THIS WEEK IN SEAWOLF VOLLEYBALL...
Thursday, Nov. 8 — 6 pm AST — Nicholson Pavilion — Anchorage, AK
Alaska Anchorage (20-6, 13-5 GNAC) at Central Washington (20-5, 14-4 GNAC)
Saturday, Nov. 10 — 11 am AST — Johnson Sports Center — Nampa, ID
Alaska Anchorage at Northwest Nazarene (6-19, 6-12 GNAC [11/8 vs UAF])
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. (8.42 aps, 0.51 kps, .130 att%, 2.31 dps, 0.34 ace/set)
RS—Eve Stephens, 6-1, Fr. (3.17 kps, .321 att%, 0.71 bps)
MB—Tara Melton, 6-0, Sr. (2.16 kps, .350 att%, 0.98 bps)
MB—Vera Pluharova, 6-2, So. (1.01 kps, .211 att%, 1.19 bps)
OH—Vanessa Boyer, 5-11, Jr. (2.55 kps, .186 att%, 1.27 dps, 0.39 bps, 0.29 ace/set)
OH—Chrisalyn Johnson, 5-9, Sr. (2.76 kps, .145 att%, 3.31 dps, 0.32 ace/set, 0.48 bps)
L—Taylor Noga, 5-10, Sr. (0.85 kps, .125 att%, 4.42 dps, 0.29 ace/set)
ABOUT LAST WEEK: The Seawolves suffered a tough 5-set loss to Seattle Pacific before bouncing back with a 3-1 win over Saint Martin's in last week's home finales at the Alaska Airlines Center ... against the Falcons, Jr. OH Vanessa Boyer came one kill shy of her career high with 16 but the Seawolves couldn't overcome the all-around play of SPU's Gabby Oddo, falling 25-15, 15-25, 25-15, 18-25, 15-11 ... Sr. MB Tara Melton added 10 kills and So. MB Vera Pluharova had 6 total blocks as UAA saw an 11-match win streak end against SPU ... on 'senior night,' Fr. RS Eve Stephens smashed 14 kills on .458 hitting and Sr. OH Chrisalyn Johnson notched 13 kills, 4 aces and 4 blocks in a 25-23, 25-18, 20-25, 25-10 win over the last-place Saints ... Sr. L Taylor Noga made 21 digs and dished 5 assists and Pluharova matched her career high with 8 kills on career-best .583 hitting, helping UAA extend its program record to 22 straight wins over SMU.
vs CWU: UAA leads 25-19 overall ... tied 10-10 in Ellensburg
Streak: CWU 1 / Last: CWU 3-2 (9/8/18 at UAA) / Notes: CWU has won two of the last three after UAA took six straight from 2014-16 ... UAA had won four straight in Ellensburg until last year's 3-0 loss ... the Seawolves are 16-5 vs. CWU under head coach Chris Green ... of the 21 meetings since 2008, nine have gone 5 sets and five have gone 4 sets, with the Seawolves winning 13 of those 14 contests ... UAA leads 18-17 in GNAC meetings (since 2001) … teams have met every season since 1999 ... first meeting was a 2-1 UAA neutral-court win in 1980 ... teams did not meet between 1983-98.
vs NNU: NNU leads 19-18 overall and 13-5 in Nampa
Streak: UAA 2 / Last: UAA 3-0 (9/6/18 at UAA) / Notes: UAA has won six of the last seven meetings ... NNU won 3-1 last year in Nampa ... seven of the last eight and 17 of the last 19 matches have been 4- or 5-set affairs ... UAA is 14-8 vs. NNU under Chris Green ... NNU leads 18-17 in GNAC meetings (since 2001) … NNU won first meeting in 2000, 3-1, in Nampa.
OPPONENT SKETCHES: Ranked No. 6 in the most recent West Region poll, Central Washington takes a six-match winning streak into Thursday's showdown as it tries to fend off UAA for sole possession of second place in the final GNAC standings ... the Wildcats are led by all-league OH Shelby Mauritson (3.85 kps, .219 att%, 3.33 dps) and OH Makala Swart (3.76 kps, .237 att%, 3.05 kps, 0.60 bps) ... Northwest Nazarene has won two of its last five – including a road sweep of Seattle Pacific – as is battles to earn a 7th-place finish in the GNAC standings this week ... the Nighthawks are led by Abbey Blum (2.98 kps, .196 att%) and Cami Heninger (2.52 kps, .174 att%, 3.69 kps).
TEAM NOTES: UAA ranks 21st in NCAA Div. II with 2.3 blocks per set ... of the 290 teams in D-II volleyball, UAA ranks no lower than 83rd in any of the seven major statistical categories ... the Seawolves lead the GNAC with 1.64 aces per set and are No. 2 in opponent attack percentage (.151), ranking in the top half of every league category ... UAA has reached the 20-win plateau for the 14th time in 39 years and the sixth time in 10 years under Chris Green ... the Seawolves have clinched their 11th straight winning season, extending the program record that began with Green's arrival at UAA in 2008 ... UAA has also extended streaks of 10 straight winning conference records and top-4 conference finishes ... the Seawolves are 60-13 (.822) at the Alaska Airlines Center since its opening in Sept. 2014 and 106-24 (.815) at home since 2009; UAA has never lost consecutive matches at the Alaska Airlines Center ... the Seawolves are 18-13 against AVCA Top 25 teams since 2014 and 28-40 overall vs. ranked opponents under Green; prior to Green's arrival, UAA had lost 32 straight to ranked foes.
PLAYOFF POSITION: The Seawolves were No. 7 when last week's second version of the NCAA regional polls were announced ... updated rankings will come out Wednesday, leading to the announcement of the eight-team NCAA West Regional Championships field on Nov. 11 at 6 p.m. AST ... here's a look at last week's poll:
NCAA Div. II West Region Volleyball Rankings
Oct. 31, 2018
Rk Team vs West vs DII Conf.
1 Western Washington 20-1 21-3 GNAC
2 Cal St. San Bernardino 22-2 22-2 CCAA
3 Cal State LA 19-3 20-3 CCAA
4 Cal Poly Pomona 20-3 21-3 CCAA
5 Azusa Pacific 18-6 19-6 PWC
6 Central Washington 18-5 18-5 GNAC
7 Alaska Anchorage 16-5 18-5 GNAC
8 Chaminade 20-4 20-4 PWC
9 Point Loma 16-7 16-8 PWC
10 Cal State East Bay 12-10 13-11 CCAA
MELTON SWELTERIN': One year after sharing GNAC Newcomer of the Year honors, Sr. MB Tara Melton is a candidate for more hardware, ranking 5th in the GNAC with a .350 attack percentage and 12th with 0.98 blocks per set ... the former JC All-American from Glendale (Ariz.) College has hit above .400 in eight matches this season, including recent efforts of .435 with 14 kills in the 5-set win at SPU, .647 with 12 kills in the home sweep of MSUB, and .536 with a career-high 17 kills in the road win over Concordia ... Melton ranks 6th in attack pct. (.287), 15th in blocks per set (0.98), 13th in block assists (195) and 17th in total blocks (212) on the Seawolves' career lists, while her current .350 attack pct. is on pace for 2nd-best in UAA single-season history.
C-J'ING DOUBLE-DOUBLE: Sr. OH Chrisalyn Johnson joined an exclusive club recently, becoming the ninth Seawolf in 39 years to reach 1,000 career kills ... one of four unanimous picks to this year's Preseason All-GNAC team, Johnson ranks 15th in the league with 2.76 kills per set and 13th with 3.34 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 13 double-doubles this year and 38 for her career ... an All-NCAA Tournament Team performer at the 2016 Elite Eight and 2017 honorable mention All-GNAC pick, Johnson has accounted for at least seven kills in 82 of the last 93 matches, including 59 times in double figures ... Johnson's career 2.90 kills per set rank 9th on the UAA list, and she stands 7th in total kills with 1,065 and 17th in total digs with 971.
NOGA PARTY: After playing primarily defensive specialist through her first three seasons, Sr. Taylor Noga has shown her versatility this year, starting at right-side hitter for the first 12 matches and libero for the last 14 ... beginning with all-tournament honors in the season-opening UAA Invitational, the former East Anchorage HS star ranks 9th in the GNAC in digs per set (4.42) and 18th in aces per set (0.29) ... 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; she now has 10 20-dig efforts this season, including a career-high 27 against No. 4 WWU, 26 in the 4-set win over WOU and 25 in the wins at SPU and Concordia ... since taking over at libero, she is posting 5.21 dps, which would rank 4th in the league ... Noga has played in 460 of 467 sets in her career and 365 consecutive sets since Dec. 2015, ranking as the 3rd-winningest player (100 victories) in program history; with one more victory, she will catch former teammate Morgan Hooe for No. 2 on that list ... on UAA's other career lists, Noga is 4th in sets played (460), 7th in digs (1,123) and 7th in matches played (123), with a high chance of moving up each list this week.
GOOD EVE: Fr. RS Eve Stephens is making a strong argument for all-league and GNAC Freshman of the Year honors, ranking 6th in the conference with a .321 attack percentage, 9th with 3.21 kills per set and 10th with 3.56 points per set, along with a solid 0.71 blocks per set ... Stephens's attack pct. ranks 11th nationally among freshmen and is on pace for the UAA freshman record, while her kills average is 14th among D-II freshmen ... 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 14 of the last 18 matches and has hit over .300 in 16 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 almost every week and now averaging 2.56 kps on .186 hitting ... Boyer delivered her first career double-double with 12 kills and 12 digs against Notre Dame de Namur, and she has posted at least 14 kills in seven matches, including 15 in the 3-2 win at SPU and a career-high 17 in the 3-1 win at Concordia-Portland ... 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 (245) and 11th in total blocks (263) ... 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 14 of the 26 matches to rank 4th in the GNAC (31st nationally) with 1.19 bps ... Pluharova has also come into her own offensively of late, improving her attack pct. from .065 to .211 in the last 10 matches, thanks to 59 kills and just 10 errors in that span ... since taking over as the primary distributor in a one-setter offense on Sept. 20, freshman Ellen Floyd has averaged 10.00 assists per set and delivered 42 of her 50 kills this season ... a Florida native with Kodiak ties, Floyd leads the Seawolves and ranks 5th in the GNAC with 0.34 aces per set, and she is 6th in the league with 8.43 assists per set.
GREEN MACHINE: Having led UAA to an unprecedented 10 straight winning seasons, UAA head coach Chris Green (231-88, .724) 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 No. 1 seeds in 2015 and 2016; in the 28 years before Green’s arrival, the Seawolves made two NCAAs ... UAA has won at an .788 clip (141-38) since the start of the 2013 campaign, including .830 (93-19) 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