FAIRBANKS — The Alaska Nanooks volleyball team experienced a double whammy in Anchorage on Saturday night.
They suffered their ninth loss in a row with a five-set defeat against the Alaska Anchorage Seawolves despite an excellent effort in the Wells Fargo Sports Complex. The Nanooks won the first two sets by identical 25-22 scores before UAA rallied for 25-17, 25-20,
15-10 results in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference game.
The Nanooks (0-5 GNAC,
2-9 overall) also saw outstanding freshman outside hitter Ixchelle Oleson sustain a serious knee injury.
“She blew a knee,” Nanooks head coach Phil Shoemaker said in a hushed tone during a telephone interview.
“Nothing’s been done officially yet, but it’s a tough one,” he added.
Oleson had contributed six kills and three digs before she was injured in the third set.
“When she went down, there certainly was a momentum shift that we were not able to compensate,” Shoemaker said. “She gives a physical presence at the net that we were not able to duplicate with anyone else.”
The Nanooks, said Shoemaker, played with confidence in the first two sets.
“We made a couple of modifications in the lineup that seemed to be doing OK,” he said. “I felt like we had a favorable matchup with Anchorage. We were doing lots of good things, playing hard, and obviously, Sam Harthun and Alli Oddy were getting us off to a great start.”
Harthun, a freshman outside hitter, led the Nanooks with 24, matching a game high, and she contributed 11 digs, three block assists and an ace. Allison Oddy, a senior libero, generated a night-best 37 digs to go with five kills, four assists and an ace.
Freshman setter Katlyn Mataya produced 46 assists and 10 digs, and Reilly Stevens had 15 digs and five kills.
“We had some great individual performances, but kind of get lost in the shuffle because nobody really cares about the individual stuff at the end of the game, whether you win as a team or you lose as a team,” Shoemaker said.
“It’s tough to feel good about the individual performances and great efforts when you don’t get the final outcome you’re after,” he said.
The Seawolves (4-1, 9-4) got double-digit kills from four players, including 13 from freshman outside hitter Julia Mackey, a former West Valley High School standout. Sarah Johnson led UAA with 24 kills, Katelynn Zanders had 14 and Jodi Huddleston provided 12.
Johnson also had 24 digs and Kimya Jafroudi recorded a game-high 59 assists along with her 12 digs.
The Nanooks return home to the Patty Center for GNAC contests against Western Washington on Thursday and Simon Fraser on Saturday. Each game starts at 7 p.m.