UAA volleyball team wins 1st match of season

UAA split a pair of matches Saturday at the Otter Classic volleyball tournament in Seaside, Calif. The Seawolves earned their first win of the season in a morning match against Academy of Art but suffered their third loss of the round-robin tournament in an evening match against Cal State-Monterey Bay.

The Seawolves swept the first match 25-15, 25-11, 25-11, getting 15 kills from freshman Julia Mackey and 10 from freshman Katelynn Zanders. Despite strong play in the second and third set and a 60-assist effort from Jafroudi, the Seawolves lost their late match in four sets, 25-20, 20-25, 34-32, 25-19.

The Seawolves (1-3) clicked offensively and defensively in the early match, outhitting the Urban Knights .325 to minus .067 and outdigging them 45-26. The Urban Knights (2-1) recorded just 15 kills and committed 21 attack errors.

Mackey was brilliant for UAA, committing just one attack error in 22 swings for a .636 hitting percentage. Kimya Jafroudi dished 34 assists to lead the Seawolves offense, with Siobhan Johansen and Nikkie Viotto combining for 29 digs to power the defense. Sarah Johnson added seven kills and nine digs, and Breanne Sytnyk notched three blocks, two of which were solos.

In the late match, UAA split the first two sets with Cal State-Monterey Bay and led 24-20 in the third set, but the Otters (3-1) rallied to repel 12 consecutive set points and win the critical set 34-32. Freshman Sarah Johnson, who recorded 18 kills and 16 digs, had a chance to tie it at 33-33, but was blocked at the net by Monterey Bay's Lacee Ventura and Vicoria Clardy. UAA held close in the fourth set, trailing 15-14 before the Otters pulled away to win the first meeting between the teams.

Zanders led the Seawolves with 25 kills in the late match, and Mackey recorded 15. Junior middle blocker Jodi Huddleston's 10 kills helped her record a team-high .409 hitting percentage. Julia Ashen lead the Otters with 25 kills on .447 hitting.

The Seawolves will play in the Springhill Suites Invitational this weekend, hosting Dixie State in their home-opener at the Wells Fargo Sports Complex on Friday.

Anchorage Daily News