THIS WEEK IN SEAWOLF VOLLEYBALL...
D2 West Region Volleyball Showcase
CU Arena — Irvine, Calif.
(All times listed ADT)
Friday, Aug. 31
Noon: Alaska Anchorage (3-0) vs Cal State San Marcos (2-2)
4:30 pm: Alaska Anchorage at Concordia-Irvine (1-3)
Saturday, Sept. 1
7:30 am: Alaska Anchorage vs Cal State East Bay (1-3)
2:15 pm: Alaska Anchorage vs Notre Dame de Namur (1-3)
LIVE VIDEO & STATS (all matches): portal.stretchinternet.com/cui
SOCIAL MEDIA: Check the @UAAVolleyball Twitter feed for in-match updates.
UAA PROBABLE STARTERS (2018 stats)
S—Casey Davenport, 5-6, So. (3.75 aps, 1.50 dps)
MB—Vera Pluharova, 6-2, So. (1.17 kps, .150 att%, 1.83 bps)
MB—Tara Melton, 6-0, Sr. (1.75 kps, .378 att%, 1.25 bps)
OH—Vanessa Boyer, 5-11, Jr. (1.33 kps, .115 att%, 0.75 dps, 1.00 bps)
OH—Chrisalyn Johnson, 5-9, Sr. (2.75 kps, .230 att%, 3.00 dps, 0.25 ace/set, 0.25 bps)
RS—Taylor Noga, 5-10, Sr. (2.33 kps, .284 att%, 3.42 dps, 0.58 bps)
L—Anjoilyn Vreeland, 5-6, So. (4.42 dps, 0.42 asst/set)
STRONG START AT HOME: The Seawolves were one of just two Great Northwest Athletic Conference teams to survive the opening week of the season with an unbeaten mark, knocking off Western New Mexico (25-19, 25-15, 25-14) and fellow 2017 NCAA qualifiers Barton (25-19, 25-14, 24-26, 25-17) and Michigan Tech (3-2 [15-11]) in the UAA Invitational at the Alaska Airlines Center, Aug. 23-25 ... Fr. S Ellen Floyd dished 21 assists and So. L Anjoilyn Vreeland had 13 digs in their Seawolf debuts against WNMU as the Seawolves outhit the Mustangs .329 to .000 ... in the Barton match, Sr. OH Chrisalyn Johnson had 15 kills on .412 hitting and 15 digs, while Sr. RS Taylor Noga and Fr. MB Eve Stephens added 9 kills apiece against the defending Conference Carolinas champs ... on Saturday, Noga (career-highs of 13 kills and 21 digs) and Johnson (11k/14d) each tallied double-doubles to help fend off Michigan Tech and hand the Huskies their lone loss in four matches in Anchorage ... UAA also got big efforts from its middle blockers, with Sr. Tara Melton delivering 9 kills on .421 hitting and 7 block assists, and So. Vera Pluharova totalling 7 kills and 8 total blocks ... Johnson was named the UAA Invitational Most Outstanding Player, and Noga made the all-tournament team.
vs CAL STATE SAN MARCOS: First meeting
vs CONCORDIA-IRVINE: UAA leads 1-0 overall
Last: UAA 3-2 (9/9/17 at UAA) / Notes: UAA won the first meeting between the programs at last year's 'A' pod of the D2 West Region Showcase in Anchorage, pulling out a 17-15 victory in the 5th set.
vs CAL STATE EAST BAY: First meeting
Streak: MTU 2 / Last: MTU 3-1 (8/26/00 at Winona, MN) / Notes: The teams split a pair of matches in Anchorage in 1998 ... first meeting was a 3-1 UAA win at the 1991 Northern Michigan Invitational.
vs NOTRE DAME DE NAMUR: UAA leads 2-0 overall
Last: UAA 3-1 (9/17/13 at UAA) / Notes: This will mark the programs' first meeting outside Anchorage ... UAA won the first meeting 3-0, Sept. 1, 2006.
OPPONENT SKETCHES: Cal State San Marcos split its season-opening matches at home last week, beating Point Loma (3-2) and Indiana, Pa. (3-0) before losing to top 10-ranked programs Lewis (3-0) and Nebraska-Kearney (3-2); located approximately 40 miles north of San Diego, the Cougars are the newest member of the California Collegiate Athletic Association ... another program that recently moved to the NCAA Div. II level, host Concordia-Irvine began the season with a 3-1 victory over American International on Friday, but lost via sweep to Cal State LA, Cal Poly Pomona and Colorado Mesa in its subsequent matches to start 2018; the Eagles were the Pacific West Conference regular-season champions in 2016 ... Cal State East Bay opened with a 3-1 win over Lee before falling in four sets to Colorado Mines, Sioux Falls and Palm Beach Atlantic last week in Golden, Colo.; the Pioneers are from Hayward, Calif., and play in the CCAA ... Notre Dame de Namur split a pair of home matches Friday to start the season, sweeping Humboldt State and getting swept by San Francisco State; another Pac West Conference club, the Argonauts then suffered losses to Chico State and host Stanislaus State in Turlock, Calif., on Saturday.
TEAM NOTES: The Seawolves are seeking a winning record for the 11th straight season in 2018, trying to extend the program record that began with Chris Green's arrival at UAA in 2008 ... UAA leads the early GNAC stats in both blocks per set (3.50) and opponent attack percentage (.110), along with third place in attack percentage (.206) ... UAA is 18-11 against AVCA Top 25 teams since 2014 and 28-38 overall against ranked opponents under Green; prior to Green's arrival, UAA had lost 32 prior to nationally ranked foes ... the Seawolves are 53-10 (.841) at the Alaska Airlines Center since its opening in Sept. 2014 and 99-21 (.825) at home since 2009.
CHRISALYN BLISTERIN': One of four unanimous picks to this year's Preseason All-GNAC team, Sr. OH Chrisalyn Johnson lived up to the hype on opening weekend, claiming the Most Outstanding Player award at the UAA Invitational and sharing GNAC co-Offensive Player of the Week honor ... the Dimond HS product recorded the 26th and 27th double-doubles of her career in the wins over 2017 NCAA Tournament qualifiers Barton and Michigan Tech, including 15 kills on .412 hitting and 15 digs against Barton ... an All-NCAA Tournament Team performer at the 2016 Elite Eight, Johnson and 2017 honorable mention All-GNAC pick, Johnson has accounted for at least seven kills in 62 of the last 70 matches, including 44 times in double figures ... Johnson's career 2.95 kills per set rank 9th on the UAA list, while her 819 total kills rank 14th, despite playing only a handful of sets her freshman season.
NOGA PARTY: After playing primary defensive specialist through her first three seasons, Sr. Taylor Noga premiered as a full-rotation right-side hitter last week, enjoying a breakout performance that netted UAA Invitational All-Tournament Team honors ... the former East Anchorage HS star averaged 2.33 kills per set and claimed early GNAC ranks of 8th in attack pct. (.284) and 16th in digs per set (3.42), along with an impressive 0.58 blocks and 0.50 assists per set ... Noga had career highs of 13 kills and 21 digs in the win over Michigan Tech, posting her first career double-double and topping her previous best of 19 digs from the 2016 NCAA Semifinals against Palm Beach Atlantic ... she has played in 371 of 376 sets in her career and 276 consecutive sets since Dec. 2015, ranking as the 5th-winningest player (83 victories) in program history.
BLOCK PARTY: After the first week of the season, the Seawolves are the early NCAA Div. II national leader in blocks per set, posting a whopping 3.50 bps in their three victories ... after playing in just 24 sets and totaling 12 blocks last season, So. MB Vera Pluharova made her debut in the regular rotation and claimed GNAC Defensive Player of the Week honors with 22 total blocks ... the Czech native had at least 6 total blocks in all three UAA Invitational matches, including 8 in the opening sweep of Western New Mexico, to rank 5th nationally and lead the GNAC with 1.83 bps ... alongside Pluharova, the Seawolves feature four of the top eight blocks averages in the league so far, with Fr. MB Eve Stephens ranking 3rd (1.42 bps), Sr. MB Tara Melton ranking 5th (1.25 bps) and Jr. OH Vanessa Boyer ranking 8th (1.00 bps) ... the reigning GNAC co-Newcomer of the Year, Melton also ranks 3rd in the league with her .378 attack percentage ... meanwhile, Boyer kept her blocking numbers high despite making the move from middle blocker to outside hitter this year ... a starter on UAA's 2016 NCAA Runner-Up squad, Boyer ranks in UAA's career top 20 lists in multiple categories, currently at 20th in attack pct. (.226), 10th in block assists (218, needs 10 more to move up to 8th) and 12th in total blocks (236) ... both Noga (3.55 GPA in civil engineering) and Boyer (3.66 in psychology) were also honored as members of last year's GNAC All-Academic Team.
SET UP FOR SUCCESS: The Seawolves seem solid in the present and the future at the setter position, running a '6-2' system this year that features reigning GNAC Freshman of the Year Casey Davenport and talented freshman Ellen Floyd ... with that duo running the show and So. Anjoilyn Vreeland taking over at libero, the Seawolves rank 3rd in the GNAC with a .206 attack percentage and lead the conference with a .110 opponent attack percentage ... a Florida native with Kodiak ties, Floyd premiered last week with team bests of 5.50 assists per set (8th in GNAC) and 0.50 aces per set (7th in GNAC) ... Vreeland – a Dimond HS product who played at her freshman year at Blue Mountain (Ore.) CC and redshirted with UAA last season – ranks 8th in the league with 4.42 digs per set.
GREEN MACHINE: Having led UAA to an unprecedented 10 straight winning seasons, UAA head coach Chris Green (215-83, .721) 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 ... a 4-time GNAC Coach of the Year (2009, '13, '15, '16) and 3-time AVCA D-II West Region Coach of the Year (2009, '15, '16), 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 .791 clip (125-33) since the start of the 2013 campaign, including .844 (81-15) in league play ... Green’s UAA teams have produced six All-Americans, five GNAC Players of the Year, six GNAC Newcomers of the Year and four 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.
2018 INDIVIDUAL HONORS
Preseason All-GNAC Team
Preseason All-GNAC Team
UAA Invitational Most Outstanding Player, 8/25
GNAC co-Offensive Player of the Week, 8/20-26
UAA Invitational All-Tournament Team
GNAC Defensive Player of the Week, 8/20-26