The UAA volleyball team started the conference season by ending a rare losing streak Thursday in a drama-laced match in Lacey, Washington.
The Seawolves picked up a five-set victory over Saint Martin’s in their first Great Northwest Athletic Conference match of the season.
Things were back-and-forth for most of the night until the Seawolves took command by scoring the final seven points of the match. Two of them came on aces by Reilly Plumhoff, a freshman from Anchorage.
Plumhoff served six straight points at the end of the match to help UAA pull out a 18-25, 25-14, 23-25, 25-13, 15-9 win and improve to 8-6 overall. Saint Martin’s slipped to 5-4 overall.
“That was a gritty comeback against a tenacious team,” UAA coach Chris Green said in a press release from the school. “Our block started working better late in the match, and we also played some good defense on their attackers.”
UAA entered the match on a three-match losing skid, its first since 2013. Four straight losses is something the Seawolves have never experienced since Green became their coach in 2008.
Four players registered double-digit kills for UAA -- Lisa Jaunet (15), Eve Stephens (13), Mahala Kaapuni (12) and Akor Maywin (11). Stephens had a double-double with 10 digs and Kaapuni came close with nine digs.
Stephens finished with six block assists and Maywin had five to help UAA outblock Saint Martin’s 9-5. The Saints were additionally plagued by 28 attack errors that left them with 40 kills and a .081 attack percentage.
UAA hit .244, getting 61 kills to offset 21 attack errors.
The Seawolves trailed 9-8 in the final set before a kill by Ellen Floyd (40 assists, 18 digs) ignited the seven-point scoring streak that decided things.
That put the ball in Plumhoff’s hands at the service line, where her aces gave UAA leads of 11-9 and 13-9. A bad set by Saint Martin’s made it 14-9 and a kill by Stephens ended it.
UAA continues conference play Saturday with a noon match at Western Oregon.