Nanook Corner: Weekend Preview of UAF Athletics

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) As fall sports come to a close and winter sports take over, we have a loaded weekend of Nanook Athletics ahead of us with men's and women's basketball, swimming, hockey and volleyball all in action.

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*all times are AKST*

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Men's Basketball

The men's team head to California for a pair of games in the Cal State Monterey Bay Invite. On Friday, they face Cal State University at Monterey Bay at 2 p.m., before squaring off against Cal State San Marcos at 12 p.m. on Saturday. Both games will be at the Otter Sports Center in Seaside, California. The Nanooks are coming off the Alaska/Hawaii Challenge in Anchorage where they split a pair of games. They fell to Chaminade University on Nov. 9 90-64, before defeating Hawaii Pacific 75-73 the following day. UAF was propelled to victory in game two thanks to the heroics from Koby Huerta, who drained a half-court buzzer beater as time expired.

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Women's Basketball

The women's team will also be competing in the Golden State this weekend. They take on Biola University in La Mirada on Thursday at 6 p.m., before battling Point Loma on Saturday at 3 p.m. in San Diego. Last week, they defeated San Francisco State 71-66, before taking down Chaminade 92-47. Off to a 2-0 start, head coach Kerri Nakamoto spoke about the differences between this year's squad compared to last year's.

"Our speed has increased this year. Last year there would be times where Sabrina (Ungaro) was pushing the break and kind of the only one up there," Nakamoto said. "This year, we now have quite a few that can go out and run. It is a nice complement to our guard core, but then also they create a lot of attention, so Kylie (Wallace), Sammy (Tolliver), Brit (Richards), they are all reaping the benefits of them drawing a lot of defense."

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Swimming

The Nanook swim program is back in action for their final home meet of the season. They will be taking on the Division I Seattle Pacific Falcons for a two-day meet. Action begins at 5 p.m. Friday, before resuming at 10 a.m. on Saturday at the Patty Center Pool. The Nanooks haven't hit the waters since October 18-19, when they fell in a Pacific Collegiate Swim and Dive Conference meet with Azusa Pacific University.

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Volleyball

UAF Volleyball hits the road for their final road trip of the regular season. They trade serves with Simon Fraser in Burnaby, British Columbia on Thursday at 6 p.m., before facing the number four team in Division II, the Western Washington Vikings at 6 p.m. on Saturday. The 'Nooks are riding a three game winning streak, including sweeps over Northwest Nazarene and Western Oregon. The last time they faced Simon Fraser, they fell in five sets in Fairbanks, while the Viking swept UAF on their home court on October 17.

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Hockey

Nanook Hockey returns to Western Collegiate Hockey Association action with a weekend series against Northern Michigan University. The Nanooks have struggled to put together a complete weekend, as they have split their last four series. Head coach Erik Largen spoke about the mindset need to turn that around.

"I think it starts with your approach and preparation, that's one. And then it is your attitude during the game and then just the way that you play," Largen said. "Are we playing direct and an aggressive game or are we playing more passive and playing slow? I think when we are playing direct we are an effective team, but when we're playing too much east and west and slow then I think all of sudden our consistency falls off at that point."

The Nanooks look to snap a six game losing streak to the Wildcats when they visit Marquette, Michigan this weekend.