SAN DIEGO – Junior Chrisalyn Johnson notched three of her 16 kills in the fifth set and the 4th-ranked Alaska Anchorage volleyball team got a clutch effort from sophomore Diana Fa’amausili Friday to repel an upset bid by host Point Loma, winning 17-25, 20-25, 25-22, 25-16, 15-10 in the Seaside Invitational at Golden Gymnasium.
After losing in five sets to UC San Diego in the morning, the Seawolves (1-1) came back four hours later against the Sea Lions and got 12 kills on .320 hitting and seven total blocks from Fa’amausili, plus 13 kills, nine digs and four aces from junior Leah Swiss. With the rally, the defending Great Northwest Athletic Conference champs and reigning NCAA Div. II runners-up avoided the program’s first back-to-back regular-season losses since October 2013.
Point Loma (0-1) was led by 12 kills from Ashlynn Fresques and 36 assists from Cara Keturakis, but the Pacific West Conference club was out-hit .239 to .099 over the final three sets.
Facing a 2-set deficit and trailing 21-19 in the third, Johnson sparked the comeback with kill on a feed from freshman Casey Davenport. Two Sea Lion errors put UAA ahead, followed by another Johnson kill and a block by Fa’amausili and junior Tara Melton. Johnson delivered moments later on set point as the former Dimond High star led the Seawolves in kills again.
After a solid victory in the fourth set, the Seawolves broke a 5-5 tie early in the fifth on a quick kill by Davenport, and took control with three straight aces by Swiss – the GNAC Preseason Player of the Year. PLNU blocked Fa’amausili to draw within 13-10, but Melton slammed home an overpass and the Seawolves won match point on an attack error by PLNU’s Julia Malinas.
Splitting the setting duties in a ‘6-2’ offensive system, Davenport finished with 21 assists, seven digs and five kills on seven attacks (.571), while sophomore Madison Fisher had 23 assists and four digs. Vanessa Hayes added five kills and two blocks, Melton had three kills and six total blocks, and senior libero Keala Kaio-Perez led UAA with 17 digs.
The Seawolves return to Golden Gymnasium on Saturday to face Cal State Los Angeles at 7:30 a.m. Alaska Daylight Time, and Azusa Pacific at noon ADT.
NOTES: Swiss passed April Hydak (773 kills, 1996-98) for 13th place on UAA’s career kills list, now with 783 … the Seawolves improved to 3-1 all-time against Point Loma, winning all three matches since the Sea Lions began their transition from NAIA to NCAA Div. II five years ago.