SAN DIEGO (Sept. 2) – Leah Swiss and Diana Fa’amausili each tallied double-doubles but it wasn’t enough to save the 4th-ranked Alaska Anchorage volleyball team from a late Azusa Pacific rally Saturday as the Cougars earned a 22-25, 25-19, 15-25, 25-23, 16-14 upset at the Seaside Invitational at Golden Gymnasium.
UAA (2-2) got a match-high 15 kills and 11 digs from Swiss, while Fa’amausili had 13 kills and a modern-day program record 12 block assists for the two-time defending Great Northwest Athletic Conference champions in the loss.
APU (3-0) had five players with eight or more kills, led by 13 kills from Sara Wagenveld and 12 kills, 12 digs from Natalie Klapp.
After controlling the first and third sets, the Seawolves had chances to clinch the match late in the fourth and fifth, but the Cougars would rally each time.
Tied 23-23 in the fourth, Wagenveld and Aliyah Morrison blocked an attack by Swiss, and Klapp delivered a kill on set point.
With UAA trailing 5-4 in the fifth, Fa’amausili earned three straight points with two blocks and a kill, and the Seawolves seemingly took control when she slammed her final kill to make it 13-9. Chrisalyn Johnson answered an APU kill with one of her own to earn match point at 14-10, but the Seawolves would not score again.
After three Seawolf errors, Pauling notched a kill to tie it, and Morrison had back-to-back kills for the win.
Fa’amausili’s 12 total blocks marked the most for a Seawolf since the NCAA instituted rally scoring in 2001.
The Seawolves make their regular-season home debut at the Alaska Airlines Center next week when they host two other reigning league champions and three conference runners-up in the D2 West Region Volleyball Showcase, Sept. 7-9. Visit GoSeawolves.com or AlaskaAirlinesCenter.com for schedule and tickets.
NOTES: Swiss recorded her 23rd career double-double and Fa’amausili had her first … Swiss became the 13th Seawolf to surpass 800 career kills, now with 805 … Swiss’s three aces moved her over the career century mark, tying Sandra Kirtley (1994-95) for 16th on the UAA list with 101.