FAIRBANKS-Going up the hill now as the Nanook volleyball team will be back on the road this weekend.The 0-7 Nanooks team will be traveling to California for the second annual Route 92 Showdown. Games will be in Hayward and Belmont, Calif. Cal State East Bay and Notre Dame de Namur are the hosts. Cal State LA and Academy of Art are also in the tournament.
The Nanooks will have two days of double headers. Tomorrow they face Cal State East Bay, an 0-4 CCAA team at noon then Academy of Art out of the PacWest who are 2-2 at 4 o'clock. On Saturday UAF drives down Route 92 to play Cal State LA at 10 a.m. They are 3-1 and are another CCAA team. That evening at six their last game is against Notre Dame de Namur.
During the Nanook Classic Alaska did better digging averaging 44 digs in the last three outings, the highest average in a three game span. Sam Harthun is leading the team in kills with 81.
Senior Keri Knight is increasing her kills each match with a season high 11 in her last outing versus #12 Fresno Pacific. Freshman setter Katelyn Camp averaged 30 assists per game during the Classic as well.
Head coach Mallory Larranaga admits that this winless preseason of sorts has been a test for the first year head coach but all the losses against quality opponents, she believes, strengthens the team for their conference schedule.
"For us it's just the passion and playing consistently with passion. We're really hot and cold right now and we're getting used to each other, we're all competitors, we all want to win," Larranaga said.
"I'm a mother of 3 boys and I'm still being tested with patience more with my team right now. We went to Hawaii and played 4 top teams, we brought 3 teams here that were just top teams, we're not gonna go out and look for a win that's easy. We want people that are really gonna compete with us and then make us better for GNAC play."