UAF volleyball fights SPU Falcons

By Aaron Walling
Sun Star Reporter

Alaska Nanooks lost 0-3 (25-23, 25-13, 25-23) to Seattle Pacific Falcons at home in the Patty Center Saturday night. In what was a close game for two of the three sets, the Nanooks showed they could hang with the Falcons.

Tessa Butterfield serves during the Nanook's game against Seattle Pacific University on September 20. The Nanooks lost, 0-3, against the Falcons. PHOTO BY AARON WALLING

Tessa Butterfield serves during the Nanook’s game against Seattle Pacific University on September 20. The Nanooks lost, 0-3, against the Falcons. PHOTO BY AARON WALLING

The Nanooks came in after a six game road trip residing in the bottom of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (0-2) to square off with the second place Falcons (2-0) in a GNAC battle.
The first set started off with the Nanooks playing like they had a fire lit underneath them, leading the Falcons 15-11. With the crowd behind them, the Nanooks looked to attempting an upset, but after a timeout by Falcons’ head coach Chris Johnson, the Falcons rallied to win the first set 25-23.

A highlight of the game was an ace by Alaska’s Junior OH Sam Harthun that seemed to confuse the Falcons as they watched the ball careen off the ground in front of them. The rally was head fronted by Falcons’ Freshman MB Hannah Lautenbach and Senior S Sara Biondi.

When the second set started, there was a room for the Nanooks to go for a tie in the series. The Nanooks came out with something to prove in this game with the upset bid, but the game had gone south from the beginning with the Falcons dominating in the second half with a score of 16-7 at one point. The defensive strategy that was displayed by the Falcons set the tone for the rest of the set, easing through the game, dominating on serves, blocks, and many other areas.

The set felt like it went by quickly as the Falcons built on some runs to blow the lead in the second set to win 25-13. During the second set, the Falcons were led by Senior MB Madi Cavell, who boasts a .552 attacking percentage.

The third set arrived after a short break, resulting in the loss of most of the crowd. The Nanooks were staring down another brutal set with the score being down 15-20 and moral dropping rapidly. However, the Nanooks began to build on a run and tied the game at 23 apiece. The crowd began to regain interest in the game, but the hype was short lived after a Falcons’ time out allowed them to score two quick points to close out the game 25-23.

This time out ended the match at 0-3, bringing the Nanooks to a 0-11 record for the season. Things aren’t expected to get easier for the Nanooks, as their next match up is against Montana St. University Billings at the Patty Center, with MSUB currently placing third in the GNAC.

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