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UAA volleyball team returns from Fairbanks with a winning season in the bag

  • Author: Anchorage Daily News
  • Updated: April 17
  • Published April 17

The UAA volleyball team avenged a rare home loss to the rival Nanooks by sweeping a two-match series in Fairbanks this weekend, victories that guarantee a 13th straight winning season.

Propelled by Eve Stephens’ 16 kills, nine digs and five blocks Friday and Ellen Floyd’s record-tying seven aces Saturday, the Seawolves moved to 9-1 in a season pushed from last fall to this spring by COVID-19.

With five matches left in their brief season, the Seawolves are assured of a winning record. Their lone loss is a five-set setback to UAF three weeks ago, a match that marked UAF’s first win in Anchorage since 2010.

Ellen Floyd

Friday’s big match from Stephens powered a four-set win over the Nanooks 25-19, 25-15, 18-25, 25-17. Floyd’s serving and setting sparked Saturday’s three set win 25-20, 25-20, 25-13.

Floyd’s seven aces tie the school record set by Anjoilyn Vreeland in a five-set match against UAF in 2019.

The junior setter also handed out 33 assists Saturday while running an offense that hit a season-high .386 with 41 kills against seven errors. Stephens had a match-high 10 kills, and teammates Hannah Pembroke (9 kills), Nicole Blue (8) and Vera Pluharova (7) combined for 24 more while making just one attack error apiece.

“Offensively we did a great job, led by Ellen’s setting choices and set locations,” UAA coach Chris Green said in a release from the school.

Pembroke had 10 kills on Friday to finish the weekend with 19, second only to the 26 registered by Stephens, a junior All-American. Other weekend leaders included Talia Leauanae (34 digs, including 21 on Friday) and Mahala Kaapuni (13 kills, 7 blocks).

The match was the last of the season for the Nanooks, who finished with a 5-6 record.

UAA wraps up its season next week with five matches in Hawaii.