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After season’s first loss, UAA volleyball team bounces back

  • Author: Anchorage Daily News
  • Updated: September 1, 2018
  • Published September 1, 2018

The UAA volleyball team won't enter conference play with an undefeated record, but at least the Seawolves won't be coming off a loss.

UAA's five-match winning streak ended Saturday morning with a three-set loss to Cal State-East Bay at the Division II West Region Volleyball Showcase in Irvine, California.

The 25-15, 25-17, 25-20 defeat was the team's first of the season, but the Seawolves got back on track a few hours later by stopping Notre Dame de Namur in four sets.

Their 22-25, 25-15, 26-24, 25-17 win over the Argonauts leaves them with a 6-1 record heading into their first Great Northwest Athletic Conference match of the season. UAA plays Northwest Nazarene on Thursday at the Alaska Airlines Center.

UAA's final match in California turned into a showcase for freshman Eve Stephens, a Colony High grad. She ripped a team-high 19 kills to lead a strong attack that turned back Notre Dame de Namur.

Stephens posted a .410 attack percentage (19 kills and 3 errors on 39 attacks) and was joined in double figures by Tara Melton (14 kills), Chrisalyn Johnson (13) and Vanessa Boyer (12).

Four players contributed double-figure digs, including Taylor Noga with a career-high and match-high 22. Noga also served four aces.

It was a shaky day for the Seawolves, who ran into a hard-hitting East Bay match in the morning and trailed early against NDNU in the afternoon.

With the match against the Argos tied after two sets, UAA trailed 23-20 in the third set. The Seawolves rallied behind three kills by Stephens.

"We played very well in the fourth set, but it was all made possible by that comeback in the third," UAA coach Chris Green said in a release from the school. "It could have been a very rough day, so I'm glad we found a way to recover from whatever seemed to affect us in the first match and in the first set against NDNU."

In the loss to East Bay (4-3), UAA was led by Johnson's 11 kills and Anjoilyn Vreeland's 12 digs. East Bay outhit the Seawolves, .402 to .151.

The Seawolves came from behind for a five-set match against Cal State-San Marcos, 21-25, 21-25, 25-18, 25-22, 15-8, and then swept Concordia-Irvine, 25-18, 25-23, 25-20.

Johnson slammed a combined 25 kills and Melton had a combined 14 block assists to lead the Seawolves in the two victories.

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