ANCHORAGE – Diana Fa’amausili led a balanced offensive attack with 10 kills and the 14th-ranked Alaska Anchorage volleyball team used a big edge in the serving game to earn a 25-21, 14-25, 25-18, 15-25, 17-15 victory over 15th-ranked Concordia-Irvine on Saturday in the D2 West Region Showcase, presented by Hilton Garden Inn, at the Alaska Airlines Center.
The Seawolves (4-3) also got nine kills, three blocks and a career-high four aces from junior Chrislayn Johnson as they prevailed despite being doubled up in the hitting percentage category, .286 to .135. UAA earned 12 aces and committed just eight service errors, while the visitors had eight aces against 17 services errors.
The Eagles (4-3) were led by 20 kills on .429 hitting and 20 digs from outside hitter Rachel Flynn, while right-side hitter Cindy Tran delivered 18 kills on .593 hitting for the defending Pacific West Conference champions.
UAA – the two-time defending Great Northwest Athletic Conference champion – rallied from a 13-9 hole to win the first set, and used a 6-0 run to close out the third set, including a pair of aces by Johnson.
Concordia dominated the fourth set, however, and the Seawolves were forced to go the maximum distance for the fourth time in seven matches this season.
The final set was close throughout, with neither team leading by more than two points. UAA took a 14-12 advantage on a CUI service error and an ace by Keala Kaio-Perez, but the Eagles tied it on consecutive kills by Flynn and Tran.
After Fa’amausili and Tran traded kills to tie the score at 15-15, Tran’s attack was stuffed at the net by UAA’s Leah Swiss and Vanessa Hayes, and freshman setter Casey Davenport earned her lone kill when her dump attack went off a CUI blocker and out of bounds on match point.
Davenport also delivered 14 assists and had personal bests of eight digs and four service aces, while sophomore setter Madison Fisher tallied 18 assists, two kills and a career-high 17 digs.
Middle blocker Tara Melton – a junior-college transfer – had her most kills as a Seawolf with six, and led UAA with seven block assists. Kaio-Perez paced UAA’s back-row defense with 17 digs and doubled her previous career high with six assists.
The Seawolves return to the Alaska Airlines Center later Saturday for the final match of the D2 West Region Showcase, presented by Hilton Garden Inn, when they face defending California Collegiate Athletic Association champion and 11th-ranked Cal State San Bernardino at 7 p.m.