FAIRBANKS (Sept. 12) – Leah Swiss recorded a double-double and Chrisalyn Johnson smashed 13 kills Tuesday as 18th-ranked Alaska Anchorage began pursuit of its third straight Great Northwest Athletic Conference volleyball title with a 25-21, 25-19, 25-22 sweep of Alaska Fairbanks.
The Seawolves (5-4, 1-0 GNAC) got 11 kills and 12 digs from Swiss, while setters Madison Fisher and Casey Davenport combined for 38 assists and 12 digs, and libero Keala Kaio-Perez tallied 15 digs. UAA outhit the hosts .257 to .091 as it won for the 14th straight time in the series and the ninth straight time at the Patty Center.
The Nanooks (7-3, 0-1) were led by seven kills from Lahra Weber and 16 digs from Jenna Hickel.
After fending off a late UAF surge to win the first set, the Seawolves found themselves in a back-and-forth battle in the second, and faced a 19-18 deficit after a kill by Weber. But a service error and four straight Nanooks attack errors sprung open a 7-0 Seawolf run, which was polished off by a kill from Johnson and an ace by Vanessa Hayes.
UAA took control early in the third set and repelled another late run by the hosts, getting a kill from Swiss to make it 24-21, and earning match point when UAF’s Maddie Davis hit an attempt wide.
Diana Fa’amausili had eight kills and Hayes had seven kills on the second-best hitting percentage of her career at .545.
In addition to their streaks against UAF, the Seawolves also improved on program records by winning their 14th consecutive road match, their 17th consecutive GNAC road match, and their sixth consecutive GNAC opener.
The Seawolves play their final regular-season non-conference match Friday when they face NAIA foe Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Mont., before resuming GNAC play Saturday at longtime rival Montana State Billings. Both matches begin at 5 p.m. ADT.
NOTES: Swiss tallied her fourth double-double of the season and the 25th of her career … Swiss had two aces to move into a three-way tie for 10th place with Michelle Garvin (2000-03) and O’Lita McWilliams (2002-03) on UAA’s career list, now with 107 … freshman Jalisa Ingram saw just the second action of her young career and delivered her first career kill and first two career blocks.