THIS WEEK IN SEAWOLF VOLLEYBALL...
Thursday, Sept. 27 — 7 pm ADT — Alaska Airlines Center — Anchorage, Alaska
Concordia-Portland (7-6, 4-2 GNAC) at Alaska Anchorage (11-3, 4-2 GNAC)
Saturday, Sept. 29 — 7 pm ADT — Alaska Airlines Center — Anchorage, Alaska
Western Oregon (5-8, 2-4 GNAC [9/27 @UAF]) at Alaska Anchorage
LIVE VIDEO & STATS: Both matches at gnac.tv
SOCIAL MEDIA: Check the @UAAVolleyball Twitter feed for in-match updates.
UAA PROBABLE STARTERS (2018 stats)
S—Ellen Floyd, 5-10, Fr. (6.89 aps, 2.31 dps, 0.33 ace/set)
RS—Eve Stephens, 6-1, Fr. (3.09 kps, .321 att%, 0.85 bps)
MB—Tara Melton, 6-0, Sr. (1.85 kps, .335 att%, 1.20 bps)
MB—Vera Pluharova, 6-2, So. (0.78 kps, .065 att%, 1.25 bps)
OH—Vanessa Boyer, 5-11, Jr. (2.22 kps, .190 att%, 1.24 dps, 0.45 bps)
OH—Chrisalyn Johnson, 5-9, Sr. (2.89 kps, .134 att%, 3.09 dps, 0.24 ace/set, 0.53 bps)
L—Taylor Noga, 5-10, Sr. (1.55 kps, .122 att%, 3.89 dps, 0.40 bps)
SEAWOLVES SPLIT BORDER BATTLES: UAA forged a crucial split of its road series last week against the teams picked third and first in this season's GNAC preseason poll, beating Simon Fraser on Thursday and losing at No. 8 Western Washington on Saturday ... in Canada, Fr. RS Eve Stephens smashed 13 kills on .375 hitting and Sr. OH Chrisalyn Johnson added 11 kills, 15 digs and 6 blocks to propel a 13-25, 25-17, 25-19, 25-21 win over the Clan ... starting at libero for the first time this year, Sr. Taylor Noga tallied 23 digs, while So. MB Vera Pluharova dominated the net with 11 total blocks (2S-9A), tying the most by a Seawolf in a GNAC match ... in Bellingham, Stephens had 14 kills and the Seawolves played an impressive 2nd set, but the defending GNAC champs dominated the final two frames in a 25-23, 18-25, 25-13, 25-11 decision ... Johnson had a double-double with 10 kills and 14 digs, while Noga added 22 digs and Pluharova seven block assists.
vs CU: UAA leads 6-0 overall, 3-0 in Anchorage
Last: UAA 3-0 (11/11/17 at UAA) / Notes: UAA has swept the four of the first six meetings, including all three at the Alaska Airlines Center ... first meeting was a 3-0 UAA road win, Sept. 19, 2015 in Portland.
vs WOU: UAA leads 21-15 overall, 11-7 in Anchorage
Streak: UAA 10 / Last: UAA 3-0 (11/9/17 at UAA) / Notes: The Seawolves have swept five straight season series ... UAA has won the last five meetings in Anchorage via sweep ... WOU won four straight from 2011-12 ... teams have played only two 5-setters since 2006 ... UAA leads 20-14 in GNAC meetings (since 2001) and 13-7 under head coach Chris Green (since 2008) ... series started 1981 but teams did not play again until 1999.
OPPONENT SKETCHES: Now in its fourth year of GNAC and NCAA Div. II membership, Concordia-Portland has lost two of its last three outings, following a 4-match win streak from Sept. 1-13 ... the Cavaliers, who have suffered two of their losses to teams currently ranked in the AVCA national poll, are led by OH Jessica Wheeler (2.22 kps, .120 att%, 2.44 dps) and MB Elyssa Rose (1.92 kps, .301 att%, 1.06 bps) ... Western Oregon has dropped three of its last four, heading into Thursday's match at Alaska Fairbanks ... the Wolves, who hail from Monmouth, Ore., are led by OH Mariella Vandenkooy (2.72 kps, .155 att%, 3.00 dps, 0.45 bps) and MB Sophie Hall (1.67 kps, .195 att%, 0.90 bps).
TEAM NOTES: UAA ranks 7th in NCAA Div. II with 2.64 blocks per set ... the Seawolves lead the GNAC stats in opponent attack percentage (.143) and rank second in blocking behind WWU, which is 4th nationally ... the Seawolves need four more victories to clinch their 11th straight winning season, trying to extend the program record that began with Chris Green's arrival at UAA in 2008 ... UAA is 18-12 against AVCA Top 25 teams since 2014 and 28-39 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.
MELTON SWELTERIN': One year after sharing GNAC Newcomer of the Year honors, Sr. MB Tara Melton is a candidate for more hardware, ranking 3rd in the GNAC with a .335 attack percentage and 6th with 1.20 blocks per set (24th 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 ... now officially 1.5 years into her UAA career, she premieres this week at No. 11 in attack pct. (.258) and No. 9 in blocks per set (1.05) on the program's all-time lists.
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 2.89 kills per set and 13th with 3.44 points per set ... Johnson claimed the Most Outstanding Player award at the UAA Invitational and shared GNAC co-Offensive Player of the Week honor on opening weekend, and she leads UAA with eight double-doubles this year and 33 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 73 of the last 81 matches, including 53 times in double figures ... Johnson's career 2.94 kills per set rank 9th on the UAA list, while her 945 total kills rank 10th; she needs 41 more kills to reach 9th.
NOGA PARTY: After playing primarily defensive specialist through her first three seasons, Sr. Taylor Noga has shown her versatility this year, playing right-side hitter for the first 12 matches and libero last week ... starting with all-tournament honors in the season-opening UAA Invitational, the former East Anchorage HS star is averaging 1.55 kills and 0.40 blocks per set, along with GNAC top-20 ranks in digs per set (13th, 3.89 dps) and aces per set (17th, 0.33) ... 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 414 of 419 sets in her career and 319 consecutive sets since Dec. 2015, ranking as the 4th-winningest player (91 victories) in program history ... she ranks 11th on UAA's career list for sets played (406), 16th in matches played (111), and with one more victory she will catch Seawolf Hall-of-Famer Jen Szczerbinski (92 victories, 1988-90, 92) for No. 3 on that list.
GOOD EVE: Fr. MB Eve Stephens is making a strong argument for all-league and GNAC Freshman of the Year honors thus far, ranking 4th in the conference with a .321 attack percentage, 9th with 3.09 kills per set and 15th with 0.85 blocks per set ... the GNAC offensive and Sports Imports/AVCA Division II National player-of-the-week for Sept. 10-16, she has blasted double-figure kills in six straight matches and has hit over .300 in nine of 14 contests ... 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) ... she has had at least 6 kills in every match, including a UAA season-high 23 in the road win over Rocky Mountain.
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 nearly every week and now averaging 2.22 kps on .190 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 six 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 8th in block assists (231) and 11th in total blocks (249) ... 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 nine of the 14 matches thus far, including 8 in the opening sweep of Western New Mexico, to rank 2nd in the GNAC (16th nationally) with 1.25 bps ... the Seawolves seem solid in the present and the future at the setter position, running a '6-2' system most of the season that features reigning GNAC Freshman of the Year Casey Davenport and talented freshman Ellen Floyd ... with that duo running the show, the Seawolves rank 4th in the GNAC with a .193 attack percentage and lead the conference with a .143 opponent attack percentage ... a Florida native with Kodiak ties, Floyd has premiered with team bests of 6.89 assists per set and 0.33 aces per set, top-15 league marks.
GREEN MACHINE: Having led UAA to an unprecedented 10 straight winning seasons, UAA head coach Chris Green (223-86, .722) 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 (133-36) since the start of the 2013 campaign, including .833 (85-17) 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