THIS WEEK IN SEAWOLF VOLLEYBALL...
Thursday, Sept. 6 — 7 pm ADT — Alaska Airlines Center — Anchorage, Alaska
Northwest Nazarene (0-7, 0-0 GNAC) at Alaska Anchorage (6-1, 0-0 GNAC)
Saturday, Sept. 8 — 7 pm ADT — Alaska Airlines Center — Anchorage, Alaska
Central Washington (6-1, 0-0 GNAC [9/6 @UAF]) at Alaska Anchorage
LIVE VIDEO & STATS: portal.stretchinternet.com/uaa or /gnac
SOCIAL MEDIA: Check the @UAAVolleyball Twitter feed for in-match updates.
UAA PROBABLE STARTERS (2018 stats)
S—Casey Davenport, 5-6, So. (4.52 aps, 1.72 dps)
MB—Vera Pluharova, 6-2, So. (0.85 kps, .013 att%, 1.37 bps)
MB—Tara Melton, 6-0, Sr. (1.96 kps, .360 att%, 1.26 bps)
OH—Vanessa Boyer, 5-11, Jr. (1.89 kps, .180 att%, 0.75 dps, 0.63 bps)
OH—Chrisalyn Johnson, 5-9, Sr. (3.00 kps, .167 att%, 2.78 dps, 0.22 ace/set, 0.41 bps)
RS—Taylor Noga, 5-10, Sr. (1.93 kps, .174 att%, 3.19 dps, 0.52 bps)
L—Anjoilyn Vreeland, 5-6, So. (4.37 dps, 0.48 asst/set)
'WOLVES GO 3-1 AT SHOWCASE: The Seawolves won three of four matches Aug. 31-Sept. 1 at the 'B pod' of the D2 West Region Volleyball Showcase in Irvine, Calif. ... UAA used a huge comeback to down Cal State San Marcos in the opener, 21-25, 21-25, 25-18, 25-22, 15-18, behind 14 kills from Fr. MB Eve Stephens ... Sr. MB Tara Melton smashed 10 kills on .562 hitting and made 8 block assists, while So. L Anjoilyn Vreeland led UAA with 21 digs in the first-ever meeting vs. CSUSM ... in the Friday's second match, Sr. OH Chrisalyn Johnson had 13 kills and 10 digs to pace a 25-18, 25-23, 25-20 sweep of host Concordia-Irvine, while Sr. RS Taylor Noga notched 10 kills and 6 digs ... September started slowly with the Seawolves' first loss of the year, falling 25-15, 25-17, 25-20 to Cal State East Bay in a 8:30 a.m. local time first serve ... Johnson led UAA with 10 kills in the loss, but the Pioneers hit .402 in the first meeting between the programs ... in the finale, the Seawolves recovered from a 1st-set loss and rallied from a 23-20 deficit in the 3rd to forge a 22-25, 25-15, 26-24, 25-17 victory over Notre Dame de Namur ... Stephens slammed 19 kills on .410 hitting and Melton had a career-high 14 kills on .370 hitting, while Johnson (13 kills/13 digs) and Jr. OH Vanessa Boyer (12 kills/12 digs) each notched double-doubles against the Argos.
vs NORTHWEST NAZARENE: NNU leads 19-17 overall
In Anchorage: UAA leads 12-6
Streak: UAA 1 / Last: UAA 3-2 (10/28/17 at UAA) / Notes: The teams split the season series last year as UAA rallied from a 2-1 deficit behind 16 kills and 18 digs from Chrisalyn Johnson to earn a win at the Alaska Airlines Center ... UAA had won four straight, including a 3-2 win in the 2016 NCAA West Regional semifinals, prior to NNU's victory in Nampa last September ... seven straight and 16 of the last 18 matches have been 4- or 5-set affairs ... UAA is 13-8 vs. NNU under head coach Chris Green (since 2008) ... NNU leads 18-16 in GNAC meetings (since 2001) … NNU won first meeting in 2000, 3-1, in Nampa.
vs CENTRAL WASHINGTON: UAA leads 25-18 overall
In Anchorage: UAA leads 13-9
Streak: UAA 1 / Last: UAA 3-2 (10/26/17 at UAA) / Notes: Chrisalyn Johnson ripped 24 kills and had 15 digs as UAA outlasted CWU 15-11 in the 5th set last year at home ... CWU's victory in Ellensburg last September snapped UAA’s longest win streak in the series at six ... UAA has won four straight at home and is 16-4 vs. CWU under head coach Chris Green ... of the 20 meetings since 2008, eight have gone 5 sets and five have gone 4 sets, with the Seawolves winning all 13 of those contests ... UAA leads 18-16 in GNAC meetings … teams have met every season since 1999 ... first meeting was a 2-1 UAA neutral-court win in 1980 ... teams did not meet between 1983-98.
OPPONENT SKETCHES: Coming off four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances and ranked in the top 20 nationally to begin the season, Northwest Nazarene has had a luckless start to this season, going 0-7 and suffering three of their first five losses in 5-set affairs … the Nighthawks, from Nampa, Idaho, are led by Abbey Blum (2.97 kps, .184 att%) and Cami Heninger (2.31 kps, .150 att%, 3.21 dps) … also coming off an NCAA Tournament berth, Central Washington has lived up to its billing as the No. 2 team in the GNAC preseason poll, suffering its only loss to No. 11 Cal State San Bernardino … the Wildcats, from Ellensburg, Wash., are led by Shelby Mauritson (4.12 kps, .233 att%, 3.67 dps) and Sara Joffs (1.64 kps, .295 att%, 1.36 bps).
TEAM NOTES: The Seawolves are seeking a winning record for the 11th straight season in 2018, trying to extend the program record that began with Chris Green's arrival at UAA in 2008 ... UAA leads the early GNAC stats in both blocks per set (2.96) and opponent attack percentage (.124) ... UAA is 18-11 against AVCA Top 25 teams since 2014 and 28-38 overall against ranked opponents under Green; prior to Green's arrival, UAA had lost 32 prior to nationally ranked foes ... the Seawolves are 53-10 (.841) at the Alaska Airlines Center since its opening in Sept. 2014 and 99-21 (.825) at home since 2009.
CHRISALYN BLISTERIN': One of four unanimous picks to this year's Preseason All-GNAC team, Sr. OH Chrisalyn Johnson lived up to the hype on opening weekend, claiming the Most Outstanding Player award at the UAA Invitational and sharing GNAC co-Offensive Player of the Week honor ... the Dimond HS product recorded the 28th and 29th double-doubles of her career in the wins over Concordia-Irvine and Notre Dame de Namur last week and now ranks 8th in the GNAC with 3.00 kills per set ... an All-NCAA Tournament Team performer at the 2016 Elite Eight, Johnson and 2017 honorable mention All-GNAC pick, Johnson has accounted for at least seven kills in 66 of the last 74 matches, including 48 times in double figures ... Johnson's career 2.96 kills per set rank 9th on the UAA list, while her 867 total kills rank 12th, despite playing only a handful of sets her freshman season.
NOGA PARTY: After playing primary defensive specialist through her first three seasons, Sr. Taylor Noga premiered as a full-rotation right-side hitter in the season-opening UAA Invitational, enjoying a breakout performance that netted All-Tournament Team honors ... the former East Anchorage HS star is averaging 1.93 kills and 0.52 blocks per set, along with GNAC top-20 ranks in digs per set (3.19) and aces per set (0.30) ... Noga had career highs of 13 kills and 21 digs in the win over Michigan Tech, posting her first career double-double and topping her previous best of 19 digs from the 2016 NCAA Semifinals against Palm Beach Atlantic; she then topped her career high with 22 digs in the 4-set win over Notre Dame de Namur ... she has played in 386 of 391 sets in her career and 291 consecutive sets since Dec. 2015, ranking as the 4th-winningest player (86 victories) in program history.
MORE 'WOLF BITES: After playing in just 24 sets and totaling 12 blocks last season, So. MB Vera Pluharova made her debut in the regular rotation and claimed GNAC Defensive Player of the Week honors with 22 total blocks in the UAA Invitational ... the Czech native has had at least 5 total blocks in five of the seven matches this far, including 8 in the opening sweep of Western New Mexico, to rank 2nd in the GNAC with 1.37 bps ... alongside Pluharova, the Seawolves feature three of the top five blocks averages in the league so far, with Sr. MB Tara Melton ranking 4th (1.26 bps) and Fr. MB Eve Stephens ranking 5th (1.07 bps) ... both Melton and Stephens rank among league leaders in hitting percentage as well, with Melton 2nd (.360) and Stephens 6th (.297) ... Jr. OH Vanessa Boyer made the move from middle blocker to outside hitter this year and has shown steady improvement over the first two weeks, increasing her kills totals at the D2 West Region Showcase and now averaging 1.89 kps on .180 hitting ... Boyer delivered her first career double-double with 12 kills and 12 digs against Notre Dame de Namur, topping her career high in digs for the second time in three matches ... a starter on UAA's 2016 NCAA Runner-Up squad, Boyer ranks in UAA's career top 20 lists in multiple categories, currently at 20th in attack pct. (.227), 10th in block assists (223, needs five more to move up to 8th) and 12th in total blocks (241) ... the Seawolves seem solid in the present and the future at the setter position, running a '6-2' system this year that features reigning GNAC Freshman of the Year Casey Davenport and talented freshman Ellen Floyd ... with that duo running the show and So. Anjoilyn Vreeland taking over at libero, the Seawolves rank 5th in the GNAC with a .219 attack percentage and lead the conference with a .124 opponent attack percentage ... a Florida native with Kodiak ties, Floyd has premiered last week with team bests of 6.42 assists per set (8th in GNAC) and 0.50 aces per set (5th in GNAC) ... Vreeland – a Dimond HS product who played at her freshman year at Blue Mountain (Ore.) CC and redshirted with UAA last season – ranks 8th in the league with 4.37 digs per set.
GREEN MACHINE: Having led UAA to an unprecedented 10 straight winning seasons, UAA head coach Chris Green (218-84, .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 .790 clip (128-34) since the start of the 2013 campaign, including .844 (81-15) in league play ... Green’s UAA teams have produced six All-Americans, five GNAC Players of the Year, six GNAC Newcomers of the Year and four 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.
2018 INDIVIDUAL HONORS
Preseason All-GNAC Team
Preseason All-GNAC Team
UAA Invitational Most Outstanding Player, 8/25
GNAC co-Offensive Player of the Week, 8/20-26
UAA Invitational All-Tournament Team
GNAC Defensive Player of the Week, 8/20-26