Two game splits seem like they’re becoming the norm for the University of Alaska at Fairbanks’ volleyball team. While they’re likely looking forward to more wins, the Nanooks will certainly take being above .500.
Two weeks after sweeping Northwest Nazarene University, UAF split the weekend series with NNU with a loss on Friday and a win on Saturday. The ‘Nooks are now 5-4 on the season.
The split pattern has become rather routine for UAF. They split their first two games of the season before losing on their second day of competition. After sweeping NNU two weeks ago, the ‘Nooks split last weekends’ series with UAA before splitting this past weekend as well. Still, at one game above .500, UAF has won more than they’ve lost and they’ll certainly take that.
Friday’s game was one to forget as the Nanooks were swept 24-26, 19-25, and 20-25. Emily Moorhead and Lahra Weber each had nine kills in that game to lead the ‘Nooks, Cate Whitling had 25 assists, and Dani Dodge was once again the dig leader with 10. Weber added eight digs to finish second on the team.
Saturday’s game, however, was certainly one to remember. UAF started strong with a 26-24 win in the first set, fell behind after dropping two sets in a row 12-25 and 18-25, and rebounded to win the last two sets 25-19 and 15-6.
Set one was a thriller as UAF found themselves down 10-14 before battling back to take a 20-19 lead. The two teams battled to a 24-24 tie after that before NNU committed two consecutive errors to give the Nanooks the set.
UAF was handedly outplayed in the next two sets, but seized control after that. After trailing 7-8, Weber picked up back-to-back kills to put UAF up 9-8 and the ‘Nooks never trailed again in taking the set 25-19. While the two teams got off to a 2-2 tie, UAF scored five straight to go up 7-2 and easily took the final set to get the win.
AveRee Reynolds and Weber led the way in the second game by picking up 15 kills each. Whitling was astonishing in the passing column, racking up 50 assists for the game while also adding 16 digs. Reynolds also added 16 digs while Dodge once again led the ‘Nooks on defense with 17 digs.
UAF will be back in action again this weekend with a home stand against arch rival UAA. The two teams will play Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 1 p.m.
Contact sports reporter Hart Pisani at 459-7530 or follow him on twitter.com/hpisani91.