Seawolves slam Nanooks, break GNAC mark
FAIRBANKS – The Alaska Anchorage volleyball team got 12 kills from sophomore Julia Mackey to lead a record-setting hitting performance in a 25-17, 25-16, 25-10 sweep of Alaska Fairbanks on Saturday night at the Patty Center, extending the Seawolves’ winning streak to seven matches.
The Seawolves (13-7, 7-0 GNAC) also got nine kills and 12 digs from sophomore outside hitter Katelynn Zanders as they broke the Great Northwest Athletic Conference record for hitting percentage in a league match at .526.
UAA hit .619 in the first set and .520 in the third, committing only three attack errors in 76 attempts. Five different Seawolves tallied at least four kills on plus-.375 hitting, with Mackey (.688), Zanders (.615), freshman middle blocker Erin Braun (7 kills, .778), junior outside hitter Brooke Pottle (7 kills, .375) and senior middle blocker Jodi Huddleston (4 kills, .667) accounting for 39 of their team’s 43 kills.
The .526 overall attack percentage broke the old record of .473 in a league encounter, set by Seattle Pacific against Saint Martin’s on Nov. 1, 2012. Founded in 2001, this marks the league’s 13th season. It was also the Seawolves’ best attack percentage this century and came within fractions of breaking the school record of .534, set against Regis in 1982.
Senior setter Siobhan Johansen accounted for 23 assists and two aces, while freshman setter Morgan Hooe added 13 aces.
The Seawolves outblocked their northern neighbors 8-2 thanks to five block assists by Huddleston and four apiece for Mackey and junior right-side hitter Maureen Sabado.
A Fairbanks native from West Valley High School, Mackey ripped her 12 kills on just 16 attacks, joining Zanders and Braun with career-high attack percentages. Sophomore outside hitter Sarah Johnson served a match-high three aces as well, tying her career-high for the second time in the last three matches.
The victory extends the Seawolves’ win streak to six against their rivals from the north.
UAA remains one of just two unbeaten teams in the GNAC standings, along with nationally 7th-ranked Western Washington (13-1, 6-0). Up next, the Seawolves will travel to Canada on Thursday for a match against Simon Fraser, before heading south of the border for a Saturday showdown against WWU in Bellingham. Both matches start at 6 p.m. ADT.
NOTES: UAA needs just one more victory to clinch its sixth straight winning season, extending the program’s longest streak … UAA’s .526 attack percentage was No. 3 on the GNAC’s all-time list, trailing only a pair of Northwest Nazarene non-conference wins over Walla Walla in 2011 (.694) and 2012 (.550) … Johansen played her 99th match in a Seawolf uniform and will become the 18th player in program history to appear in 100 when UAA takes on Simon Fraser on Thursday.