FAIRBANKS-It was the last home game for Keri Knight. She is the only senior on the Nanooks volleyball team. She was recognized with an honorary plaque of pictures from her career, flowers, her parents and a blue superhero cape with a gold K on the back. Knight will have fonder memories of her career rather than tonight's 25-10, 25-19, 25-19 loss to no. 10 Western Washington.
The Vikings established themselves early in the first set with a 25-10 win. They hit 52 percent in that set and added four team blocks.
The Nanooks brought more energy in the second set and forced the Vikings to take a timeout after cutting a 10 point deficit down to five at 15-20. The Vikings responded and took the second set 25-19. Outside hitter Jennica McPherson and middle blocker/hitter Kelsey Moore had continued success hitting through, off, or around the Nanook blockers for points. Western Washington was super efficient with only three errors after two sets of play.
In the third set the Nanooks battled the Vikings through 16 points. No team had more than two point lead up to that point. Sam Harthun, the sophomore, had 10 kills in that set alone. She finished with a game high 19. Freshman setter Katelyn Camp gave the Nanooks their first lead of the set at 15-14 with her kill. She had 15 assists in the this game after setting a new career high of 53 in her last outing.
Knight contributed eight kills in this one keeping her streak of games with at least seven kills alive. She is know at 18 games with two matches to go and has already set a career high in kills in her final season.
The efficiency of the tenth ranked team in the country showed in that final set in a close game. They were spotless in the third committing only three errors the entire match.
After a Nanook error broke the tie Moore swung away with two thunderous spikes and the Vikings added a block for a point and went up 20-16 in a littler over a minute. The Vikings (21-3, 14-2 GNAC) held off any rallies from UAF for the 25-19 set and match win.
The Nanooks (4-23,3-13 GNAC) have two matches left on the road at Seattle Pacific and Montana State-Billings.