Mackey, Seawolves blast Yellowjackets
ANCHORAGE – Sophomores Julia Mackey and Katelynn Zanders combined for 25 kills to lead a record-setting Alaska Anchorage hitting effort in a 25-22, 25-15, 25-8 volleyball sweep of Montana State Billings on Saturday at the Wells Fargo Sports Complex.
The Seawolves (8-6, 2-0 GNAC) also got 24 assists, three aces and two kills from senior setter Siobhan Johansen as they posted the program’s best attack percentage in 13 years of Great Northwest Athletic Conference play, hitting .437.
Mackey finished with 13 kills and no attack errors on 20 attempts and Zanders posted 12-1-20 numbers as they recorded respective career-high percentages of .650 and .550. The duo was among five Seawolves with at least four kills on plus-.500 hitting as they were joined by sophomore outside hitter Sarah Johnson (.556, 5-0-9), senior middle blocker Jodi Huddleston (.667, 4-0-6) and freshman middle blocker Erin Braun (.571, 4-0-7).
The Seawolves committed only two attack errors in the final two sets, breaking their old GNAC mark of .419 (46-7-93) against Northwest Nazarene, Nov. 3, 2011. It was the sixth time this century a UAA team topped the .400 mark and was the highest percentage since hitting .448 against St. Cloud State, Aug. 25, 2000.
The Yellowjackets (2-8, 0-2) were led by nine kills from middle blocker Chelsey Walter, but the visitors could not capitalize on their own fast start and suffered their fourth straight loss.
MSUB jumped to a 17-13 lead late in the first set, not committing an attack error of its own until the 33rd point of the match. UAA would score seven of the next nine points to recapture the lead, 20-19, and Mackey took over from there, slamming kills on UAA’s last five points of the frame, including on set point at 24-22.
The Seawolves hit .484 in the second set and .500 in the third, sparked by Johnson’s best effort of the season. The sophomore from South Anchorage High also had three digs and three total blocks, including a solo.
UAA has now won seven in a row against MSUB and now leads the all-time series 39-10.
The Seawolves begin GNAC road play next week when they travel to No. 24 Central Washington (Thur., Sept. 26, 6 p.m. ADT) and Northwest Nazarene (Sat., Sept. 28, 5 p.m. ADT).
NOTES: UAA improved to 6-1 at home this season and 44-8 since the beginning of the 2009 campaign … Johansen moved past Stephanie Martinez (1,264 assists, 2002-05) into 11th place on UAA’s career assists list, now with 1,284; next up, Molly Merritt (1993-94) stands 10th at 1,460.