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Nanooks Push Number 19 Western Washington to Five Sets

UAF volleyball will begin its season with a four-game stint in Hawaii.
UAF volleyball will begin its season with a four-game stint in Hawaii.(Jordan Rodenberger (KTVF))
Published: Oct. 29, 2021 at 10:13 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The Western Washington University Vikings came to Fairbanks to face the Nanooks on Thursday night at the Alaska Airlines Gymnasium.

The Nanooks came into this game facing a big competitor as the Vikings hold not only the number one spot in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, but the also sit 19th in national standings. Going into the game, Western Washington had an overall game record of 13-4 so far this season with a conference record of 9-1. They dominate in home games going 8-0 and fair well, while away, 4-1.

As for UAF heading into the game, their overall season record was 13-10 and their conference record was 6-5. Clearly they were in two very different places in terms of wins and loses. But with a 7-1 home record things didn’t look too bad compared to the 4-7 away record held by the Nanooks.

That being all laid out, it is important to remember however, that the Nanooks lost the the Vikings when the played them at Western Washington. But, the Nanooks had hope because back on October second when that game occurred, UAF did manage to push the game to five sets, and perhaps with a home advantage they could get the win.

So when the time came history would unfortunately repeat itself. The first set went to the Nanooks 25-23 a score that was earned mostly through kills as only four errors were attributed. But, Western Washington came back with a win in the second set which ran long with both teams tied up resulting in a 25-27 take away for the Vikings which could be attributed to a few extra errors by UAF. And as if all momentum was lost, the Vikings took the third set as well keeping UAF at bay with a set end score of 16-25. This set saw such a large score difference when the Vikings managed to pull the game in their favour taking an eight point lead. But the ‘nooks answered back in the fourth. Despite finding a source of strength and keeping the score and end result in their control, UAF certainly encountered push back from the Vikings as the set ended 25-21. Of course, as the game needed to be settled in the fifth set, it would be an 11-15 Washington win, which was acquired after an 11-11 tie.

The number of kills were close for the game UAF taking 67 and the Vikings holding 73 along with similar but further numbers for errors at 28-22. A fairly large difference in hitting percentage might be biggest factor however with UAF hitting at a .189% versus the Vikings .277%. While aces had little play in the game, blocking wasn’t all that close; the Nanooks held up 9 blocks to WWU’s 13.5.

Despite this loss, once again the ‘nooks pushed the Vikings to five sets which is hard to dismiss. Beyond the four game losing streak they now hold though the Nanook volleyball players are still stars especially in the eye’s of the GNAC as twelve of them made the All-Academic team.

Next they play Simon Fraser University at the Patty Center.

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