UAF's Lahra Weber in action during the first set of the GNAC matchup against Simon Fraser Thursday night, Oct. 18, 2018 at the UAF Patty Center.

The University of Alaska Fairbanks was voted Thursday to fifth place in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Volleyball Coaches Poll. 

It’s the highest-ever ranking in the poll for the Nanooks, who finished fourth in the 2018 regular season of the 11-team NCAA Division II conference.

UAF ended at 14-13 overall for its most wins since a 15-10 outcome in 2008. The Nanooks’ 12-8 effort in GNAC games are the team’s most conference wins since a 13-5 finish in 2003.

The Nanooks gathered 75 points in this year’s poll, and placed two spots higher than in last year’s poll. The GNAC’s 11 head coaches voted for the poll and the votes were awarded on an 11-1 scale.

“We are excited to get the season started and pick up where we left off last year,” Nanooks head coach Brian Scott said Thursday in a UAF news release.

“We made large strides in our development and maybe that is reflected in the preseason ranking.

“We are not content to finish there and we have every intention of putting forth whatever effort it takes to finish as one of the best teams in the GNAC this season.”

The Nanooks returned 10 players from last season, including all starters, and have four newcomers.

Western Washington and Central Washington each received 114 points to tie for first place in the poll, and Alaska Anchorage was voted third with 93 points. The complete 2019 poll is available at gnacsports.com.

The poll came on the eve of the Nanooks’ annual Blue-Gold game at 7 p.m. today on the Alaska Airlines Court in the UAF Patty Center. Admission is free and the scrimmage is open to the public.


Hoops clinic

The UAF women’s basketball team is hosting a high school coed elite basketball clinic from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturday on the Alaska Airlines Court in the Patty Center.

The camp is open to elite high school-aged boys and girls, and offers players opportunities to sharpen their skills before the 2019-20 season.

Nanooks women’s basketball players and coaching staff will be conducting the clinic.

Registration is at the door and the cost is $30 per participant. All proceeds of the clinic go the Nanooks women’s basketball team.

Participants should bring athletic clothes, gym shoes, water and a snack.

Contact Nanooks assistant coach Jesse Craig at 474-5566 or jacraig@alaska.edu for more information on the clinic.

Contact News-Miner sports editor Danny Martin at 459-7586. Follow him on Twitter:@newsminersports.