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UAA volleyball team sets home-court win streak with sweep of Simon Fraser

Jeremy Peters
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News Sarah Johnson of UAA goes low for a serve from Simon Fraser Thursday evening October 4, 2012 at the Wells Fargo Sports Complex.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News Jessica Young, left, and Alanna Chan of Simon Fraser converge on a ball during second-set action against UAA Thursday evening October 4, 2012 at the Wells Fargo Sports Complex.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News Jodi Huddleston, back, and Nikkie Viotto of UAA collide trying to keep the ball in play during second-set action against Simon Fraser Thursday evening October 4, 2012 at the Wells Fargo Sports Complex.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News Kimya Jafroudi of UAA, right, and Katie Forsyth of Simon Fraser contest a ball at the net in the second set Thursday evening October 4, 2012 at the Wells Fargo Sports Complex.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News From left Danielle Curtis, Helen Yan and Alanna Chan of Simon Fraser watch the ball head out of bounds during second-set action against UAA Thursday evening October 4, 2012 at the Wells Fargo Sports Complex.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News Sarah Johnson of UAA keeps the ball alive for her teammates during third-set action against Simon Fraser Thursday evening October 4, 2012 at the Wells Fargo Sports Complex.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News Katelynn Zanders and her UAA teammates celebrate a point as they near a three-set sweep of Simon Fraser Thursday evening October 4, 2012 at the Wells Fargo Sports Complex.
Erik Hill

Mistakes were minimal and the offense was outstanding Thursday for the UAA volleyball team, which overwhelmed Simon Fraser to win a program-record 16th straight home match at the Wells Fargo Sports Complex, a 25-10, 25-14, 25-17 Great Northwest Athletic Conference victory.

"Everything was just kind of flowing tonight for everyone," UAA senior Kimya Jafroudi said.

UAA (10-4, 5-1 GNAC) controlled the match from the service line, UAA coach Chris Green said, making it difficult for Simon Fraser (2-11, 0-7) to pass the ball.

"It was a good win for us for sure," Green said. "I think we played pretty well, overall good fundamentals, we passed well, we served great, pretty good job blocking. Two service errors was definitely a record low for this year."

UAA freshman Katelynn Zanders led the team with 17 kills, eliciting some of the loudest cheers with some vicious hits. She saved one of her best hits for last, sealing the match with a big cross-court blast that barely stayed in on the right side.

Fellow freshman Julia Mackey also delivered some big hits on her way to 12 kills and junior Jodi Huddleston contributed eight.

Jafroudi dished 40 of the team's 43 assists and even notched a couple of kills. Both came on sneaky-looking dumps, in which she jumped up and redirected the ball with her fingertips, pushing it straight down on the other side of the net instead of setting it for a teammate. Each time, the play caught Simon Fraser off guard and lead to an easy point.

"It's always fun for me, because I don't think teams really expect me to be able to do that," Jafroudi said. "I don't know what it feels like to be a hitter, but it's always fun getting kills."

The match should serve as a confidence booster, Jafroudi said, and it couldn't have come at a better time. The Seawolves are eagerly anticipating a tough test Saturday when they host nationally ranked Western Washington (No. 16).

"Been looking forward to it all year," Zanders said. "Hopefully it will be a good one."

The Seawolves have enjoyed recent success against Western Washington, winning the last two meetings, but the Vikings own the overall edge with a 25-12 record against UAA.

Western Washington is the favorite to win the GNAC, Green said, and comes equipped with one of the league's top players in 5-foot-10 senior outside hitter Marlayna Geary. Geary averages a GNAC-best 4.46 kills per set, a .314 attack percentage and 2.74 digs per set to lead a Vikings team with few weaknesses.

"They're just good," Green said. "They're a very well-coached, solid team. They play great defense and they have a couple big time hitters, so it will be a huge challenge."

The plan of attack against Western Washington will strongly resemble the one the Seawolves used Thursday.

"If we can serve well like we did tonight and maybe pass better than we did tonight, we'll compete," Green said.

After struggling throughout the first set, Simon Fraser bounced back with better play early in the second, good enough to stay even at 8-8. The Seawolves pulled away, however, building a 12-10 lead before Jafroudi served for nine straight points to put the Seawolves up 21-10.

The third set followed the same flow as the second, with Simon Fraser hanging tough early and UAA pulling away.

 

Reach Jeremy Peters at jpeters@adn.com or 257-4335.

 


By JEREMY PETERS
jpeters@adn.com