FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) The University of Alaska Fairbanks Volleyball season is winding down, as the Nanooks prepare for their final two games of the regular season this week. On Thursday, the 'Nooks will host Seattle Pacific University, holding a four match streak over the Falcons (9-9 GNAC), including a sweep on September 21. The Nanooks will test their 11-7 GNAC record against SPU at 7 p.m. at the Patty Center.
"It's always nice to be in front of the home crowd, we always get a good crowd, expect nothing different," UAF head coach Brian Scott said ahead of the weekend slate. "Sometimes there's just some teams we love to play, and Seattle Pacific seems to be a battle every season. We go five sets frequently with those guys, and so it's just going to be a fun environment."
On Saturday, UAF will take on Saint Martin's University (1-17 GNAC) at 2 p.m. As the final game of the season, the 'Nooks will honor the players departing after this year. Senior Mica Chen and Kim Wong will be graduating, while redshirt junior Tatum Upchurch will also be recognized, as she plans to forgo her final year of eligibility to become a paramedic for the fire department upon graduation. Chen has been productive in her two-year Nanook career, racking up 327 digs so far, finishing third on the team last year with 156. Upchurch racked up 203 kills for the Blue and Gold last season, good for third on the team and has compiled 352 in her three-year career. The Anchorage-native has also shined on defense, collecting 489 career digs. Wong has been a force on both sides of the net throughout her Nanook career. This season, she leads the team in blocks (85) and is second in kills (232). The Spokane, Washington product has earned All-GNAC honorable mention twice (2017, 2018) and was named to this year's GNAC Preseason All-Conference Team. Coach Scott spoke about seeing Wong's growth over the years after coaching her throughout her collegiate career.
"Kim has definitely been a great addition for us for four years. [I] Love her energy, her enthusiasm and this year she has just become a very consistent offensive threat for us this year and that has been really fun to see." Scott said of the senior.