Volleyball closes out home schedule, seniors to be honored Saturday

Jamie Foland

The Alaska volleyball team will close out its home portion of the schedule this week as it plays host to Seattle Pacific Thursday at 7 p.m. (AKST) and Montana State Billings Saturday at 3 p.m.

Prior to Saturday’s match, the Nanooks (5-15, 3-11 GNAC) will honor its two seniors, libero Allison Oddy and outside hitter Reilly Stevens, who will be playing in their final games at the Patty Center.

A little more than a month ago, the ‘Nooks fell 3-0 at the Yellowjackets (10-12, 7-7 GNAC) before dropping a 3-1 decision at the Falcons (11-12, 8-6 GNAC).

Last week, Alaska went 1-1 on its road trip, as it downed Simon Fraser in a five-set thriller and lost in straight sets to 17th-ranked Western Washington.

Sam Harthun led the offense with 38 kills to go with 21 digs and three block assists. In Thursday’s win, she produced a career-high 31 kills, which tied former Nanook and assistant coach Mallory (Bergstrom) Larranaga for second all-time in single-match program history. It was also the highest kill total in three years by a GNAC player.

Katlyn Mataya dished out 78 assists (61 at SFU) and 26 digs while Allison Oddy led the back court with a team-best 40 digs. Other offensive contributors included Megan Morrison and Keri Knight. Morrison accrued 21 kills and three total blocks in the split and Knight had 15 kills in seven digs in the one match she played.

In the GNAC rankings, Mataya remained fifth in assists with 9.70 per set. Harthun moved up to sixth in both kills with 3.45 per set and points with 3.87 per set. Oddy also stayed in seventh with 4.51 digs per set. Nationally, Mataya is 58th in assists and Harthun moved up 30 spots to 73rd in kills and 29 in points to 84th while Oddy bumped up nine spots to 85th in digs.

Match #21: Seattle Pacific at Alaska – Thursday, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. (AKST)
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The Falcons went 1-1 at home last week with a 3-0 sweep against Saint Martin’s before falling in straight sets to Western Oregon. Cailin Fellows led the attack with 29 kills with a .329 hitting percentage to go with 18 digs. Nikki Lowell chipped in 22 kills with a team-best 462 hitting percentage and Madi Cavell had 20 kills with a .255 hitting clip, three aces and five block assists while Shelby Swanson dished out 74 assists.

Fellows is second in the GNAC this year with 4.01 kills per set and 4.29 points per set. Swanson is third in assists, with 10.69 per set, and Lowell is fifth with a .325 hitting percentage while Brianna Leenders is also fifth in the digs department, with 4.74 per frame. Across the country, Fellows is 12th and 34th, respectively, in kills and points. Swanson (26th assists), Leenders (57th digs) and Lowell (73rd hitting percentage) also rank in the top-100.

Match #22: Montana State-Billings at Alaska – Saturday, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. (AKST)
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The Yellowjackets are coming off a 1-1 split a week ago at home with a 3-0 defeat to WOU before downing SMU 3-1. Monica Grimsrud led the way with 35 kills, three service aces and two solo blocks. Taylor Adams contributed 20 kills, a .255 hitting percentage and three total blocks (two solo). Other key players included Erin Compton (47 digs), Kyndal Williams (69 assists, 17 digs) and Jody Lutz (13 kills, 5 total blocks).

In the GNAC rankings, Compton is second with 5.99 digs per set while Grimsrud is fourth and fifth, respectively, with 3.57 kills per set and 3.98 points per set. Williams is also fourth with 9.94 assists per frame and Lutz it 10th with a .280 hitting percentage. Compton’s digs average also places her eighth in the country and Williams’ assists average is 50th while Grimsrud is 50th in kills and 65th in points.