ANCHORAGE – Julia Mackey and Sarah Johnson both tallied double-doubles but it was not enough to help the Alaska Anchorage volleyball team overcome Seattle Pacific on Saturday as the Falcons earned a 25-16, 21-25, 25-21, 25-23 victory at the Wells Fargo Sports Complex.
The Seawolves (16-8, 11-5 GNAC) also got career-highs of 24 digs apiece from Nikkie Viotto and Jordan Bush as they were eliminated from title contention in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference race.
The Falcons (13-12, 10-6) prevailed thanks to an extremely balanced offense, getting at least eight kills from five different players. Outside hitter Cailin Fellows led SPU with 12 kill and nine digs as SPU avenged last month’s five-set home loss to UAA.
Despite struggling with their hitting all night, the Seawolves knotted the fourth set at 23-23 on a vicious spike by Mackey, who finished with a team-high 12 kills. But the Falcons responded with a kill by Nikki Lowell – her 11th of the match – and won a long rally on match point when Madi Cavell ricocheted her attempt off the UAA block.
Mackey, a freshman outside hitter from Fairbanks, also had a career-high 10 digs to record her first collegiate double-double. Johnson, meanwhile, had 11 kills and 12 digs for her team-high ninth double-double.
On a night when senior setter Kimya Jafroudi played sparingly because of a sprained ankle, it was Viotto, Bush and UAA’s back-row defense that kept the match close. Viotto, a senior from Eagle River, topped her previous career-high of 20 digs in her final home match, while Bush, a sophomore from Graham, Wash., wound up with 10 more than her previous best of 14, set on the opening weekend of the season.
UAA, which had a chance to pull into a three-way tie for second place, now sits alone in fourth, just one match ahead of SPU. Both clubs finish the season next week with a pair of matches, with the Seawolves traveling to Northwest Nazarene on Thursday, Nov. 15 and regionally ranked Central Washington on Saturday, Nov. 17.