Alaska Anchorage Holds Off Volleyball In Tight Three-Set Road Match

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The Western Oregon University volleyball team played a pair of close sets down the stretch, but Alaska Anchorage was able to hold on in both of them to claim the 3-0 win (25-8, 25-23, 25-23) in Great Northwest Athletic Conference action Thursday night inside the Alaska Airlines Center.

Isabel Hurliman led the offense with 10 kills and just missed a double-double with nine digs. Bailee Hartsook added seven kills. Aubrey Stanton dished out 16 assists and Laney O’Neil added eight. on defense, Sophie Matlock posted 11 digs and Ally Henry added seven. Sarah CrowellBella MacLellan and Delaney Smith all sent back two blocks.

In the first set, WOU (4-20, 2-15 GNAC) fought back to tie at three on a double-block by Crowell and Delaney Smith and then at four on a service error before Alaska Anchorage (18-11, 11-6 GNAC) reeled off the next nine points for a 13-4 lead. The Wolves tried to get back into the set with points from Hurliman, Lauren SmithMacLellan and Crowell, but the Seawolves finished the set on a 12-4 run to claim the opening set at 25-8.

That momentum carried into the second set with UAA moving out to a 4-0 lead. Still trailing 10-5, the Wolves started to chip away. Hurliman collected a kill and after a service ace by Stanton, Hurliman closed the quick 3-0 run with another kill. Trailing 14-10, WOU pulled right back to within a point following another 3-0 run. Following two attack errors, a Matlock service ace had the Seawolves holding a 14-13 lead. With UAA still ahead at 21-19, the Wolves made a late push to take the lead. Hartsook tallied a kill and after a service ace by Hurliman, MacLellan posted a kill for the 22-21 lead for WOU. After UAA claimed the next two points, the Wolves evened the set at 23 before the Seawolves tallied two straight kills to hold on for the 25-23 second set win.

Similar to the second set, UAA moved out to a 7-3 lead in the third set. WOU caught fire to score the next six points and take a 9-7 lead. Hartsook started the rally with a kill, O’Neil added a service ace, Delaney Smith and Crowell combined for a double-block, then a Delaney Smith kill followed before a service ace by O’Neil and a bad set from the Seawolves left WOU with the two-point lead. The advantage moved out to four at 14-10 on a kill by Lauren Smith† The lead stretched to five off another service ace by O’Neil at 18-13. Still ahead at 20-16, UAA tallied the next three points to trim the deficit to one. The Wolves kept coming taking advantage of a service error with a double-block by MacLellan and Hurliman for the 22-19 lead. After UAA reeled off the next three points to even the set at 22, a kill by Hurliman pushed WOU back ahead at 23-22. The Seawolves closed the third set strong with two straight kills, before an attack error by the Wolves gave UAA the third set at 25-23 and the match at 3-0.

WOU tallied 29 kills to 22 errors in 105 chances (.067), while UAA had 37 kills to 11 errors in 96 chances (.271). The Seawolves held the advantage in service aces (11-7), blocks (7-4), assists (37-27) and digs (46-39).

Eve Stephens, Akor Maywin and Lisa Jaunet all led the Seawolves with eight kills. Ellen Floyd dished out 32 assists. On defense, Maywin had five blocks and Talia Leauanae added 17 digs.

WOU will continue the Alaska road trip when they will face Alaska Fairbanks on Saturday afternoon starting at 3 pm (Pacific). The Nanooks picked up a 3-0 win on Thursday against Saint Martin’s.

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