Volleyball announces field for 2013 Nanook Classic


Jamie Foland

Alaska volleyball head coach Mallory Larranaga, who will be in her first season at the helm next season, has announced the official field for the 2013 Nanook Classic, which takes place Sept. 6-7 at Patty Center, as the Nanooks will host Colorado Christian, Fresno Pacific and Humboldt State.

All three opponents will count towards Alaska’s in-region record as Colorado Christian plays in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, Fresno Pacific is in the Pacific West Conference and Humboldt State competes in the California Collegiate Athletic Association.

“It’s a perfect field for us, mostly because of the region play,” Larranaga said. “We have one PacWest team, one RMAC team and one CCAA team. They are all strong teams in their own ways.”

Last season, the Nanooks finished with a 6-18 overall record and a 4-14 mark in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, to finish eighth in the league standings. At the 2012 Classic, Alaska went 2-1 in the six-match, two-day event.

“Winning is always important, especially in the beginning of the season,” Larranaga said. “We have another competitive weekend immediately before and after that. It’s important to bring great teams in and for our athletes to see what they’ll be up against.”

Colorado Christian went 23-10 last season with a 12-7 record in RMAC play. The Cougars advanced to the semifinals of the RMAC tournament and received a bid to play in the NCAA as the No. 6 seed where they eventually fell in the first round.

Fresno Pacific, which is currently in the transition phase to become a full NCAA Division II member, made quite the impression in its inaugural year in the PacWest, going 28-4 with a 15-1 record in conference play, to finish second. Despite not being able to compete at NCAA Championship, the Sunbirds can still compete at the National Christian College Athletic Association Championship, and reached the semifinals of the NCCAA tournament.

Humboldt State wrapped up the 2012 campaign with a 3-26 overall record and 1-21 mark in CCAA action to finish 12th. Sue Woodstra, who is inducted to the AVCA Hall of Fame in 2006, retired after a decade as head coach for the Lumberjacks and Kelly Wood took over the program in December after 10 years at the junior college level.

“The Nanook Classic is very important, especially for our fans,” Larranaga said. It kicks off the season in terms of outside competition. It was phenomenal last year. We loved the teams, they gave everyone a show and that’s what we need to get people in the stands.”

For more information, visit the Nanook Classic tournament page. More information, including ticket prices, will be released as it becomes available.

2013 Nanook Classic Schedule
Friday, Sept. 6 (Session 1)
Colorado Christian vs. Fresno Pacific – 5 p.m.
Humboldt State vs. Alaska – 7 p.m.Saturday, Sept. 7 (Session 2)
Fresno Pacific vs. Humboldt State – 11 a.m.
Colorado Christian vs. Alaska – 1 p.m.Saturday, Sept. 7 (Session 3)
Humboldt State vs. Colorado Christian – 5 p.m.
Fresno Pacific vs. Alaska – 7 p.m.