UAA volleyball team racks up Senior Night victory

The UAA volleyball team had a big night Saturday. It swept its opponent, honored its seniors and played what was likely the last college volleyball match at the Wells Fargo Sports Complex.

The Seawolves beat Simon Fraser 26-24, 25-11, 25-10 in their final home match of the season, which is likely to also to be their final match at the Wells Fargo gym -- UAA's new arena is expected to open in time for next year's volleyball season.

Honored before the Senior Night match were Siobhan Johansen and Jodi Huddleston, the team's lone seniors. Johansen turned in 11 assists and five digs and Huddleston had two blocks and two kills to help UAA improve to 19-9 overall and 13-3 in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.

Sophomore Katelynn Zanders ripped 17 kills, including back-to-back attacks in the first set that twice denied Simon Fraser set-point, allowing UAA to rally for the 26-24 win.

UAA outhit, outdug, outblocked and outserved Simon Fraser (11-11, 6-10). The Clan struggled with their attack, finishing with a .020 attack percentage to UAA's .292.

Even so, Simon Fraser nearly won the first set. The Canadians led 24-22 when UAA called a timeout so coach Chris Green could draw up a play for Zanders. The play worked twice in a row for a 24-24 tie, and UAA's Maureen Sabado and Erin Braun teamed up to provide the final two points with blocks.

After that, UAA dominated. In the final set, the Seawolves scored the final nine points to run away with the victory.

On a night when South High won the state high school volleyball championship at Chugiak High, UAA got big matches out of three former Wolverines -- Zanders, Sarah Johnson and Morgan Hooe. Johnson had a season-high 14 kills and Hooe piled up 26 assists, eights digs and a career-high four blocks.

Junior Quinn Barker came up with a match-high 18 digs and Braun had a career-high nine block assists

UAA remains one match behind league-leading Western Washington. Both teams have two matches remaining -- UAA plays Montana State-Billings and Seattle Pacific on the road, and Western plays Simon Fraser twice, once at home and once on the road.

The GNAC champ will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA West Region championships.

Anchorage Daily News