HILO, Hawaii – A balanced Alaska Anchorage offense was not enough to overcome a hot-hitting Hawaii-Hilo squad Saturday as the host Vulcans handed the Seawolves a 25-22, 26-24, 25-20 volleyball defeat at the UHH Gymnasium.
UAA (1-2) was led by 11 kills from sophomore right-side hitter Julia Mackey, while sophomore outside hitter Katelynn Zanders tallied eight kills and eight digs.
Despite hitting for a solid .265 attack percentage, the Seawolves were outdone by a Vulcans squad that hit a sizzling .349. UHH (2-0) got a match-high 20 kills from Marley Strand-Nicoliasen, plus 10 kills on errorless hitting from fellow freshman Kyndra Trevino-Scott.
UAA took late leads in the first and second sets, going up 21-20 in the opening frame on a block by Zanders and freshman Erin Braun. But the Vulcans responded with the next three points and clinched the set on a kill by Abbey Wade. In the second, the Seawolves earned a set point to potentially tie of the match, taking a 24-23 advantage on a Mackey kill. Hilo responded again, however, getting two kills from Strand-Nicoliasen in another 3-0 spurt.
The Seawolves trailed through much of the third set, eventually falling behind 21-14. Facing match point at 24-16, UAA managed to fend off four clinchers before Strand-Nicoliasen again finished it with a kill.
UAA was led defensively by libero Quinn Barker with 17 digs, along with four total blocks by Braun. Junior Maureen Sabado had seven kills in the loss, along with six kills and six digs by junior outside hitter Brooke Pottle. Senior setter Siobhan Johansen had 24 assists, while freshman setter Morgan Hooe contributed 16 assists.
The Seawolves are back in action with their home openers next week when they host the 17th annual SpringHill Suites Invitational at the Wells Fargo Sports Complex. UAA opens play Thursday at 7 p.m. against American International.
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