The UAA volleyball team opened the conference season by breezing past Seattle Pacific in three sets Thursday night in Seattle.
The Seawolves used a solid block and a balanced attack to win their third straight match while playing their fifth straight road match. Vanessa Hayes slammed a match-high 11 kills and Eve Stephens added seven, including two that accounted for the final two points in UAA’s 25-18, 25-15, 25-11 Great Northwest Athletic Conference victory.
UAA improved to 6-3 overall and 4-1 on its current road trip, which ends Saturday with a conference match at Saint Martin’s in Lacey, Washington.
Seattle Pacific hasn’t had a home-court victory over the Seawolves since 2011, and the Falcons contributed mightily to UAA’s latest win. They committed 24 hitting errors and missed 10 serves while slipping to 0-1 in the GNAC and 3-6 overall.
The Seawolves unleashed an attack that was both accurate and balanced. They limited their hitting errors to five to finish with an attack percentage of .375, and they showed off their balance late in the match by scoring three straight points off kills from three different players — Hayes, Ellen Floyd and Vera Pluharova — for a 23-10 lead. They clinched the win with the consecutive kills from Stephens.
Hayes had kills on 11 of 28 attack attempts to lead an offense that also included six kills from Kayla McGlathery, five from Hannah Pembroke and four from Pluharova, a key member of a strong front row that outblocked Seattle Pacific 8-1. Pluharova had six block assists and Floyd had four to go along with 29 assists and 10 digs.
The Seawolves were coming off a 3-1 performance at last week’s Division II West Region Showcase tournament in California, which marked the end of their nonconference season.
They return to Anchorage and the Alaska Airlines Center on Tuesday for a conference match against the rival Nanooks of UAF.