Nanooks defeat Western Oregon for first win
By Aaron Walling
The Nanooks won their first match of the season over Western Oregon University (WOU) Wolves with a 3-0 sweep on Thursday night.
This also happened to be 80’s night at the Patty Center, and the Nanooks seemed to be playing with a bit of funk in their style.
The Nanooks took control of the game from start to finish, and put a huge smile on fourth year coach Mallory Larranaga. “I appreciate these girls, they put in the hard work,” said Larranaga.
With the Nanooks and Wolves playing a cellar game, both are at the bottom of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, UAF aimed at striking quick to seal a victory. The Nanooks hadn’t won a set since this season since Sept. 6. However, that all changed when the Nanooks came out of the gates on fire.
The first set was punctuated by many great plays. Nanooks’ middle backer #7 Riley Podowicz displayed great defense with an emphatic block to put the Nanooks up eleven to six. After a WOU timeout, Nanooks’ #9 outside hitter Brooke Mattice began to take over and pounded the Wolves to get the Nanooks their first set win, 25-15.
The second set became a chess match with both teams coming out and making plays. The Wolves’ #11 middle backer Maddi Ober had some nice serves throughout the set. Except for her, the serves were sloppy.
There was a stretch of four serves where the ball either went too far out, or hit the front of the net.
After the Nanooks built a lead, the scrappy Wolves pulled within 12-15. However, after a UAF timeout, Nanooks star player #11 outside hitter Sam Harthun caught fire. Play after play she seemed to be everywhere willing the defense to push the Wolves’ attack back earning the second set victory on a huge run to win 25-15.
The third set was the epitome of how the game had went for the Wolves, they couldn’t seem to get the chemistry down in the game. There were multiple times where Wolves’ coach Brad Saidon was frustrated about the defensive rotation. The Nanooks stared the set getting a block from #4 middle backer Lilah Hudson, which set the tone for the rest of the match.
This set also saw the return of the crafty plays by the Nanooks, #1 Miranda Grieser who had some beautiful misdirection hits that threw off the Wolves defense.
The game had a block buffet with #4 Lilah Hudson contributing to 8 blocks. The set ended with the Nanooks pulling out a 25-17 win over the Wolves.
The Nanooks swept the Wolves in three sets sending the fans home happy.
The Nanooks will celebrate this win for a short time as their next matchup is against Saint Martin’s Saints on Saturday night October 4.