The UAA volleyball team has officially started a new winning streak.
With a 23-25, 25-16, 25-20, 25-20 road win against Great Northwest Athletic Conference foe Western Oregon, the Seawolves have won two straight matches to improve to 17-8 and 11-2 in conference.
The win gave UAA a sweep in the season series with Western Oregon (8-14, 5-7 GNAC) for the first time since 2009. With five matches remaining in the regular season, the Seawolves still hold a half-game lead over Western Washington in the race for first in the GNAC.
UAA started GNAC play on a nine-game winning streak before losing two straight home matches and then rebounding with two straight road wins. Saturday's victory in Monmouth, Ore., included its share of ugly moments, but the Seawolves collected themselves after losing a close first set.
"Our hitters weren't very sharp tonight, but we still did well enough to get the win," said UAA coach Chris Green.
UAA committed 12 hitting errors in the first set, on their way to a -.100 hitting percentage. UAA still had a shot to win the set, leading 23-22, but surrendered three straight points and fittingly lost on a hit that sailed long.
Outside hitter Katelynn Zanders picked up her game in the second set and the rest of the Seawolves followed. UAA posted its highest hitting percentage in the second set, hitting .351 with just three hitting errors.
"Zanders had a rough first game, but after that had a great match," Green said. "Brooke Pottle had a nice match, hitting. Our serving was amazing, we had 10 aces."
Zanders finished with a match-high 14 kills and her 16 digs gives her 10 double-doubles on the season. Pottle also posted a double-double, smacking 10 kills to go with 17 digs. Sophomore hitter Caitlin McLnerney posted three career highs, hitting .350 for 10 kills and four assists.
The third set was tight until the end, with UAA clinging to a 20-19 lead before closing on a 5-1 run. Erin Braun, who finished with five kills and four block assists, provided consecutive kills for the final two points.
The fourth set was tied 19-19, but again UAA closed strong, starting a 5-0 run on a perfectly placed kill from freshman setter Morgan Hooe that set the stage for Zanders to strike with match point.
Hooe came up with a career-high three aces to go with 19 assists and 11 digs, and senior setter Siobhan Johansen's contribution included 22 assists, seven digs and two aces.
UAA returns home this week for a Saturday match with UAF at 7 p.m.
Reach Jeremy Peters at firstname.lastname@example.org or 257-4335.
By JEREMY PETERS