Wildcats suffer rare sweep against Alaska Anchorage - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Wildcats suffer rare sweep against Alaska Anchorage

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By CWU Athletics
 
ELLENSBURG, Wash. -- Central Washington University and the University of Alaska Anchorage combined for 40 ties and 15 lead changes in their three-set volleyball match on Thursday night, but it was the visiting Seawolves who defeated the Wildcats, 25-23, 25-23, 25-22, in Great Northwest Athletic Conference action in Nicholson Pavilion.

The Wildcats fell to 9-7 overall and 3-5 in the GNAC with a rare three-set loss to the conference co-leading Seawolves (11-5, 7-1 GNAC). Thursday's 3-0 loss marked just the second time in 30 all-time meetings (dating back to 1980) that CWU had been swept by UAA.

Each of the three sets was very closely contested, especially the first one, which saw 14 ties and nine lead changes. In fact, the score was tied as late as 23-23 before Alaska Anchorage took its final timeout and then capitalized on a CWU service error and a block to go ahead in the match, 1-0.

The second set saw 16 total ties but just three lead changes, and neither team led by more than three points at any one juncture. The score was again tied at 23-23, only to watch the visiting Seawolves go ahead on a kill and then finish off the set with a CWU attack error. The set also featured the highest hitting percentages of the match for two of the top three hitting teams in the conference, as UAA hit .273 and CWU was at .225.

In the final frame, the Wildcats kept pace with the Seawolves and were knotted up at 19-19, but Alaska Anchorage reeled off three straight points -- and six of the next nine -- to complete the match sweep.

Each team had two players reach double figures in kills, and two with 10 or more digs. Nikkie Viotto of UAA had a double-double of 10 kills and 13 digs, while Jackie Matthisen led all players with 18 kills while hitting .318 for the Seawolves. CWU had 12 kills from junior Jordan Offutt (Leavenworth, Wash./Cascade HS) and 10 from senior Meg Ryan (Spokane, Wash./Mead HS). Ryan added nine digs, while freshman Kaely Kight (Spokane, Wash//Mead HS) led the Wildcats with 16 digs and junior Marcy Hjellum (Kennewick, Wash./Kamiakin HS) added 13. Central Washington hurt itself at the service line, committing 10 service errors in three sets, and the Wildcats also had 19 attack errors (including nine on blocks by Alaska Anchorage).

Central Washington, now 2-2 on its home court this season, will look to return to the win column on Saturday night at 7 p.m. against the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The match will also be the Wildcats' annual "Dig Pink" night, on which CWU will wear pink jerseys and encourage fans to wear pink as well in support of breast cancer awareness.
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