FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) The University of Alaska Fairbanks volleyball program has already experienced it's share of highs and lows this season. The Nanooks began their season with a pair of tournaments, where they came out on the other side 3-5, still searching for their identity. When Great Northwest Athletic Conference play began, the Blue and Gold found their groove, winning six of their first seven games in the GNAC.
Riding high, the Nanooks were brought back down to Earth after dropping four straight matches, three of them in five sets, including a contest that went down to the wire against in-state rival, the University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolves.
UAF got back on track Saturday, when they defeated the Montana State Billings Yellowjackets in another five set bout, 25-20, 16-25, 21-25, 25-12, 15-11.
After claiming the first set, UAF dropped the next two and were in a 2-1 hole. Rather than packing it in, the 'Nooks dominated the fourth set 25-12, forcing a fifth and decisive set. In that set, the blue and gold took care of business, 15-11, improving to 7-5 in the GNAC and get back to .500 overall (10-10). A trio of Nanooks reached double digit kills, as Kim Wong (13), Lahra Weber (12) and AveRee Reynolds (12) were a force on offense. Cate Whiting, the glue to the team, was all over the floor, providing 8 kills, five service aces, four blocks and 41 assists in the win.
It wasn't a perfect win, but the Nanooks were able to counter MSUB's attack and turn it into points.
"Our defense started off a little rocky and MSUB was doing a good job attacking us," Nanooks head coach Brian Scott said in a UAF press release. "We were missing some block and defensive assignments but finally got some of that cleaned up in the final two sets. Fortunately, we were doing a good job serving and putting some pressure on their serve receive."
The Nanooks snap their losing streak and will look to carry this momentum to Ellensburg, WA on Thursday, when they visit Central Washington University.
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