SEATTLE – Facing a two-set deficit, the Alaska Anchorage volleyball team got standout performances from a pair of freshman Saturday as Eve Stephens smashed 18 kills and Ellen Floyd dished 57 assists to propel the Seawolves to a 20-25, 22-25, 25-23, 25-22, 15-12 victory over Seattle Pacific at Royal Brougham Pavilion.
UAA (15-3, 8-2 Great Northwest Athletic Conference) also utilized career highs of 15 kills and four aces from outside hitter Vanessa Boyer to push its winning streak to 11 in a row against its longtime rival.
The Falcons (7-10, 5-5) suffered a third straight hard-luck loss despite a match-high 19 kills from Hailey Gaines, plus 14 kills and 12 digs from Gabby Oddo.
“That was a gutsy effort by our ladies tonight,” said UAA head coach Chris Green. “Even though we controlled the lead for most of the third and fourth sets, SPU made a lot of runs and there were opportunities for us to hang our heads, but we didn’t. Eve and Ellen definitely made huge contributions, but this is one of those wins where you look up and down the stat sheet and feel good because every single player played a big role in this win.”
A junior who started on UAA’s 2016 NCAA runner-up squad, Boyer matched her career high for the third time, with her 15th kill giving the Seawolves a 13-12 lead in the fifth set. Solid defensive plays put the ball in SPU’s court on the next two points, and the UAA prevailed on back-to-back attack errors by the hosts.
Senior middle blocker Tara Melton had a career-high 14 kills, including set point in the third, and senior outside hitter Chrisalyn Johnson notched her 11th double-double this year with 12 kills and 13 digs.
Floyd, a setter from Pensacola, Fla., added four kills, three aces and a block assist as her 57 assists were 17 more than her previous high.
Senior libero Taylor Noga made a match-high 25 digs to come just one shy of her career high from last Saturday’s 4-set win over Western Oregon.
The Seawolves finish a three-match road swing and begin the second half of the GNAC campaign Tuesday with a 7 p.m. first serve at Alaska Fairbanks on Tuesday. Watch the live broadcast at gnac.tv.