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UAA Athletics

Seawolf spikers leave Showcase tournament on winning note

  • Author: Anchorage Daily News
  • Updated: September 14, 2019
  • Published September 14, 2019

Vera Pluharova, left, shown here in a 2018 volleyball match, had a hand in 17 blocks in a pair of victories for the Seawolves on Friday and Saturday. (Bob Hallinen / ADN archives)

The UAA volleyball team wrapped up an important early season tournament Saturday by finishing on a winning note and leaving with a winning record.

The Seawolves swamped the Sea Lions of Point Loma in straight sets 25-21, 25-21, 25-21, to register their third victory in four matches at the Division II West Region Showcase in San Bernardino, California.

The matches are critical because all were against West Region opponents, and a team’s performance against foes from the same region weighs heavily in its chances of gaining a bid in the NCAA postseason tournament.

For the second straight match, Vera Pluharova anchored a strong block for the Seawolves. The junior from the Czech Republic had two solo rejections and six block assists to help UAA outblock Point Loma 11-4.

In a five-set, Friday night thriller against Biola University, Pluharova made a career-high nine blocks (two solo efforts, seven assists) to lead UAA to a 25-17, 18-25, 25-11, 21-25, 16-14 victory. UAA outblocked the Eagles 12-7 in the match.

Further bolstering Saturday’s block for UAA was sophomore Eve Stephens, whose performance also included a match-high 16 kills. Vanessa Hayes, UAA’s only senior, tallied eight kills and a match-high four aces. Anjoilyn Vreeland added a team-high 13 digs and Ellen Floyd had 30 assists and six digs.

The Seawolves will take a 5-3 record into their Great Northwest Athletic Conference opener Tuesday in Seattle, where they will play Seattle Pacific. The match will be their fifth in six days.

UAA was 3-1 at the Showcase tournament. Its only loss was a three-set bruising administered by Cal State San Bernardino, the second-ranked team in the nation. Among its wins was a four-set win over previously undefeated Cal State San Marcos.