FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) The Alaska Nanooks volleyball program is off to their best conference start since 1999, as they are 3-0 after taking down the Anchorage Seawolves.
This battle between the in-state rivals showcased both programs in a match were each set was decided by six points or less. In front of a roaring crowd, the Blue and Gold took down the third ranked team in the GNAC preseason poll. However, there was a chance none of this would have happened due to the threat of athletics at either university being cut over the Summer.
"Here's my political statement that it would be a shame to see a rivalry like that end because we don't have athletics at one of these institutions." said UAF Head Coach Brian Scott. "That would be just a shame and I hope that everything that is going on with the school that it gets cleared up and we're able to continue this because that is way too much fun. That atmosphere is too spectacular for a student body not to be able to go and enjoy. I hope that we make that possible."
The Nooks won 3-1 thanks to AveRee Reynolds and Cate Whiting. Whiting was on fire for the Blue and Gold, leading the team with 34 assists, 8 kills, 8 digs and 5 service aces. Reynolds led the offense with 13 kills, as the Nanooks are on a two game winning streak against Anchorage. In a pivotal moment in the third set, there was an extensive medical timeout due to Whiting receiving a nosebleed. Whiting returned to help Alaska stop the Seawolves' momentum and put away their in-state rivals.
"It was coming back on the court I honestly was a little lost." said UAF's Cate Whiting. "The whole team was there. They were still in the right mindset, we were still really disciplined. As soon as I hopped back on to the court I think they were to pick it up right where we left off."
"It's super fun, especially with this team." said AveRee Reynolds. "Just hearing them talk about the things that they want to do on the court and the things that they want to accomplish as a team. Getting a win is always the end goal, but just the fight and the fun that they have with it is awesome."
Alaska improves to 3-0 in the conference and the Nooks prepare to take on the Montana State Billings Yellow-jackets on Thursday at 11:30 A.M. at the Patty Center.
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