Playing without injured senior setter Kimya Jafroudi, but with junior Siobhan Johansen filling in nicely, the UAA volleyball team held onto a piece of third place in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference with Thursday night's sweep of visiting Montana State-Billings.
Johansen delivered 31 assists and freshman hitter Julia Mackey blasted a career-high 18 kills, including 10 in the first set, to spearhead a 25-19, 25-21, 25-18 victory at the Wells Fargo Sports Complex.
Jafroudi, who usually orchestrates the Seawolves' attack, suffered a sprained ankle in practice Wednesday and is questionable for Saturday's home match against Seattle Pacific.
The win improved UAA to 16-7 overall and 11-4 in the GNAC, where it sits tied with Central Washington, which won its match Thursday night at Saint Martin's.
Mackey bombed 10 of her kills in the first set, which UAA trailed 12-11 before reeling off five straight points on three consecutive kills by Mackey and two aces by senior Nikkie Viotto. UAA never trailed again in the set.
Mackey added six kills in the second set, when UAA trailed 15-14 before winning five straight points in a run that included two kills by Viotto and one by junior Jodi Huddleston.
Huddleston, who finished with six kills, one block and four block assists, cranked four kills in the third set, as did freshman Katelynn Zanders. Zanders finished with eight kills.
Besides running the offense, Johansen also made a team-high 13 digs, served two aces and furnished three block assists before a crowd of 469. Freshman Sarah Johnson and sophomore Jordan Bush each contributed 12 digs.
Monica Grimsrud led the Yellowjackets (10-13, 7-8 GNAC) with 10 kills, Jody Lutz added seven and Chelsey Walter had six. Erin Compton made a match-high 17 digs for Billings.
In other GNAC action, fifth-place Seattle Pacific swept at UAF 25-18, 25-20, 25-18. UAF is tied for eighth in the 10-team league.
Anchorage Daily News