ANCHORAGE – The Alaska Anchorage volleyball team has added three new faces to its 2019 roster, including local standouts Mia Ekstrand and Emma Kleven, head coach Chris Green announced Tuesday.
Along with the two Anchorage natives, the Seawolves will welcome incoming freshman Makana Eleneki, from Kailua, Hawaii.
A 5-10 outside hitter, Ekstrand helped Dimond High to its fourth consecutive Class 4A state title in 2018, recording a .243 attack percentage and averaging 2.41 kills and 3.29 digs per set. In three varsity seasons, she accumulated 619 kills, 621 digs and 88 blocks, capping her career with the match-point kill in the state-title match victory over West Anchorage in November.
Meanwhile, Kleven has already joined the Seawolves and practiced this semester after transferring in January from fellow NCAA Div. II program Notre Dame de Namur. A 5-7 setter, Kleven played a part-time role as a true freshman and was the Argonauts’ starter as a sophomore, averaging 8.10 assists and 2.68 digs per set. The former South Anchorage High School star had four matches with at least 45 assists in 2018, including 48 assists and a career-high six kills in NDNU’s 5-set victory over Dominican. At South, she was instrumental in helping the Wolverines to a 4A state runner-up finish as a senior.
“Mia is an excellent all-around player who exhibits a lot of power for a high school athlete,” said Green, who led the Seawolves to a 21-7 record last season. “We are excited to get her into our strength & conditioning program and see her development.
“Emma has fit in very well with our current players since joining us at semester. She is a fiery competitor and will give us another solid setter to replace Casey Davenport, who has left the program.”
Ekstrand and Kleven will give UAA five former Alaska prep stars on its 2019 roster, along with incoming freshman Julia Fetko (Anchorage/Service), sophomore Eve Stephens (Palmer/Colony) and junior Anjoilyn Vreeland (Anchorage/Dimond).
Meanwhile, the Seawolves will add another with Eleneki. A native of Kailua, Hawaii, the 5-6 setter/defensive specialist did not play high school as a senior, but concentrated on club volleyball with Na Keiki Mauloa VBC, suiting up for its Pono 17s squad.
“Some players are choosing club volleyball over high school volleyball, and honing their skills just as well,” Green said. “Watching her play in person, we’ve been impressed with her setting skills and her all-around defensive presence.”
Eleneki becomes the fourth Hawaiian on UAA’s 2019 roster, joining fellow signees Nina Macphetridge (Makawao/King Kekaulike HS), Noho Lind (Hana/King Kekaulike HS) and returning sophomore Talia Leauanae (Wailuku/Kamehameha HS).
The three recent additions bring UAA’s 2019 recruiting class to six players, joining fellow incoming freshmen Lind (5-9, OH), Macphetridge (5-11, OH/RS) and Fetko (5-7, S/DS).
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