THIS WEEK IN SEAWOLF VOLLEYBALL...
Thursday, Sept. 20 — 6 pm ADT — SFU West Gym — Burnaby, British Columbia
Alaska Anchorage (10-2, 3-1 GNAC) at Simon Fraser (5-5, 2-2 GNAC)
Saturday, Sept. 22 — 6 pm ADT — Carver Gymnasium — Bellingham, Wash.
at #8 Western Washington (9-3, 4-0 GNAC [9/20 vs UAF])
LIVE VIDEO & STATS: Both matches at portal.stretchinternet.com/gnac
SOCIAL MEDIA: Check the @UAAVolleyball Twitter feed for in-match updates.
UAA PROBABLE STARTERS (2018 stats)
S—Ellen Floyd, 5-10, Fr. (6.41 aps, 2.11 dps, 0.39 ace/set)
MB—Eve Stephens, 6-1, Fr. (3.04 kps, .334 att%, 0.91 bps)
MB—Tara Melton, 6-0, Sr. (1.91 kps, .345 att%, 1.21 bps)
OH—Vanessa Boyer, 5-11, Jr. (2.21 kps, .211 att%, 1.17 dps, 0.47 bps)
OH—Chrisalyn Johnson, 5-9, Sr. (2.94 kps, .157 att%, 3.00 dps, 0.26 ace/set, 0.38 bps)
RS—Taylor Noga, 5-10, Sr. (1.81 kps, .122 att%, 3.60 dps, 0.47 bps)
L—Anjoilyn Vreeland, 5-6, So. (4.74 dps, 0.66 asst/set)
SEAWOLVES SURVIVE RIVALS, ROCKY: UAA completed a string of five matches in nine days by posting a 3-0 record last week ... in Tuesday's 25-17, 25-16, 18-25, 25-19 victory over Alaska Fairbanks, Fr. MB Eve Stephens delivered a historic performance by notching a .656 attack percentage (21 kills-0 errors-32 attacks), while Sr. OH Chrisalyn Johnson (12 kills, 14 digs) and Sr. RS Taylor Noga (10 kills, 18 digs) each had double-doubles ... two nights later in Billings, Mont., Stephens smashed a UAA season-high 23 kills — including seven in the 5th set — on .345 hitting in a 20-25, 25-23, 25-19, 25-27, 15-10 win over NAIA 6th-ranked Rocky Mountain ... Johnson had 14 kills and 17 digs in UAA's final non-conference match of the regular season, while Jr. OH Vanessa Boyer matched her career high with 15 kills ... playing their first GNAC road match of the season the next day, Johnson and Stephens combined for 24 kills on .321 hitting to spark a 25-21, 25-18, 28-26 sweep of Montana State Billings ... So. L Anjoilyn Vreeland capped a big week with 14 digs and career-high 5 assists, while Noga added 4 kills, 13 digs, 3 aces and 2 assists to help UAA win at Alterowitz Gym for the ninth year in a row.
UAA SFU WWU
UAA Road/Opp. Home 3-0 1-1 2-0
Kills per Set 12.9 13.7 13.6
Attack Pct. .202 .229 .241
Opponent Attack Pct. .142 .178 .167
Assists per Set 12.1 13.0 12.4
Digs per Set 17.5 18.6 18.3
Blocks per Set 2.5 1.6 2.8
Aces per Set 1.4 1.5 1.1
vs SFU: UAA leads 15-1 overall, 7-1 in Burnaby
Streak: SFU 1 / Last: SFU 3-0 (11/4/17 at SFU) / Notes: Prior to last year's SFU sweep of the Seawolves in Burnaby, UAA had won 45 of 52 sets overall, with the previous two contests (both in Anchorage) standing as the first 5-setters in series history ... initial meeting was Sept. 23, 2010 (3-1 win, at UAA) in SFU’s first season in the GNAC.
vs WWU: WWU leads 34-17 overall, 13-6 in Bellingham
Streak: WWU 3 / Last: WWU 3-1 (11/30/17 at Riverside, CA) / Notes: Two of the last four meetings have occurred in the NCAA Tournament, with UAA taking a 3-1 victory in the 2016 NCAA West Regional title match, before WWU answered with a 3-1 win in the 2017 opening round ... UAA had won four straight in Bellingham prior to its 3-1 loss on Nov. 2, 2017 ... the road team has won 10 of the last 14 meetings (not including neutral courts, of course) ... 11 of the last 16 matches have gone 4 or 5 sets ... the Seawolves are 10-13 against WWU under Chris Green (since 2008) ... WWU won 17 straight from 2001-08 … WWU leads 25-9 in GNAC meetings (since 2001) … teams have met every year since 2000 … series started in 1980.
OPPONENT SKETCHES: Picked third in the GNAC preseason poll, Simon Fraser has had an up-and-down season, looking for just its second win streak of the year when it hosts UAA on Thursday ... the Clan are led by all-league MB Tessa May (3.11 kps, .342 att%, 0.61 bps) and OH Betsie de Beer (3.05 kps, .192 att%, 2.89 dps, 0.54 bps) ... defending GNAC champion Western Washington rides the league's longest win streak (9) into Thursday's match against UAF after dropping its first three contests of the year – all to ranked opponents ... coming off a resounding road sweep of rival Central Washington, the Vikings are led by all-league OH Abby Phelps (4.05 kps, .250 att%, 4.42 dps, 0.56 bps) and all-league MB Kayleigh Harper (3.02 kps, .347 att%, 1.49 bps).
TEAM NOTES: UAA ranks 10th in NCAA Div. II with 2.49 blocks per set ... the Seawolves lead the GNAC stats in opponent attack percentage (.142) and rank second in blocking behind WWU, which is 4th nationally ... 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 55-11 (.833) at the Alaska Airlines Center since its opening in Sept. 2014 and 101-22 (.821) at home since 2009.
GOOD EVE: Fr. MB Eve Stephens delivered 55 kills with a .474 attack percentage in last week's three victories to capture both the GNAC offensive and Sports Imports/AVCA Division II National player-of-the-week awards ... in the 4-set victory over UAF, she racked up 21 kills with no attack errors, producing a .656 attack percentage that ranked No. 6 on the all-time GNAC list and best ever for a Seawolf in 17 years of GNAC play (minimum 18 kills) ... now with three 20-plus efforts, the Palmer (Colony HS) native ranks 11th in the GNAC with 3.04 kills per set, along with other ranks of 5th in attack pct. (.334), 11th in blocks per set (0.91) and 10th in points per set (3.55) ... she has had at least 6 kills in every match and hit over .300 in eight of 12 contests.
MELTON SWELTERIN': One year after sharing GNAC Newcomer of the Year honors, Sr. MB Tara Melton is a candidate for more hardware, ranking 2nd in the GNAC and with a .345 attack percentage and ranking 3rd with 1.21 blocks per set (16th 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 ranks 14th in the league with 2.94 kills per set and 13th with 3.44 points 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, and she leads UAA with six double-doubles this year and 31 for her career ... 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 71 of the last 79 matches, including 51 times in double figures ... Johnson's career 2.94 kills per set rank 9th on the UAA list, while her 924 total kills rank 11th; she needs just 15 more kills to surpass Carolyn DeKay (938 kills from 2001-02, 04) for a spot in the top 10.
NOGA PARTY: After playing primarily defensive specialist through her first three seasons, Sr. Taylor Noga has transitioned nicely to her new role as a full-rotation right-side hitter ... starting with all-tournament honors in the season-opening UAA Invitational, the former East Anchorage HS star is averaging 1.81 kills and 0.47 blocks per set, along with GNAC top-20 ranks in digs per set (13th, 3.60 dps) and aces per set (12th, 0.36) ... 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 406 of 411 sets in her career and 311 consecutive sets since Dec. 2015, ranking as the 4th-winningest player (90 victories) in program history ... she ranks 13th on UAA's career list for sets played (406), 18th in matches played (109), and with two more victories she will catch Seawolf Hall-of-Famer Jen Szczerbinski (92 victories, 1988-90, 92) for No. 3 on that list.
MORE 'WOLF BITES: 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 2.21 kps on .211 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 has posted a career-high 15 kills (vs CWU and at Rocky Mountain) in two of the last four matches ... 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), 8th in block assists (228) and 11th in total blocks (246) ... 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 season-opening UAA Invitational ... the Czech native has had at least 5 total blocks in seven of the 12 matches this far, including 8 in the opening sweep of Western New Mexico, to rank 10th in the GNAC with 1.09 bps ... 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 .202 attack percentage and lead the conference with a .142 opponent attack percentage ... a Florida native with Kodiak ties, Floyd has premiered with team bests of 6.41 assists per set and 0.39 aces per set, both 8th-best in the league ... 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 4.74 digs per set after racking up 64 in 12 sets (5.33 dps) last week.
GREEN MACHINE: Having led UAA to an unprecedented 10 straight winning seasons, UAA head coach Chris Green (222-85, .723) 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 .790 clip (132-35) since the start of the 2013 campaign, including .840 (84-16) 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
GNAC Offensive Player of the Week, 9/10-16
Sports Imports/AVCA National Player of the Week, 9/10-16