SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The greatest run in Alaska Anchorage volleyball history came to an end against a historically great team Saturday night as top-ranked Concordia-St. Paul knocked off the 9th-ranked Seawolves 25-19, 25-12, 25-12 in the 2016 NCAA Div. II National Championship match at the Sanford Pentagon.

UAA (34-3) was led by eight kills on .280 hitting from sophomore outside hitter Leah Swiss, while fellow All-American Morgan Hooe dished 20 assists and made five digs in her final match.

The Golden Bears (35-2) got 15 kills on .650 hitting from Riley Hanson and 44 assists from Kasey Williams as they hit .433 for the match and outdug the Seawolves 51-27 to earn their program’s NCAA Div. II-record eighth national title in the sport. Concordia won seven titles in a row from 2007-13.

“It’s been a great experience for us,” said UAA head coach Chris Green, whose team saw its 13-match winning streak come to an end. “This last match maybe wasn’t our best performance, but we’ve had a ton of accomplishments this year and we take a lot of pride in that.”

The 2016 Seawolves finished with at least 24 school records, including most victories, best winning percentage (.919), most road wins (13), most consecutive wins (20) and most postseason victories (5), advancing past the NCAA Tournament’s second round for the first time in program history. UAA also won its second straight outright Great Northwest Athletic Conference title with a 19-1 league mark.

“I’m so proud of our two seniors and how far they’ve helped our program come in the last four years,” said Green, who was named the AVCA’s NCAA Div. II National Coach of the Year on Thursday. “It’s great to take a program to the national championship and – we have a very young team coming back – so hopefully we learned something tonight about what it takes to be a national champion.”

UAA tied the first set at 2-2 and led 2-0 briefly in the second before the Golden Bears went on impressive surges, hitting no worse than .419 in any frame. Playing just four hours from their Twin Cities campus and sporting a large contingent of fans, Concordia also got 11 kill from Mariya Sampson, plus 10 kills, seven digs and two aces from tournament MVP Anna Schlaak. The Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference champions did not drop a set in their three NCAA ‘Elite 8’ matches this week.

“It’s been an incredible ride,” said Hooe, who earned GNAC and D2CCA West Region Player of the Year honors. “Coming in with seven new kids this year, I honestly never thought we’d get this far, but they surpassed everything I thought about them. But really, it’s been a heck of a last season. We’re second in the nation, but hey, we’re second – in the nation – and we’re from Alaska, so that’s pretty amazing in itself.”

Hooe was named to the NCAA Championships All-Tournament Team, along with sophomore outside hitter Chrisalyn Johnson, who posted big double-doubles in wins over Angelo State in the quarterfinals and Palm Beach Atlantic in the semifinals.

The Seawolves lose only two seniors – Hooe and All-GNAC middle blocker Erin Braun – for their 2017 squad, with Swiss, Johnson, GNAC and West Region Freshman of the Year Diana Fa’amausili, and honorable mention All-GNAC libero Kyla Militante-Amper among the returners.

“As a senior, you could only ask for one more thing out of this,” said Braun, who finished as UAA’s career and single-season leader in block assists. “We didn’t get that, but I’m just so proud of this team and all that we’ve accomplished this season.”