Special Sweeps Award Alaska GNAC Team Of The Week
There was plenty to celebrate for the Nanooks this weekend in Fairbanks.
There was plenty to celebrate for the Nanooks this weekend in Fairbanks.

Monday, October 1, 2018

PORTLAND, Ore. – It was a special week for Alaska volleyball as the Nanooks picked up a pair of three-set sweeps against visiting Western Oregon and Concordia over the weekend.

It was the first time in 14 seasons that the program posted back-to-back GNAC sweeps at home, the last time coming in October of 2004 (vs. Northwest Nazarene and Seattle). The pair of victories earned UAF the selection as GNAC Team of the Week.

Head coach Brian Scott’s team was led by sophomore setter Cate Whiting, who recorded 66 assists and 14 digs across the two matches. Whiting is the team-leader in assists and is currently ranked in the top-five in the GNAC.

In total, it was a balanced attack and strong defense that allowed Alaska to earn the pair of sweeps. For Scott, it was exactly what was needed after a challenging stretch of matches against some of the conference’s top teams.

“It was a nice team effort this week for sure,” said the fourth-year head coach. “I have been pleased with how we have responded to some adversity in the first half of conference play against some great GNAC opponents.”

That team effort paved the way to a third-set comeback on Saturday against a Cavaliers team that currently sits in the top-half of the league standings. After commanding the majority of sets one and two, the Nanooks rallied from 18-15 and 21-19 deficits to take the third set, 25-22.

A focus on keeping the competition-level high at all points throughout the match paid off for UAF in that one.

“Regardless of the scoreboard and wins or losses, this group competes hard,” Scott said. “They come to practice with the intention of making improvements and their efforts have paid off. We’re looking forward to more adversity and growth as conference play continues.”

As the wins start to come in, some Nanooks are beginning to climb the ranks in the national statistic categories as well. Freshmen libero Makena Overbey has made the biggest impact in her first year on campus, ranking 66th in Division II with 5.02 digs per set.

Alaska will go for its first three-match winning streak of the season when it returns to the court on Thursday at Seattle Pacific. The match is scheduled for a 7 p.m. (Pacific) start inside Brougham Pavilion.