UAA Athletics

UAA’s offense fizzles in three-set volleyball loss to nationally ranked Central Missouri

UAA’s homecourt advantage vanished along with its offense Saturday night in the final match of the Seawolf Invitational volleyball tournament.

Nationally ranked Central Missouri turned a showdown between the tournament’s top two teams into a one-sided show, becoming the first team in four years to sweep the Seawolves at the Alaska Airlines Center.

The Jennies put up a strong block and benefitted from a slew of UAA mistakes in a 25-18, 25-13, 25-18 victory. They finished the six-team tournament with a 4-0 record.

The last time UAA was swept at home was Sept. 8, 2017. Since moving into the Alaska Airlines Center in 2014, the Seawolves have suffered three-set losses on only four occasions.

Saturday’s crowd of 723 watched the Seawolves make nearly as many hitting errors (27) as kills (28) while barely keeping their team attack percentage on the plus side of things (.008).

Central Missouri outblocked the Seawolves 9-3 and got a double-double from Kersti Nix, who totaled 15 kills, 12 digs and four block assists and was named the tournament’s most outstanding player.

Hannah Engelkin added six kills and six block assists and Ally Offerdahl had 25 assists to help the Jennies compile a .222 attack percentage.

Except for senior middle blocker Vera Pluharova, UAA’s hitters struggled.

Pluharova hit .462 with eight kills and two errors on 13 attack attempts, but everyone else with multiple attack attempts hit .167 or lower. Eve Stephens, a junior All-American, provided a team-high nine kills, but seven hitting errors left her with a .051 attack percentage.

The three-day tournament marked the Seawolves’ return to the Alaska Airlines Center after a 649-day absence. They couldn’t use the arena last season because it was turned into an alternate care site and vaccination center for COVID-19.

Saturday’s loss ended a four-match winning streak for UAA, which slipped to 6-2. The Seawolves head north to Fairbanks this week for the Nanook Classic, a six-team tournament that starts Thursday.

Seawolf Invitational

Final standings

Central Missouri 4-0

UAA 3-1

Biola 2-2

UAF 2-2

Indianapolis 1-3

Texas A&M International 0-4

All-tournament team

MaKenna Barnhart, Indianapolis

Madison Beebe, Biola

Hannah Engelken, Central Missouri

Ellen Floyd, UAA

Ally Offerdahl, Central Missouri

Eve Stephens, UAA

Cate Whiting, UAF

Most Outstanding Player -- Kersti Nix, Central Missouri

Saturday’s matches

Biola def. Texas A&M International, 3-1 (25-21, 23-25, 25-22, 25-23)

Central Missouri def. Indianapolis, 3-0 (25-20, 25-17, 25-17)

UAF def. Texas A&M International, 3-0 (25-19, 25-14, 25-21)

Indianapolis def. Biola, 3-1 (20-25, 25-20, 25-17, 25-16)

Central Missouri def. UAA, 3-0 (25-18, 25-13, 25-17)

Friday’s matches

UAA def. Texas A&M International, 3-0 (25-20, 25-23, 25-17)

UAF def. Indianapolis, 3-0 (25-23, 25-8, 25-18)

Central Missouri def. Texas A&M International, 3-0 (25-13, 25-19, 25-15)

Biola def. UAF, 3-1 (25-21, 20-25, 25-17, 25-18)

UAA def. Indianapolis, 3-0 (25-22, 25-16, 25-11)

Thursday’s matches

Central Missouri def. UAF, 3-0 (25-17, 25-18, 25-18)

UAA def. Biola University, 3-2 (22-25, 24-26, 28-26, 25-21, 15-8)