UAA Athletics

UAA volleyball team fends off Sharks to open the season with 2 straight victories in Hawaii


Chaminade University won a close four-set battle with UAA in Saturday’s late match, 25-23, 22-25, 26-24, 25-23. Eve Stephens racked up 22 kills and 15 digs, and Ellen Floyd furnished 42 assists, five kills and 16 digs.

Original story:

The UAA volleyball team is back in Hawaii, and the Seawolves are having a little more fun in paradise than they did four months ago.

The Seawolves opened their season with back-to-back victories over Hawaii Pacific, sweeping the Sharks on Friday night and again Saturday afternoon.

The matches were the first of four in Honolulu, where UAA was set to play Chaminade on Saturday night and again Sunday afternoon.

The results were a reversal from how UAA ended last season. During a trip to the islands in late April, the Seawolves lost their final two matches for their first back-to-back losses since 2017.

UAA survived an inconsistent performance against Hawaii Pacific on Friday night, fending off set point in both the second and third sets to win 25-21, 27-25, 26-24. It posted a tepid attack percentage of .122, and coach Chris Green lamented the offensive showing.

“We need to play much better tomorrow,” he said.

They did. A .361 attack percentage and a practically perfect match from middle blocker Vera Pluharova sparked a 25-17, 25-13, 25-13 victory.

Pluharova, a senior from the Czech Republic, put down 11 kills with zero errors on 12 attack attempts to set a new school record. Her attack percentage of .917 broke the 20-year-old record of .909 set by Janelle Veith in 2001.

Also hitting with consistently were junior right-side hitter Eve Stephens (13 kills on 39 attempts, .241%), sophomore outside hitter Lisa Jaunet (10 kills on 17 attemps, .412%) and freshman outside hitter Mahala Kaapuni (6 kills on 12 attempts, .333%).

Keeping everybody busy was junior setter Ellen Floyd, who handed out 38 assists.

“Ellen and Vera connected very well today thanks in part to some good serve-receive play by our primary passers,” Green said in a press release from the school.

UAA held Hawaii Pacific to minus-.045 hitting and outdug the Sharks 34-21.

On Friday, Stephens had 12 kills, eight digs and three aces, Pluharova added seven kills (five in the final set when things were close) and Floyd finished with 27 assists, four aces and two block assists.

Jaunet — who is from France and spent two seasons at State College of Florida before joining the Seawolves — tallied six kills, 11 digs and a solo block while going 11 for 11 on serve receive.