NANOOK CORNER: Volleyball team looks forward to new challenges after first GNAC Victory

Published: Sep. 18, 2018 at 7:58 PM AKDT
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We continue our look at the different teams who will be giving it their all this year while representing the University of Alaska.

For this week's Nanook Corner, we have the Nanook Volleyball team.

The first team to kick off their season was the Alaska Nanook Volleyball team, who played their first game on August 24th.

They were 2-5 after a pair of tournaments opened their season, and then faced a rough start to GNAC play.

The Nooks went 0-3 to start out conference play, falling to Central Washington, Northwest Nazarene, and UAA, all by scores of 3 sets to 1.

However, that first GNAC victory finally came this weekend.

"It's nice to get a win. It's always nice to win. We knew that the first of the year was going to be tough. We scheduled it that way in the preseason. The hope was that we're just going to prepare ourselves for conference play," said Brian Scott, Head Coach - Nanook Volleyball.

The Nooks defeated Montana State Billings in a clean sweep, winning the first three sets.

Markie Miller led the team in kills with 10, thanks in large part to the 33 assists from Cate Whiting.

Makena Overbey led the team in digs with 17 while Tatum Upchurch and Mica Shenglen both finished with 12.

Now that the Nooks finally have that first GNAC win under their belt, they have a lot of room left to grow.

"It was just nice for us to be able to put a complete game together. We were able to put some offensive strategies into effect that we had really been trying to work on. And our defense has been pretty solid throughout the year. It was just nice to get it all to fire on all cylinders. It's exciting for us. We hope we can build a little momentum and just, every time we get on the floor, get a little better and a little more comfortable in what we're doing, and repeat it. We'd like to keep repeating that process," said Scott.

These Nanooks are a very young team this year and the first to be completely brought in by Brian Scott.

There are no seniors on this team, who are being led by Juniors Gabby Lerma, Mica Shenglan, and Preseason all-conference selection Kim Wong.

Underclassmen have helped lead the way, Lahra Weber has earned 136 kills this year while South Anchorage Graduate Tatum Upchurch is right behind her with 122.

The Nanooks will look to continue their roll on the road when they take on Western Washington on Thursday and Simon Fraser on Saturday.

"It's great just to see that there are so many pieces of the puzzle, and every night, any number, or all of them, can be contributing," said Scott.