FAIRBANKS — The Alaska Nanooks volleyball team got a lesson on what you have to do to be in the upper echelon of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference on Saturday night in Bellingham, Wash.
The GNAC leaders and 17th-ranked Western Washington Vikings administered the class as they rolled to a 25-11, 25-17, 25-11 triumph against the short-handed Nanooks.
“It was good for us to play a team of that caliber so our younger players recognize what a top-ranked team looks like,” veteran Alaska coach Phil Shoemaker said via telephone following the match.
Shoemaker said he was most impressed with Western’s defense as the Vikings either blocked or dug everything the Nanooks tried to pound at them.
“They just have outstanding defense and ball control,” Shoemaker said. “Everything we hit at them was defended.”
The Vikings held the Nanooks to a -0.38 attack percentage, 46 digs, 22 block assists and 15 team blocks.
The Nanooks were without junior outside hitter Kerri Knight, who missed the match because of illness.
“We really missed her leadership tonight,” Shoemaker said.
Freshmen Megan Morrison and Sam Harthun led the Nanooks with nine and seven kills, respectively, Senior libero Allison Oddy had 18 digs and freshman setter Katlyn Mataya had
“They double- and triple-teamed Sam all night long,” Shoemaker said. “Katlyn Mataya played her heart out, Allison Oddy gave us leadership and Megan Morrison battled hard.”
Western spread its offense around as Marlayna Geary led the team with eight kills. Samantha Hutchinson had 21 digs and Laurie Yearout registered 29 assists.
“We had out bright spots, but Western played an outstanding match, so kudos to them,” Shoemaker said.
The Nanooks fell to
5-15 on the season and
3-11 in conference play. Western Washington improved its league-leading record to
13-2 and the Vikings are
The Nanooks return home to host Seattle-Pacific at
7 p.m. Thursday at the Patty Center. Alaska hosts Montana State Billings at 4 p.m. Saturday for Senior Day.