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.

University of Alaska Fairbanks Volleyball juniors, outside hitter Lahra Weber and setter Cate Whiting, were named to the Great Northwest Athletic Conference 2019 Volleyball Preseason All-Conference Team on Monday.

Weber and Whiting, both All-GNAC First Team selections following the conclusion of the 2018 season, were two of 14 players receiving the preseason honor.

Weber led the Nanooks in kills last season with 357 total, averaging 3.61 per set, an average good for fourth best in the conference. Twenty-four of those kills came in her season-best performance on Aug. 31 against Dominican University.

The junior also led the team and ranked fifth in the GNAC with 4.12 points per set and recorded 23 aces, 23 assists, 273 digs and 46 blocks. The 2018 Team MVP also notched 11 double-doubles.

Whiting earned conference honors after finishing fifth in the GNAC in 2018 with 9.97 assists per set to go along with 93 kills, 51 blocks and a .273 hitting percentage. 

She was named the GNAC Offensive Player of the Week on Oct. 8 and the American Volleyball Coaches Association Division II Player of the Week on Oct. 9 after tallying 75 assists, 10 blocks, 12 kills and 20 digs in a pair of wins over Saint Martin’s and Seattle Pacific.

Both athletes were named to the 2018 GNAC Volleyball All-Academic Team. Whiting, a civil engineering major, had the highest grade point average of all 63 selections with a 3.97 out of 4. She also earned the Alaska Nanooks Department of Athletics’ Most Outstanding Female Athlete of the Year award for the 2018-19 academic year.

Whiting and Weber return to the Alaska Airlines Court on Saturday when the 2019 team takes on the Alumni in an exhibition scrimmage at 7 p.m.


Laiti Hired as Community Engagement Coordinator

UAF alumni and Fairbanks local Lisa Laiti began her duties as the Alaska Nanooks Community Engagement Coordinator on Thursday.

According to a press release from the UAF Athletic Department, “Laiti will oversee all Alaska Nanooks community engagement opportunities and will be the department lead in all marketing and promotional efforts, as well as game management.

“Additionally, Laiti will work closely with the Sports Information and Ticketing Offices to increase the visibility of the Alaska Nanooks brand, drive ticket sales and will also work closely to help facilitate corporate sponsorship obligations.”

Laiti graduated from UAF in May with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and marketing. She holds an associates degree from Bemidji State University, where she played NCAA Division I ice hockey.

Contact News-Miner sports writer Laura Stickells at 459-7530. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMsports.