Seawolves Sweep Sonoma Pod for Team of the Week
Alaska Anchorage ranks third in the conference in blocks with 2.50 per set. Photo by Sarah Rutherford.
Alaska Anchorage ranks third in the conference in blocks with 2.50 per set. Photo by Sarah Rutherford.

Monday, September 12, 2016

PORTLAND  – For the second time in as many years, a run of four wins in non-conference play lands Alaska Anchorage Red Lion/GNAC Team of the Week honors. This week, the Seawolves defeated four of the top teams in the West Region at the D2 West Region Volleyball Showcase to extend the team’s current winning streak to nine matches.

The Seawolves faced four teams ranked or receiving votes in the AVCA Division II Coaches poll at the Sonoma State pod of the D2 West Region Volleyball Showcase, which was played at six sites hosted by CCAA schools featuring all West Region volleyball teams. The teams were divided based on how they finished the 2015 season, so UAA was pitted against the best teams in the region as a result of its first-place finish in GNAC play last year.

In the opener, the Seawolves came back from a 2-1 deficit against No. 15 Cal State San Bernardino to win 20-25, 25-21, 24-26, 25-23, and 15-11. In the five-set triumph, setter Morgan Hooe dished 47 assists and tallied 12 digs. Sophomore outside hitter Leah Swiss posted a double-double, tallying 26 kills and 15 digs, while hitting at a .480 clip with two aces.

"We showed resiliency against San Bernardino in being able to win the match after being down 2-1,” head coach Chris Green said.

On Friday, Alaska Anchorage engaged in a rematch of its first-round match at the NCAA West Region Championships against Dixie State. Sophomore libero Kyla Militante-Amper, who was named to the all-tournament team, spearheaded the Seawolves defensive effort with 30 digs while adding four aces in the four-set victory. Militante-Amper had a total of 95 digs, pacing the tournament with 5.94 digs per set and had at least 20 digs in each of the four wins.

“We had some very good individual performances by most of our players,” Green said, “and Morgan Hooe, Leah Swiss and Kyla Militante-Amper played well in every match."

In the first of two Saturday matches, UAA defeated No. 25 California Baptist in four sets.  Swiss led the Seawolves’ offense with 17 kills in that match. In the tournament, Swiss registered 67 kills with a .331 hitting percentage, earning a spot on the all-tournament team. Later in the day, Alaska Anchorage ran its streak to six consecutive sets won with a 3-0 win over host Sonoma State. Erin Braun tallied six kills and six blocks in the fourth victory of the weekend for the Seawolves.

Thanks in large part to a defense that has produced a GNAC-best opponent hitting percentage of .116, the Seawolves are now on a nine-match winning streak since taking a 3-0 loss at Chaminade on Aug. 26. Alaska Anchorage also ranks third in blocks (2.50 per set) and fourth aces (2.08 per set) in the GNAC, which had five teams post 4-0 marks in the D2 West Region Volleyball Showcase. Overall, the GNAC went 31-13 in the tournament.

“At times our offense was very efficient, but our defense, including our blocking, was consistently efficient throughout the tournament,” Green said. “ We also served aggressively which helped keep other teams from consistently running their potent offenses.”

The Seawolves will open GNAC play on Friday when they host Saint Martin’s, which also went 4-0 this week. The Seawolves finish the week on Saturday, hosting Seattle Pacific.