With a boost coming from a sophomore from Anchorage, the UAF volleyball team is off to a good start thanks to a solid showing at the season-opening UAA Invitational.
The Nanooks won twice Saturday at the Alaska Airlines Center to leave town with a 2-1 record.
The host Seawolves played Saturday's late match against Michigan Tech. UAA entered the match with a 2-0 record and Tech was 3-0.
Tatum Upchurch, a 5-foot-11 outside hitter from South High, slammed a match-high 18 kills in UAF's four-set win over Western New Mexico. In a three-set sweep of Barton College, she piled up 11 kills and 10 digs.
It was the second double-double of the season for Upchurch, who posted 13 kills and 14 digs in a five-set loss to Michigan Tech on Friday.
On Friday, UAA survived a 30-kill night by Barton outside hitter Kaytlin Elkins to win in four sets.
The Seawolves prevailed 25-19, 25-14, 24-26, 25-17 behind a double-double from Chrisalyn Johnson and a big blocking effort.
Johnson's 15 kills and 15 digs and the team's 14 blocks were enough to subdue the Bulldogs, an NCAA tournament team last season that left Anchorage with a 0-4 record.
It was the 26th career double-double for Johnson, a senior outside hitter from Anchorage.
Freshman Eve Stephens was in on seven blocks and Vera Pluharova contributed two solo blocks for the Seawolves, who opened the tournament Thursday with a four-set victory over Western New Mexico.
Next up for UAA is the Division II West Region Showcase in Irvine, California, where the Seawolves will play four matches in two days.
UAF 3, Western New Mexico 1 (25-19, 23-25, 25-20, 25-21)
Michigan Tech 3, Barton 0 (25-13, 25-16, 25-15)
UAF 3, Barton 0 (25-15, 25-18, 25-18)
UAA vs. Michigan Tech, late
Michigan Tech 3, UAF 2 (15-25, 25-19, 21-25, 25-21, 15-7)
Western New Mexico 3, Barton 1 (25-15, 22-25, 25-11, 25-15)
Michigan Tech 3, Western New Mexico 1 (24-26, 25-19, 25-17, 25-17)
UAA 3, Barton 1 (25-19, 25-14, 24-26, 25-17)