 12.2
Digs per Set 15.9 18.4 16.7
Blocks per Set 2.3 2.1 2.9
Aces per Set 2.0 1.0 1.1
vs NNU: NNU leads 18-16 overall, 12-5 in Nampa
Last: UAA 3-2 (12/2/16 at UAA) / Streak: UAA 4 / Notes: UAA won all three meetings last season, winning 3-1 in both regular-season matches and beating the Crusaders 3-2 with a 5th-set comeback in the NCAA Tournament Second Round in Anchorage ... NNU had won four straight prior to UAA's current win streak ... 14 of the last 16 meetings have been 4- or 5-set affairs ... UAA is 12-7 vs. NNU under head coach Chris Green (since 2008) ... NNU leads 17-15 in GNAC meetings (since 2001) … NNU won first meeting in 2000, 3-1, in Nampa.
vs CWU: UAA leads 24-17 overall, 10-9 in Ellensburg
Last: UAA 3-1 (11/12/16 at UAA) / Streak: UAA 6 / Notes: UAA’s win streak its longest vs CWU since both teams became GNAC charter members in 2001 ... UAA has won three straight at home and is 15-3 vs. CWU under head coach Chris Green ... of the 18 meetings since 2008, seven have gone 5 sets and five have gone 4 sets, with the Seawolves winning all 12 of those contests ... CWU won 10 straight from 2003-07 ... UAA leads 17-15 in GNAC meetings … teams have met every season since 1999 ... first meeting was a 2-1 UAA neutral-court win in 1980 ... teams did not meet between 1983-98.
SMU/SPU RECAP: The then-No. 20 Seawolves stayed unbeaten early in GNAC play with a 25-7, 25-19, 27-25 sweep of Saint Martin's and a 25-21, 25-22, 22-25, 25-22 victory over Seattle Pacific at the Alaska Airlines Center last week ... in the first match, Jr. OH Leah Swiss blasted 13 kills on .367 hitting and added 9 digs to help extend UAA's program-record win streak to 19 against SMU ... So. MB Vanessa Hayes had 6 kills on .500 hitting and 4 total blocks, and Sr. L Keala Kaio-Perez notched 25 digs – her most in a 3-set match – and 4 aces ... on Saturday, Jr. OH Chrisalyn Johnson and So. RS Diana Fa'amausili had 16 kills apiece and Swiss finished with 12 kills, 14 digs, 4 aces and no service errors as UAA extended its win streak to nine against the Falcons ... So. S Madison Fisher dished a career-high 29 assists and had 11 digs, and Kaio-Perez had another career high by tallying 29 digs in a 4-setter.
TEAM NOTES: UAA leads the GNAC in both opponent attack percentage (.148) and aces per set (2.04) ... the Seawolves hold top-30 national ranks in aces per set (16th) and blocks per set (2.27, 30th) ...the victory at MSUB on Sept. 16 extended a pair of program records, giving UAA 16 straight road wins and 18 straight GNAC road wins; UAA's last road GNAC road loss came Oct. 8, 2015 at NNU ... 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 Seawolves are 44-8 at the Alaska Airlines Center since its opening in Sept. 2014, and 90-19 at home since 2009 ... 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 lead once again with an average of 949 ... 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. 3 matches)
Rk Team Avg Matches
1. Alaska Anchorage 949 6
2. Northwestern Oklahoma 839 3
3. Angelo State 745 7
4. Nebraska Kearney 632 7
5. Minnesota Duluth 605 4
SWISS (CAN'T) MISS: A two-time All-GNAC performer and 2016 AVCA Second Team All-American, Jr. OH Leah Swiss started the year with all-tourney honors at the Seaside Invitational and has been UAA's most productive all-around performer with 2.87 kills per set, 2.49 digs per set and a GNAC-best 0.53 aces per set ... the GNAC Preseason Player of the Year has registered at least nine kills in 43 of the last 50 matches, including a season-high 17 in the 4-set win over Chico State on Sept. 7 ... in the GNAC stats, Swiss is tied for 1st in aces per set (0.53) and is 8th in points per set (3.62), recording a team-best six double-doubles ... the former Dimond High star recently moved into the top 10 on UAA's career lists for both kills (10th, 909) and aces (6th, 118), becoming just the second player in program history to accumulate at least 900 kills and 115 aces ... her other UAA career ranks include 8th in kills per set (3.05), 16th in attack pct. (.230), 3rd in aces per set (0.40) and tied for 8th in victories (71) ... she also owns 27 career double-doubles after posting 12 kills and 14 digs against SPU last week.
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 14th in the GNAC with 2.89 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 44 of the last 50 matches, including 28 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 (2.62), points (3.13) and blocks (0.89) per set, connecting for double-digit kills in eight of 13 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 50 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 ... the former East Anchorage HS standout has tallied double-digit digs 18 times in her career, including a career-high-tying 19 in UAA's 3-1 victory over Palm Beach Atlantic in the 2016 NCAA Semifinals ... Noga committed just six reception errors in her final 246 attempts (.976) last season, and she leads UAA this year with a .963 reception percentage ... meanwhile, Hayes has remained a consistent presence in the middle, tallying at least 4 kills in 12 of 13 matches thus far ... the Salem, Ore. (McNary HS) native leads UAA and ranks 8th in the GNAC with a .284 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 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 match in her new role as UAA's primary libero and was rewarded with the latest GNAC Defensive Player of the Week honor on Monday ... Kaio-Perez led UAA with 54 total digs (7.71 dps) in the wins over Saint Martin's and SPU last week, earning her most in a 3-setter with 25 against the Saints, and now ranks 6th in the GNAC with 4.75 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 the 3-1 victory at Rocky Mountain ... Kaio-Perez is also tied with teammate Leah Swiss for the GNAC and ranks 31st nationally with 0.53 aces per set, recording multiple aces in eight of 13 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 5.28 assists and 1.87 digs per set – boosted by 6.33 aps and 2.39 dps during the current 5-match win streak – while Davenport is averaging 4.34 aps and 1.49 dps ... Fisher recorded double-digit digs in consecutive matches for the first time last week and notched a career-high 29 assists in the 3-1 win over SPU.
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 13 matches, including four times with six kills ... a former JC All-American at her hometown Glendale (Ariz.) Community College, Melton leads UAA with 1.15 bocks per set and ranks 5th in the GNAC and 41st 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 (202-76, .729) 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 .812 clip (112-26) since the start of the 2013 campaign, including .888 (71-9) 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 Defensive Player of the Week, Sept. 18-24
GNAC Preseason Player of the Year
Preseason All-GNAC Team
Seaside Invitational All-Tournament Team