The UAA volleyball team made it through the first day of the UC-San Diego Invitational with a hard-earned 1-1 record, and things are bound to get tougher for the Seawolves on the second day.
UAA faces a tough Cal State Dominguez Hills team Saturday afternoon and takes on the 13th-ranked host Tritons in a night match, "so we'll have our work cut out for us," UAA coach Chris Green said Thursday. "Exposing our weaknesses is something great teams do."
On Thursday, UAA opened with a dramatic, five-set win over Cal Poly Pomona, fending off match-point twice in the fourth set en route to a 22-25, 18-25, 25-17, 26-24, 15-12 victory.
A couple of hours later the Seawolves faced 18th-ranked Cal State-San Bernardino, which delivered a 25-20, 25-22, 25-21 beating.
Pomona led UAA 24-22 in the fourth set, but the Seawolves survived by scoring the next four points on kills from Julia Mackey, Jodi Huddleston, Brooke Pottle and Huddleston again.
"I was really proud that they came back from being down 0-2," Green said. "We actually fought off two match points, so that was a good match for us, but it wasn't good volleyball."
UAA's hitters flourished, with five reaching double figures. The Seawolves ripped 72 kills to Pomona's 58 and posted a .270 attack percentage.
Huddleston and Katelynn Zanders each pounded 14 kills, Mackey and Pottle each had 12, Erin Braun added 10 and Maureen Sabado nine.
Quinn Barker picked up 22 of UAA's 70 digs, Siobhan Johansen piled up 39 assists and 15 digs and Morgan Hooe added 10 digs, 26 assists and two aces.
Green said the Seawolves were defenseless against San Bernardino's potent attack, which posted a .364 hitting percentage.
"Our block did not do a good enough job slowing them down," he said. "They were running in full gear."
Zanders' 11 kills and Barker's 11 digs led UAA in the loss, which dropped the Seawolves to 6-3 on the season.