THIS WEEK IN SEAWOLF VOLLEYBALL...
at Seaside Invitational — Golden Gymnasium — San Diego, Calif.
Friday, September 1
7:30 am ADT — #4 Alaska Anchorage (0-0) vs UC San Diego (0-0)
2:30 pm ADT — #4 Alaska Anchorage at Point Loma
Saturday, September 2
7:30 am ADT — #4 Alaska Anchorage vs Cal State Los Angeles
12 pm ADT — #4 Alaska Anchorage vs Azusa Pacific
UAA PROBABLE STARTERS (2016 stats or notes)
S—Madison Fisher, 5-9, So. (2 sets played as true freshman)
or —Casey Davenport, 5-6, Fr. (2-time All-SPSL at Auburn Mountainview [Wash.] HS)
MB—Vanessa Hayes, 5-11, So. (1.22 kps, .210 att%, 0.95 bps)
MB—Jalisa Ingram, 6-2, Fr. (All-Grand Canyon Conference as senior at Coconino [Ariz.] HS)
OH—Leah Swiss, 6-0, Jr. (3.56 kps, .242 att%, 2.77 dps, 0.44 bps, 0.38 ace/set)
OH—Chrisalyn Johnson, 5-9, Jr. (3.09 kps, .134 att%, 2.55 dps, 0.42 bps)
DS—Taylor Noga, 5-8, Jr. (2.25 dps, 0.17 ace/set)
or RS—Diana Fa'amausili, So. (2.75 kps, .260 att%, 1.05 bps)
L—Keala Kaio-Perez, 5-7, Sr. (56 SP, 1.88 dps as DS)
BRIEF SEASON PREVIEW: The Seawolves return four starters – including all-conference hitters Leah Swiss and Diana Fa'amausili – and five reserves from their 2016 NCAA Runner-Up team as they seek a third straight Great Northwest Athletic Conference title and a fifth straight NCAA Tournament berth ... six newcomers will vie for playing time, too, as UAA tries to offset the loss of all-conference performers at setter, middle blocker and libero.
vs UCSD: UCSD leads 3-0 overall, 1-0 neutral
Last: UCSD 3-2 (9/14/13 at UCSD) / Notes: All three meetings have occurred since 2009 ... UCSD has swept two of the three encounters.
vs Point Loma: UAA leads 2-1 ... first meeting at PLNU
Last: UAA 3-1 (9/11/15 at Riverside, CA) / Notes: The first three meetings have all occurred on neutral courts ... the first meeting was a 3-1 PLNU victory in Sept. 2008 when the Sea Lions were an NAIA program ... UAA's wins came in 2014 and 2015.
vs Cal Baptist: UAA leads 3-0 overall, 1-0 neutral
Last: UAA 3-1 (9/10/16 at Rohnert Park, CA) / Notes: UAA won the initial neutral-court meeting vs. then-No. 25 CBU at the D2 West Region Showcase last year at Sonoma State ... the first meeting was a 3-1 UAA victory in 2003 when CBU was an NAIA program ... this will likely be the last meeting in a long while between the programs as CBU is headed to Div. I next season.
vs Azusa Pacific: UAA leads 2-0 overall, 1-0 neutral
Last: UAA 3-1 (9/3/15 at UAA) / Notes: UAA beat APU at its own SpringHill Suites Invitational in 2015 after taking the initial meeting with a sweep at the 2014 West Region Crossover in Riverside, Calif.
SEAWOLVES TOP PRESEASON POLL: The Seawolves earned the favorite's designation by the narrowest of margin in the 2017 GNAC Presason Coaches' Poll, release Aug. 22:
2017 Great Northwest Athletic Conference
Preseason Volleyball Coaches’ Poll
Rk Team (1st-place votes) 2016 Records Pts
1. Alaska Anchorage (5) 34-3, 19-1 (1st) 110
2. Western Washington (3) 23-8, 17-3 (2nd) 109
3. Northwest Nazarene (3) 22-7, 13-7 (t4th) 106
4. Central Washington 17-12, 13-7 (t4th) 89
5. Simon Fraser 21-8, 14-6 (3rd) 77
6. Concordia-Portland 15-13, 11-9 (6th) 67
7. Western Oregon 10-17, 7-13 (t7th) 50
8. Seattle Pacific 11-17, 7-13 (t7th) 46
9. Saint Martin's 6-18, 2-18 (t10th) 26
10. Alaska Fairbanks 3-24, 2-18 (t10th) 25
11. Montana State Billings 7-23, 5-15 (9th) 21
Points awarded on 11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis
2016 SEASON RECAP: The 2016 UAA volleyball team recorded the best season in program history, reaching the NCAA Div. II National Title Match and earning its second straight Great Northwest Athletic Conference outright title, while posting records of 34-3 overall and 19-1 in league ... among their 40 school records included marks for most victories, longest win streak (20) and most consecutive NCAA Tournament berths (4) as the Seawolves won their first West Region title ... led by National Coach of the Year Chris Green and GNAC and West Region player-of-the-year Morgan Hooe, UAA posted seven wins over nationally ranked opponents and went 33-1 from Aug. 27-Dec. 9, with that lone loss coming in a 20-18 fifth set against the league runner-up ... in addition to All-America honors for Hooe and So. OH Leah Swiss, right-side hitter Diana Fa'amausili was tabbed the GNAC and West Region freshman of the year.
ELITE EIGHT RECAP: The Seawolves reached their first NCAA Div. II Elite Eight in program history in 2016, earning the No. 6 seed for the national quarterfinal, semifinal and final rounds, Dec. 8-10 at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota ... the nationally 9th-ranked Seawolves posted 4-set wins over 12th-ranked Angelo State and 10th-ranked Palm Beach Atlantic to earn a berth in their first NCAA Title Match, where they fell in straight sets to top-ranked and 8-time national champion Concordia St. Paul ... against No. 3 seed ASU, So. OH Chrisalyn Johnson and So. OH Leah Swiss combined for 39 kills and 33 digs, while Sr. S Morgan Hooe had 46 assists and a career-high 19 digs to help overcome a bumpy first set in a 14-25, 25-22, 27-25, 25-16 victory ... Fr. RS Diana Fa'amausili added 7 kills on .286 hitting and 7 blocks, accounting for three straight points to finish off the third set ... in the semis against No. 2 seed PBA, Johnson had 17 kills, 14 digs and 3 blocks, including the match-point kill to cap a 25-16, 19-25, 25-17, 25-22 victory over the defending national runners-up ... Hooe finished with 51 assists, 16 digs and 3 kills, Swiss had 14 kills and 12 digs, and Fa'amausili tallied 13 kills and 3 blocks, while So. MB Vanessa Hayes notched 4 blocks and tied her season high with 8 kills, and So. DS Taylor Noga made a career-high 19 digs ... in the finals against CSP, Swiss had 8 kills on .280 hitting, but UAA suffered just its second straight-set loss in 73 matches, falling 25-19, 25-12, 25-12 to the Bears ... Hooe and Johnson were both named to the All-NCAA Tournament Team.
2016 NCAA Div. II Volleyball Championships
Dec. 8-10 — Sanford Pentagon — Sioux Falls, S.D.
Thursday, Dec. 8 - National Quarterfinals
#6 Alaska Anchorage 3, #3 Angelo State 1
#2 Palm Beach Atlantic 3, #7 South Carolina-Aiken 0
#5 Lewis 3, Wheeling Jesuit 0
#1 Concordia-St. Paul 3, American International 0
Friday, Dec. 9 - National Semifinals
#6 Alaska Anchorage 3, #2 Palm Beach Atlantic 1
#1 Concordia-St. Paul 3, #5 Lewis 0
Saturday, Dec. 10 - National Championship
#1 Concordia-St. Paul 3, #6 Alaska Anchorage 0
2016 WEST REGION CHAMPS: The regionally top-seeded Seawolves earned their program's first regional title with a wins over Chico State, Northwest Nazarene and No. 16 Western Washington in the West Regional Championships at the Alaska Airlines Center, Dec. 1-3 ... after an impressive sweep of Chico State (25-21, 25-18, 25-15) in the first round, UAA needed a dramatic comeback to fend off 5th-seeded and GNAC rival NNU (25-17, 22-25, 25-21, 23-25, 15-10) in the regional semis ... trailing 9-5 in the 5th set against NNU, So. OH Leah Swiss ripped six kills and Sr. MB Erin Braun accounted for three points in the final 11 rallies to earn UAA's first-ever NCAA 2nd Round victory ... Swiss finished with 21 kills and 14 digs, Braun had 12 kills and a UAA season-high 9 total blocks, and Sr. S Morgan Hooe accounted for a career-high 60 assists, career-high-tying 5 total blocks, 5 kills and 14 digs ... in Saturday's finale, Swiss had 16 kills and 12 digs, and Hooe made a dramatic return from injury to power a 19-25, 27-25, 25-21, 25-23 win over 16th-ranked and 3rd-seeded Western Washington in the regional final ... after going down with a leg injury 11 points into the match, Hooe came back in with UAA trailing by a set and down 3-4 in the 2nd, before finishing with 39 assists, 3 kills, 13 digs and 2 aces ... Braun had 15 kills on .424 hitting, So. OH Chrisalyn Johnson had 10 kills and a career-high 24 digs, and So. L Kyla Militante-Amper tied the old UAA single-match digs record of 39 that she had broken earlier this season ... the Seawolves needed another late rally to overcome the arch-rival and defending region champ Vikings, too -- down 21-23 in the 4th, UAA used a Viking service error and a Johnson kill to tie it, followed by an ace by Hooe and another kill by Johnson ... Hooe, Swiss, Braun and Fr. RS Diana Fa'amausili gave UAA four of the 12 honorees on the West Regional Championships All-Tournament Team.
2016 NCAA Div. II West Regional Championships
Dec. 1-3 — Alaska Airlines Center — Anchorage, AK
Thursday, Dec. 1 - Quarterfinals
#3 Western Washington 3, #6 Cal Baptist 0
#2 Cal State San Bernardino 3, #7 Central Washington 1
#5 Northwest Nazarene 3, #4 Simon Fraser 1
#1 Alaska Anchorage 3, #8 Chico State 0
Friday, Dec. 2 - Semifinals
#3 Western Washington 3, #2 Cal State San Bernardino 0
#1 Alaska Anchorage 3, #5 Northwest Nazarene 2 (15-10)
Saturday, Dec. 3 - Championship
#1 Alaska Anchorage 3, #3 Western Washington 1
SEAWOLF NCAA HISTORY: The Seawolves earned their deepest NCAA Tournament run by making the national final, winning multiple matches for the first time last year ... UAA made its program-record fourth straight NCAA appearance and seventh in eight seasons ... last year marked UAA's ninth overall NCAA Tournament trip (1989, 1990, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016), with its overall record improving to 7-9 … UAA has now won two straight First Round matches after losing four in a row between 2010-14 ... the Seawolves were a No. 2 seed in 2014 and earned the No. 1 seed in 2015 and 2016 – the program’s three best seedings ever.
A HOWL LOTTA LOVE: UAA led NCAA Div. II Volleyball in attendance for the second straight season in 2016, with its 1,387 per game far outdistancing Angelo State ... the Seawolves drew five of the year's top seven single-match attendance totals, with their 2,710 for the West Regional final standing as the program record and the second-highest attendance for any D-II match since 2013.
2016 NCAA Div. II Average Attendance
Rk Team Avg Matches
1. Alaska Anchorage 1,387 17
2. Angelo State 904 20
3. Nebraska Kearney 807 17
4. Minnesota Duluth 750 11
5. St. Cloud State 708 10
2016 NCAA DII Top Match Attendances
Rk Team Date Att.
1. Wingate vs Queens-NC 11/18 3,017
2. UAA vs Western Washington (NCAAs) 12/3 2,710
3. UAA vs Central Washington 11/12 2,257
4. Concordia-SP vs UAA (NCAA-neutral) 12/10 1,963
5. Texas A&M Kingsville vs Tarleton St. 10/18 1,900
TEAM NOTES: Among their 40 program team and individual records in 2016, the Seawolves broke the marks for victories and winning percentage set in 2015 by the 27-3 squad ... the 2016 Seawolves also put up team records for most road wins (13), most consecutive wins (20), most consecutive sweeps (6), most consecutive sets won (22) and highest AVCA national ranking (No. 3) ... the five longest win streaks in program history have all occurred since head coach Chris Green's second season in 2009 ... the 2016 Seawolves led the GNAC stats in opponent attack pct. (.127) and aces per set (1.61), and ranked 2nd in kills per set (13.94), blocks per set (2.39) and attack pct. (.225) ... in the NCAA Div. II national stats last year, UAA ranked no lower than 40th (among 292 teams) in seven of the eight major statistical categories, including 7th in blocking, 12th in opponent attack pct. and 17th in kills per set ... boosted by its NCAA Tournament run, UAA went 7-2 last season against AVCA Top 25 teams and is 15-5 against ranked teams since 2014 ... UAA is 25-32 against ranked opponents under Green, having lost 32 straight prior to his arrival in 2008 ... UAA has gone 18-1 against non-conference opponents over the last two regular seasons, including 7-0 in neutral-court matches ... UAA has won 26 straight September matches since a 3-1 loss at then-No. 23 NW Nazarene, Sept. 25, 2014, and the Seawolves completed their second straight perfect November slate (6-0 in 2015 and 2016) ... the Seawolves are 40-6 at the Alaska Airlines Center since its opening in Sept. 2014, and 86-17 at home since 2009.
SWISS (CAN'T) MISS: After capturing All-GNAC honors for the second year in a row and 2016 AVCA Second Team All-America honors, Jr. OH Leah Swiss was voted the 2017 GNAC Preseason Player of the Year in balloting by the league's head coaches in August ... as the Seawolves’ most potent offensive threat in 2016, she smashed at least 9 kills in 32 of 37 matches and ranked 2nd in the GNAC with 3.56 kills and 4.18 points per set ... the former Dimond High star held other GNAC ranks of 3rd in aces per set (0.38) and 16th in attack pct. (.242) ... in the NCAA West Regional Championships, she accounted for 4.25 kps, 3.00 dps and 0.67 bps, posting double-doubles in all three matches and making the all-tournament team ... overall, eight of Swiss’s 15 double-doubles came against nationally ranked opponents, including a then-career-high 26 kills and 15 digs against No. 15 Cal St. San Bernardino, and she ripped a career-high 27 kills against Northwest Nazarene on the way to GNAC Player of the Week honors in mid-November ... on UAA's single-season lists, Swiss finished 5th in total kills (470) and total aces (50), plus 12th in kps ... on the Seawolves' career lists, she starts her junior season already 15th in kills (757), 7th in kills per set (3.09), 16th in attack pct. (.232), 3rd in aces per set (0.37) and 9th in victories (62).
OUTSIDE CHANCE: Alongside Leah Swiss, the Seawolves will 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 ... in 2016, Johnson collected 163 kills – 50 percent of her regular-season total – in the last 12 matches, including a career-high 22 in the loss to No. 19 Western Washington ... Johnson began a run of seven consecutive double-doubles on UAA's road trip to Central Washington and Northwest Nazarene, totaling 39 kills and 29 digs to earn her first-ever GNAC Offensive Player of the Week award ... the former Dimond High star accounted for at least 7 kills in 33 of 37 matches last year, including 21 times in double figures, and she finished her season on a high note with All-NCAA Tournament Team honors at the Elite Eight ... meanwhile, Fa'amausili was the AVCA West Region Freshman of the Year, GNAC Freshman of the Year and the only freshman on the All-GNAC team ... the Federal Way, Wash. (Kent-Meridian HS) product was UAA’s 2nd-leading blocker with 1.05 bps, ranking 8th in the GNAC, 56th nationally overall and 5th nationally among freshmen (2nd among right sides) ... Fa’amausili delivered at least 5 kills in all 37 matches, averaging 2.75 kps on .260 hitting, and picking up her first GNAC Defensive Player of the Week award for her play at home against NNU and CWU.
DEPENDABLE DUO: In addition to their three preseason all-conference picks, the Seawolves return two players – Jr. DS/L/RS Taylor Noga and So. MB Vanessa Hayes – who played in all 132 sets last year ... Noga was a major unsung hero in UAA's NCAA Tournament run, totaling 30 digs (3.33 dps) and 4 assists in the victories over NNU and WWU, including a then-season-high 17 against the Crusaders ... the former East Anchorage HS standout recorded double-digit digs 13 times as a sophomore, including 11 against Angelo State and a career-high-tying 19 against Palm Beach Atlantic in the NCAA quarterfinals and semifinals ... Noga had 14 digs and 2 aces in the regular-season road win over NNU, and she committed just six reception errors in 246 attempts (.976) after Oct. 6 ... Hayes was a consistent presence in the middle all season, notching multiple kills and multiple blocks in 27 of 37 matches ... the Salem, Ore. (McNary HS) native hit .364 with 6 kills and 5 block assists in the win over No. 15 Cal St. San Bernardino, and she delivered two of her best attack percentages in UAA’s road victories at NCAA qualifiers Simon Fraser and Western Washington, combining for 13 kills on .462 hitting in those seven sets ... Hayes equaled her season-high 8 kills for the fourth time against Palm Beach Atlantic in the NCAA Semis, and she ranked 11th in the GNAC with 0.95 bps.
SENIORS RETURNING STRONG: Both of the seniors on the 2017 roster appear to be healthy and ready to contribute after suffering season-ending knee injuries in their debut campaign ... Sr. L/DS Keala Kaio-Perez (Waimanalo, Hawaii/Kailua HS/Western Nebraska CC) had played in every set as a defensive specialist, averaging 1.88 digs and a team-best 0.43 aces per set when she went down in practice in late September ... Kaio-Perez and Taylor Noga are each expected to vie for the vacant starting libero slot ... UAA's hitting depth improves as well with the return of Sr. OH Anais Vargas (Greeley, Colo./University HS/Northeastern JC), who played in six matches before being hurt in practice in mid-September.
YOUTH MOVEMENT SETTING UP: For the first time since 2012, the full- or part-time setting duties will fall 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 begin the year with a combined one match of collegiate experience at the position ... in her lone action of 2016, Fisher played well as an emergency injury replacement for Hooe in the West Region Championships title match, notching 3 kills, 6 assists and 5 digs in less than a full set of action.
GREEN MACHINE: Having led UAA to an unprecedented nine straight winning seasons, UAA head coach Chris Green (193-72, .728) 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 ... now a 4-time GNAC Coach of the Year (2009, 2013, 2015, 2016) and 2-time AVCA D-II West Region Coach of the Year (2009, 2015), 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 .824 clip (103-22) since the start of the 2013 campaign, including .882 (67-9) in league play ... after helping the Seawolves to a 10-win turnaround in his first season, Green earned both GNAC and NCAA Div. II West Region coach-of-the-year honors in 2009 when he piloted UAA to its first GNAC title and the program’s first-ever NCAA victory ... 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.
2016 INDIVIDUAL HONORS
NCAA Div. II National Assistant Coach of the Year (AVCA)
GNAC Defensive Player of the Week, Nov. 7-13
First Team All-GNAC
GNAC Freshman of the Year
West Region Freshman of the Year (AVCA)
All-West Region Honorable Mention (AVCA)
NCAA West Regional Championships All-Tournament Team
Honorable Mention All-American (AVCA)
GNAC Coach of the Year
NCAA Div. II National Coach of the Year (AVCA)
GNAC Offensive Player of the Week, Oct. 10-16
GNAC All-Academic Team
NCAA Elite 90 nominee
NCAA Championships All-Tournament Team
GNAC All-Academic Team
SpringHill Suites Invitational All-Tournament Team
D2 West Region Volleyball Showcase All-Tournament Team
GNAC All-Academic Team
GNAC Offensive Player of the Week, Nov. 7-13
First Team All-GNAC
All-West Region First Team (D2CCA)
All-West Region First Team (AVCA)
NCAA West Regional Championships All-Tournament Team
Second Team All-American (AVCA)
Honorable Mention All-American (D2CCA)