BILLINGS, Mont. – Senior libero Keala Kaio-Perez made a career-high 32 digs and sophomore Diana Fa’amausili ripped 16 kills Friday to lift the Alaska Anchorage volleyball team to a 22-25, 25-22, 25-18, 25-15 victory over NAIA opponent Rocky Mountain at the Fortin Center.
The Seawolves (6-4) also got 15 kills from Chrisalyn Johnson, plus nine kills and 13 digs from fellow junior outside hitter Leah Swiss as the defending NCAA Div. II national runners-up outhit their hosts .298 to .145 over the final three sets.
The Battlin’ Bears (9-5) were led by 15 kills from Olivia L’Ami and 24 digs from Holland Fergurson.
After committing 14 errors in the opening frame, UAA turned it around behind the play of Fa’amausili, who launched five kills on .333 hitting in the second set. The nationally 18th-ranked Seawolves saw an early 6-0 lead dwindle to one point on several occasions in the late going, but Swiss came through with a kill on set point to tie the match.
Kaio-Perez – who was also perfect on all 33 of her serve receptions – took over in the third, serving a pair of aces and making 11 digs. The Oahu native easily surpassed her previous best of 23 digs from last week’s 5-setter against Cal State San Bernardino.
Meanwhile, freshman setter Casey Davenport had her best match thus far, tallying a season-high 26 assists and earning kills on all three of her attack attempts, including match point.
Madison Fisher added 23 assists and eight digs as six Seawolves recorded five or more kills. Sophomore middle blocker Vanessa Hayes led UAA with four total blocks and smashed six kills on .313 hitting.
The Seawolves – who began Great Northwest Athletic Conference play Tuesday with a 3-0 win at Alaska Fairbanks – finished the non-conference portion of their schedule with a 5-4 record. They resume GNAC play Saturday with a 5 p.m. ADT match against Montana State Billings at Alterowitz Gymnasium. That match and all GNAC contests can be seen live on gnac.tv.