THIS WEEK IN SEAWOLF VOLLEYBALL...
Tuesday, Sept. 11 — 7 pm ADT — Alaska Airlines Center — Anchorage, Alaska
Alaska Fairbanks (2-7, 0-2 GNAC) at Alaska Anchorage (7-2, 1-1 GNAC)
Thursday, Sept. 13 — 5 pm ADT — Fortin Education Center — Billings, Mont.
Alaska Anchorage at Rocky Mountain (11-1)
Friday, Sept. 14 — 5 pm ADT — Alterowitz Gymnasium — Billings, Mont.
Alaska Anchorage at Montana State Billings (6-4, 0-2 GNAC)
SOCIAL MEDIA: Check the @UAAVolleyball Twitter feed for in-match updates.
UAA PROBABLE STARTERS (2018 stats)
S—Ellen Floyd, 5-10, Fr. (6.29 aps, 2.00 dps, 0.38 ace/set)
MB—Eve Stephens, 6-1, Fr. (2.51 kps, .290 att%, 1.00 bps)
MB—Tara Melton, 6-0, Sr. (2.06 kps, .362 att%, 1.23 bps)
OH—Vanessa Boyer, 5-11, Jr. (2.14 kps, .205 att%, 1.29 dps, 0.57 bps)
OH—Chrisalyn Johnson, 5-9, Sr. (2.83 kps, .148 att%, 2.97 dps, 0.23 ace/set, 0.34 bps)
RS—Taylor Noga, 5-10, Sr. (1.89 kps, .127 att%, 3.40 dps, 0.54 bps)
L—Anjoilyn Vreeland, 5-6, So. (4.54 dps, 0.54 asst/set)
HOME SPLIT OPENS GNAC: The Seawolves won forged a split of their first two Great Northwest Athletic Conference matches last week at the Alaska Airlines Center, both against fellow 2017 NCAA Tournament qualifiers ... on Thursday, Sr. OH Chrisalyn Johnson had 9 kills and 19 digs to pace a 26-24, 25-17, 25-15 victory over Northwest Nazarene ... Jr. OH Vanessa Boyer (9 kills, .286 att%) was one of five Seawolves with between seven and nine kills, while Sr. MB Tara Melton had 8 kills (.467) and 6 blocks assists ... in a battle of 7-1 clubs Saturday, Central Washington had to overcome a 2-set comeback by the Seawolves to earn a 25-21, 25-20, 23-25, 22-25, 15-9 win – the Wildcats' first in Anchorage since 2013 ... Boyer surpassed her career high with 15 kills (.273), while So. Anjoilyn Vreeland (29 digs) and Sr. Taylor Noga (7 kills, 2 aces, 25 digs) both had career-high digs in the loss.
UAA UAF RMC MSUB
UAA Home/UAF Road 4-1 1-0 n/a n/a
UAA Road/Opp. Home n/a 0-1 3-0 0-0
Kills per Set 12.6 11.7 12.5 11.5
Attack Pct. .191 .154 .241 .181
Opponent Attack Pct. .130 .204 .129 .191
Assists per Set 11.7 11.2 11.4 10.9
Digs per Set 17.3 16.5 19.3 14.4
Blocks per Set 2.8 1.7 2.4 1.9
Aces per Set 1.3 1.6 1.6 1.9
vs UAF: UAA leads 70-34 overall, 39-12 in Anchorage
Streak: UAA 14 / Last: UAA 3-1 (11/14/17 at UAA) / Notes: UAA is on its longest win streak against its intrastate rival ... the Seawolves have not been pushed to 5 sets by UAF since 2012 ... UAA has won seven straight in Anchorage ... UAF’s last victory came by a 3-1 score in Anchorage, Sept. 18, 2010 ... UAA leads 25-9 in GNAC meetings (since 2001) and 16-3 under head coach Chris Green (since 2008) ... teams have played at least twice every season since 1980.
vs ROCKY MOUNTAIN: Tied 1-1 overall and in Billings
Streak: UAA 1 / Last: UAA 3-1 (9/15/17 at Rocky) / Notes: UAA took a 3-1 decision last season in Montana, overcoming a 1st-set loss behind 26 assists and 3 kills on 1.000 hitting from Casey Davenport ... Rocky won the first meeting in 4 sets, Sept. 27, 2009.
vs MSUB: UAA leads 47-11 overall and 22-6 in Billings
Streak: MSUB 1 / Last: MSUB 3-1 (11/16/17 at UAA) / Notes: UAA had won 15 straight against MSUB before the Yellowjackets' stunning upset in the regular-season finale last year in Anchorage ... UAA has won eight straight in Billings, taking 24 of 27 sets in that span ... MSUB’s last home win and series sweep came in 2009, over UAA’s eventual GNAC championship club ... UAA leads 16-6 since MSUB joined the GNAC in 2007, including 16-4 under Chris Green ... MSUB is UAA’s 2nd-most common opponent, trailing only UAF … teams met twice per season every year from 1985-2000 as members of the Pac West and Continental Divide conferences … series started in 1980.
OPPONENT SKETCHES: Alaska Fairbanks comes south trying to snap a 6-match skid that includes four 4-set losses ... the Nanooks, whose wins have come over Western New Mexico (3-1) and Barton (3-0), are led by Lahra Weber (3.38 kps, .188 att%, 2.97 dps, 0.50 bps) and Tatum Upchurch (3.09 kps, .136 att%, 2.47 dps) ... NAIA foe Rocky Mountain will be UAA's final non-conference opponent this year ... riding a 10-match win streak since their lone loss (Aug. 15 vs. College of Idaho), the Battlin' Bears are led by Hailey Copinga (2.58 kps, .253%) and Daniella Russell (2.84 kps, .254 att%) ... Montana State Billings has hit a 4-match losing streak after starting the season 6-0, suffering 3-0 and 3-1 road losses to Western Oregon and Concordia last week in the GNAC openers ... playing their first home match of the season, the Yellowjackets are led by Maddi Vigil (2.67 kps, .138 att%, 2.64 dps) and Miranda McConnell (2.21 kps, .347 att%, 0.69 bps).
TEAM NOTES: UAA ranks 4th in NCAA Div. II with 2.77 blocks per set ... the Seawolves lead the GNAC stats in both blocks per set and opponent attack percentage (.130) ... 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 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 54-11 (.831) at the Alaska Airlines Center since its opening in Sept. 2014 and 100-22 (.820) at home since 2009.
MELTON SWELTERIN': One year after sharing GNAC Newcomer of the Year honors, Sr. MB Tara Melton is a candidate for more hardware, leading the GNAC and with a .352 attack percentage and ranking 4th with 1.23 blocks per set (21st nationally) ... the former JC All-American from Glendale (Ariz.) College has hit above .400 in four matches this season, including a season-best .562 with 10 kills to power the comeback victory over Cal State San Marcos.
CHRISALYN BLISTERIN': One of four unanimous picks to this year's Preseason All-GNAC team, Sr. OH Chrisalyn Johnson leads the Seawolves and ranks 13th in the league with 2.83 kills per set ... Johnson claimed the Most Outstanding Player award at the UAA Invitational and sharing GNAC co-Offensive Player of the Week honor on opening weekend, then recorded her 28th and 29th career double-doubles in the wins over Concordia-Irvine and Notre Dame de Namur ... 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 68 of the last 76 matches, including 48 times in double figures ... Johnson's career 2.94 kills per set rank 9th on the UAA list, while her 885 total kills rank 12th, 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 in the season-opening UAA Invitational, enjoying a breakout performance that netted All-Tournament Team honors ... the former East Anchorage HS star is averaging 1.89 kills and 0.54 blocks per set, along with GNAC top-20 ranks in digs per set (16th, 3.19 dps) and aces per set (12th, 0.30) ... Noga had career highs of 13 kills and 21 digs in the win over Michigan Tech, posting her first double-double and topping her previous best of 19 digs from the 2016 NCAA Semifinals against Palm Beach Atlantic; she has twice since topped her career high with 22 digs in the 4-set win over Notre Dame de Namur and 25 digs in the loss to Central Washington ... Noga has played in 394 of 399 sets in her career and 299 consecutive sets since Dec. 2015, ranking as the 4th-winningest player (87 victories) in program history.
MORE 'WOLF BITES: After totaling just 12 blocks in 24 sets 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 in the UAA Invitational ... the Czech native has had at least 5 total blocks in seven of the nine matches this far, including 8 in the opening sweep of Western New Mexico, to rank 2nd in the GNAC and 12th nationally with 1.34 bps ... meanwhile Fr. MB Eve Stephens is making a strong early bid for GNAC Freshman of the Year, holding league top 20 ranks in attack pct. (8th, .290), blocks per set (11th, 1.00), kills per set (19th, 2.51) and points per set (18th, 3.07) ... the former Colony HS star has had at least 6 kills in every match and hit over .300 in five contests, smacking a UAA season-high 19 kills on .410 hitting in the win over Notre Dame de Namur ... Jr. OH Vanessa Boyer made the move from middle blocker to outside hitter this year and has shown steady improvement at her new position, increasing her kills numbers each week and now averaging 2.14 kps on .205 hitting ... Boyer delivered her first career double-double with 12 kills and 12 digs against Notre Dame de Namur, topping her career high in digs for the second time in three matches, and she ripped a career-high 15 kills in the loss to Central Washington ... a starter on UAA's 2016 NCAA Runner-Up squad, Boyer ranks in UAA's career top 20 lists in multiple categories, currently at 17th in attack pct. (.229), 10th in block assists (226, needs two more to move up to 8th) and 12th in total blocks (244) ... 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 4th in the GNAC with a .191 attack percentage and lead the conference with a .130 opponent attack percentage ... a Florida native with Kodiak ties, Floyd has premiered with team bests of 6.29 assists per set (8th in GNAC) and 0.38 aces per set (6th 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 7th in the league with 4.54 digs per set.
GREEN MACHINE: Having led UAA to an unprecedented 10 straight winning seasons, UAA head coach Chris Green (219-85, .720) 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 .787 clip (129-35) since the start of the 2013 campaign, including .837 (82-16) 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