The UAA volleyball team is making the game look easy.
The Seawolves extended their winning streak to five matches Thursday and remained undefeated in Great Northwest Athletic Conference play with a sweep of Western Oregon.
UAA (11-6 overall, 5-0 GNAC), which is off to its best league start since the GNAC was founded in 2001, rolled to a 25-17, 25-23, 25-18 win in front of an energetic crowd at the Wells Fargo Sports Complex, getting 11 kills apiece from Katelynn Zanders and Julia Mackey.
“We still have a lot to do to get to our full potential, but it’s going well so far,” said Zanders, who also recorded 14 digs and a pair of aces.
Zanders’ second ace gave UAA a 20-14 lead to help close out the victory over a Western Oregon team that had beaten UAA in five of the previous six meetings and pushed nine of its last 14 opponents to at least four sets.
“We played a pretty scrappy team tonight that really tested us,” UAA coach Chris Green said. “We survived it, so that was good.”
Western Oregon (5-9, 2-2 GNAC) looked like it found its groove in the second set, coming from behind to tie it at 19-19, but UAA’s Sarah Johnson notched back-to-back kills to put UAA up 21-19. Maureen Sabado later provided the set’s winning kill shot to send the Seawolves into the break leading two sets to none.
Sabado led the Seawolves with a .400 hitting percentage, turning in seven kills on 15 attempts with one error. The junior from Kodiak, who came up with some pivotal shots, said she is relishing the opportunity to take on more of an attacking role this season.
“Especially compared to last year,” Sabado said. “Last year I played middle the majority of the time, but being a pin hitter I get more of the balls, so I love it.”
UAA outhit Western Oregon .231 to .124, with UAA’s Siobhan Johansen dishing a team-high 22 assists and Jodi Huddleston coming up with six blocks.
Becky Blees led the Wolves with nine kills, and Jordan Ramos handed out 15 assists.
Western Oregon found some success with soft shots that found gaps in the UAA defense, catching the Seawolves out of their comfort zone by using a finesse game, Green said.
“We don’t play against teams like this very often,” Green said. “They served the ball really well and passed well and usually that wins games for you, and we were able to overcome their great performance in those two areas.”
The Seawolves wrap up a two-game home stand Saturday when they host Saint Martin’s, which entered the week 4-11 overall and 0-3 in GNAC play.
Reach Jeremy Peters at email@example.com or 257-4335.
Anchorage Daily News