THIS WEEK IN SEAWOLF VOLLEYBALL...
Thursday, Oct. 5 — 7 pm ADT — Alaska Airlines Center — Anchorage, Alaska
Simon Fraser (6-8, 3-3 GNAC) at Alaska Anchorage (9-6, 4-2 GNAC)
Saturday, Oct. 7 — 7 pm ADT — Alaska Airlines Center — Anchorage, Alaska
#11 Western Washington (11-3, 5-1 GNAC [Thu. @UAF]) at Alaska Anchorage
ON TV: Both matches, live throughout Alaska on GCI Channel 907 (hd) and 1 (sd)
SOCIAL MEDIA: Check the @UAAVolleyball Twitter feed for in-match updates.
TICKETS: $10 general admission, $8 discounted, UAA students free with valid WolfCard ... visit GoSeawolves.com or call 907-786-1562 for all ticket info.
UAA PROBABLE STARTERS (2017 stats)
S—Madison Fisher, 5-9, So. (5.23 aps, 2.15 dps)
MB—Vanessa Hayes, 5-11, So. (1.51 kps, .290 att%, 0.71 bps, 0.22 ace/set)
MB—Tara Melton, 6-0, Jr. (1.11 kps, .166 att%, 1.13 bps)
OH—Leah Swiss, 6-0, Jr. (2.87 kps, .202 att%, 2.43 dps, 0.38 bps, 0.50 ace/set)
OH—Chrisalyn Johnson, 5-9, Jr. (2.90 kps, .162 att%, 1.60 dps, 0.42 bps, 0.32 ace/set)
RS—Diana Fa'amausili, 5-11 So. (2.58 kps, .219 att%, 0.85 bps)
or —Taylor Noga, 5-9, Jr. (0.10 kps, 0.65 att%, 1.62 dps)
L—Keala Kaio-Perez, 5-7, Sr. (4.70 dps, 0.50 ace/set, 0.80 asst/set)
KNOW THE FOES: Simon Fraser has followed a 4-match losing skid with three straight victories, beating MSU Billings, Western Oregon and Concordia-Portland all at home by 3-1 scores ... the NCAA's lone Canadian school is coming off its first-ever NCAA Tournament bid in 2016 ... the Clan are led by 6-0 So. OH Kirsten Pinkney (2.98 kps, .145 att%) and 6-3 Jr. MB Tessa May (2.35 kps, .320 att%, 1.13 bps) ... defending GNAC and West Region runner-up Western Washington heads north with a No. 11 national ranking and having suffered all three of its losses to teams currently ranked in the top 12 ... the Vikings – who are 11-2 all-time at the Alaska Airlines Center – are led by 5-10 Jr. OH Abby Phelps (3.80 kps, .237 att%, 4.88 dps, 0.47 bps), 6-1 Jr. MB Michaela Hall (2.90 kps, .322 att%, 4.18 dps, 0.63 bps) and 5-9 Jr. S Brette Boesel (11.49 asst/set, 2.35 dps, 0.39 bps).
UAA SFU WWU
UAA Home/Opp. Road 4-2 1-3 2-1
Kills per Set 12.0 12.4 14.1
Attack Pct. .187 .191 .248
Opponent Attack Pct. .161 .199 .175
Assists per Set 10.9 11.9 13.0
Digs per Set 15.9 17.9 19.0
Blocks per Set 2.2 1.9 2.4
Aces per Set 2.0 1.4 1.6
vs SFU: UAA leads 14-0 overall, 7-0 in Anchorage
Last: UAA 3-2 (10/20/16 at UAA) / Notes: UAA has won 42 of 47 sets overall, with last year's contest in Anchorage standing as the first 5-setter in series history ... initial meeting was Sept. 23, 2010 (3-1 win, at UAA) in SFU’s first season in the GNAC.
vs WWU: WWU leads 31-17 overall, 18-9 in Anchorage
Last: UAA 3-1 (12/3/16 at UAA, NCAA West Region final) / Streak: UAA 1 / Notes: WWU has won four straight regular-season meetings in Anchorage, including three consecutive 5-setters (17-15 in '14, 16-14 in '15 and 20-18 in '16) ... the road team has won nine of the last 12 meetings, with UAA's 3-1 win in the 2016 West Region final snapping a 7-match skid for the home team ... eight of the last nine matches have gone 4 or 5 sets ... UAA leads the series 10-8 since 2009, including one NCAA Tournament meeting ... WWU won 17 straight from 2001-08 … WWU leads 23-9 in GNAC meetings (since 2001) … teams have met every year since 2000 … series started in 1980.
RARE ROAD WOES: The then-No. 21 Seawolves ran into a pair of hot opponents on the road last week, seeing multiple streaks fall in losses at No. 12 Northwest Nazarene (18-25, 21-25, 25-21, 11-25) and Central Washington (22-25, 18-25, 19-25) ... on Thursday, Jr. OH Leah Swiss had 13 kills but the Seawolves were outhit .324 to .181 against the still-unbeaten Crusaders, snapping program-record streaks of 16 consecutive road wins and 18 consecutive conference road wins ... So. S Madison Fisher added 19 assists, 16 digs and a career-high 4 kills in the loss, while So. MB Vanessa Hayes delivered 8 kills on .333 hitting ... on Saturday, Jr. OH Chrisalyn Johnson's 12 kills and a career-high 9 kills from Hayes were not enough to rescue UAA from its first straight-set GNAC loss since Oct. 25, 2014 ... Sr. L Keala Kaio-Perez led UAA with 16 digs as UAA suffered its first back-to-back regular-season losses since Oct. 2013 (also against CWU & NNU) – ending a 50-match streak without being swept.
TEAM NOTES: UAA leads the GNAC in aces per set (1.98) and ranks 3rd in both blocks per set (2.19) and opponent attack pct. (.161) ... the Seawolves hold top-40 national ranks in aces per set (19th) and blocks per set (37th) ... the loss at NNU ended a pair of program records at 16 straight road wins and 18 straight GNAC road wins; UAA's last GNAC road loss had been Oct. 8, 2015 at NNU ... UAA is 1-3 against AVCA Top 25 teams this year and is 16-8 against ranked teams since 2014 ... UAA is 26-35 against ranked opponents under head coach Chris Green, after having lost 32 straight prior to his arrival in 2008... the Seawolves are 44-8 at the Alaska Airlines Center since its opening in Sept. 2014, and 90-19 at home since 2009 ... the season-opening loss to UCSD snapped a 26-match win streak in the month of September, dating back to Sept. 25, 2014.
A HOWL LOTTA LOVE: UAA led NCAA Div. II Volleyball in attendance the past two seasons, and 2017 looks like it may be a familiar story, as the Seawolves currently rank No. 2 with an average of 949 ... last season, UAA drew a program and GNAC-record 1,387 per game and had five of the year's top seven single-match attendance totals, with the 2,710 for the West Regional final standing as the program record and the second-highest attendance for any D-II match since 2013.
2017 NCAA Div. II Average Attendance (min. 3 matches)
Rk Team Avg Matches
1. Southwest Minnesota St. 989 3
2. Alaska Anchorage 949 6
3. Northwestern Oklahoma 874 4
4. Western Washington 848 4
5. Angelo State 745 7
SWISS AIR: A two-time All-GNAC performer and 2016 AVCA Second Team All-American, Jr. OH Leah Swiss started the year with all-tourney honors at the Seaside Invitational and has been UAA's most productive all-around performer with 2.87 kills per set, 2.43 digs per set and a GNAC-best 0.50 aces per set ... the GNAC Preseason Player of the Year has registered at least nine kills in 44 of the last 52 matches, including a season-high 17 in the 4-set win over Chico State on Sept. 7 ... in the GNAC stats, Swiss is tied for 1st in aces per set and is 10th in points per set (3.59), recording a team-best six double-doubles ... the former Dimond High star recently moved into the top 10 on UAA's career lists for both kills (10th, 929) and aces (5th, 120), becoming just the second player in program history to accumulate at least 900 kills and 120 aces ... her other UAA career ranks include 8th in kills per set (3.05), 20th in attack pct. (.226), 3rd in aces per set (0.39) and tied for 8th in victories (71) ... she also owns 27 career double-doubles after posting 12 kills and 14 digs against SPU.
OUTSIDE CHANCE: Alongside Leah Swiss, the Seawolves boast one of the strongest outside-hitting trios in the nation with fellow Preseason All-GNAC picks Jr. OH Chrisalyn Johnson and So. RS Diana Fa'amausili ... an All-NCAA Tournament Team performer at the Elite Eight last season, Johnson currently paces the Seawolves and ranks 13th in the GNAC with 2.90 kills per set, boosted by a UAA season-high and career-high-tying 22 kills in the 5-set loss to No. 11 Cal State San Bernardino ... the former Dimond High star has accounted for at least seven kills in 46 of the last 52 matches, including 29 times in double figures ... meanwhile, Fa'amausili has remained an offensive and defensive force after capturing the AVCA West Region and GNAC freshman-of-the-year awards in 2016, along with All-GNAC honors ... the Federal Way, Wash. (Kent-Meridian HS) product is averaging 2.58 kills, 3.07 points and 0.85 blocks per set, connecting for double-digit kills in eight of 14 matches ... earlier this year, Fa'amausili broke UAA's rally-scoring era record with 12 total blocks in the loss to Azusa Pacific, becoming the first Seawolf to tally a dozen blocks this century ... prior to leaving the NNU match early last week, Fa’amausili had delivered at least 5 kills in all of her 50 matches as a Seawolf.
DEPENDABLE DUO: In addition to their three preseason all-conference picks, the Seawolves have two other players – Jr. DS/L/RS Taylor Noga and So. MB Vanessa Hayes – who played in every set on last year's NCAA Runner-Up squad ... Noga has played in 297 of 302 sets in her career and 202 consecutive sets since Dec. 2015 ... the former East Anchorage High standout has tallied double-digit digs 18 times in her career, including a career-high-tying 19 in UAA's 3-1 victory over Palm Beach Atlantic in the 2016 NCAA Semifinals and a season-high 10 in the 3-set win MSU Billings on Sept. 16 ... Noga committed just six reception errors in her final 246 attempts (.976) last season, and she leads UAA this year with a .957 reception percentage ... meanwhile, Hayes has remained a consistent presence in the middle, tallying at least 4 kills in 14 of 15 matches thus far ... the Salem, Ore. (McNary HS) native leads UAA and ranks 7th in the GNAC with a .290 attack percentage, boosted by career-high .600 hitting (7-1-10) in the sweep of Cal State LA and a .545 (7-1-11) performance at UAF ... she also delivered 7 kills, 5 blocks and 3 aces in the win over Chico State, and last week she tied (for the fifth time) and finally broke her career high with 8 kills at NNU and 9 kills at CWU.
HOLLAH FOR 'ALA: Sr. L/DS Keala Kaio-Perez – known to her teammates as 'Ala' – has grown more comfortable each match in her new role as UAA's primary libero and was rewarded with the GNAC Defensive Player of the Week honor for Sept. 20-26 ... Kaio-Perez led UAA with 54 total digs (7.71 dps) in the home wins over Saint Martin's and SPU, earning her most in a 3-setter with 25 against the Saints, and now ranks 7th in the GNAC with 4.70 digs per set ... returning from and ACL injury suffered a year ago, the Waimanalo, Hawaii (Kailua HS) native and Western Nebraska CC transfer has posted at least 15 digs in all but two matches this season, including a career-best 32 in the 3-1 victory at Rocky Mountain ... Kaio-Perez is also tied with teammate Leah Swiss for the GNAC and ranks 30th nationally with 0.50 aces per set, recording multiple aces in nine of 15 matches.
YOUTH MOVEMENT SETTING UP: For the first time since 2012, the full- or part-time setting duties have fallen to someone other than former All-American Morgan Hooe, who finished as the program's all-time assists leader last fall ... between So. S Madison Fisher and true Fr. S Casey Davenport, the Seawolves began the year with a combined one match of collegiate experience at the position ... running a '6-2' system thus far, Fisher has posted 5.23 assists and 2.15 digs per set – boosted by 6.33 aps and 2.39 dps during UAA's recent 5-match win streak – while Davenport is averaging 4.33 aps and 1.47 dps ... Fisher has recorded double-digit digs in four consecutive matches after doing that only twice in her first 12 career outings.
MELTON TOGETHER: Jr. MB Tara Melton has shown impressive flashes since debuting in Green & Gold, posting at least 5 kills in eight of 15 matches, including four times with 6 kills and a career-high 7 kills at NNU ... a former JC All-American at her hometown Glendale (Ariz.) Community College, Melton leads UAA with 1.13 bocks per set and ranks 7th in the GNAC and 48th nationally ... she has five matches with 5-plus blocks, including 10 block assists against Azusa Pacific and 7 block assists in the wins over Concordia-Irvine and MSU Billings.
GREEN MACHINE: Having led UAA to an unprecedented nine straight winning seasons, UAA head coach Chris Green (202-78, .721) has established himself as the most successful coach in program history and one of the top mentors in the NCAA Div. II ranks, earning the 2016 AVCA D-II National Coach of the Year award ... a 4-time GNAC Coach of the Year (2009, '13, '15, '16) and 3-time AVCA D-II West Region Coach of the Year (2009, '15, '16), Green has led UAA to NCAA Tournament berths in seven of the last eight seasons, capturing the program’s highest-ever seeds the last three years ... in the 28 years before Green’s arrival, the Seawolves made two NCAAs ... UAA has won at an .800 clip (112-28) since the start of the 2013 campaign, including .866 (71-11) in league play ... Green’s UAA teams have produced six All-Americans, five GNAC Players of the Year, five GNAC Newcomers of the Year and three GNAC Freshmen of the Year ... hired in Feb. 2008 as the sixth coach in UAA Volleyball history, Green spent the previous nine seasons (1999-07) as the head coach at Western Nebraska Community College, where he built a powerhouse program. Among his list of accomplishments at WNCC were a 453-55 record, the 2007 NJCAA Div. I national championship, 2006 NJCAA runner-up, and four straight ‘Final 4’ berths ... the Cougars finished in the top 10 at the national tournament in all of Green’s seasons, producing a total of 10 first-team and six second-team All-America certificates ... in 2011, he was inducted into the NJCAA Hall of Fame.
2017 INDIVIDUAL HONORS
Preseason All-GNAC Team
Preseason All-GNAC Team
GNAC Defensive Player of the Week, Sept. 18-24
GNAC Preseason Player of the Year
Preseason All-GNAC Team
Seaside Invitational All-Tournament Team