MONMOUTH, Ore. – Freshman setter Ellen Floyd piloted a balanced offensive attack with 46 assists and anchored the Alaska Anchorage defense with a career-high 18 digs Thursday in a 19-25, 25-17, 25-22, 25-20 volleyball victory over Western Oregon at the New P.E. Building.
Ranked No. 6 in the NCAA Div. II West Region playoff race, the Seawolves (18-5, 11-4 Great Northwest Athletic Conference) got double-figure kills from four players – including 15 on .290 hitting from freshman right-side hitter Eve Stephens – to earn their sixth straight season sweep of WOU.
The Wolves (6-16, 3-12) were led by Mariella Vandenkooy’s match-high 16 kills, but the hosts could not maintain their hot start after finishing the first set with a 17-7 run.
“We were able to clean up the mistakes that we were making early, and that really changed the momentum of the match,” said UAA head coach Chris Green, whose team remained tied with Central Washington for second place in the GNAC standings. “Ellen did a nice job of spreading the ball around and finding the weaknesses in WOU’s block.”
Trailing 15-14 in the second set, the Seawolves grabbed control with five straight points, bookended by two Stephens kills. A pair of timeouts did the home team no good as UAA completed the surge with 11 of the last 13 points to tie the match.
UAA led by at least three points for most of the third set before WOU drew within 24-22, prompting a timeout by Green. The Seawolves took advantage of a Wolves overpass on the ensuing point, and sophomore Vera Pluharova slammed one of her career-high eight kills to clinch the frame.
The fourth set was a similar story, with UAA’s lead eventually cut to 20-18, before senior Tara Melton helped seal it with a block assist and a kill on the final two points.
Senior outside hitter Chrisalyn Johnson notched her 12th double-double of the season with 14 kills and 15 digs, Melton had 13 kills, and junior outside hitter Vanessa Boyer had 10 kills as UAA outhit WOU .226 to .178.
Senior libero Taylor Noga made 17 digs and dished five assists, and sophomore Anjoilyn Vreeland had a match-best three aces.
The Seawolves finish their Oregon road trip Saturday with a 1 p.m. ADT first serve at Concordia. That match can be seen live at gnac.tv.
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