ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The top hitting team in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference came up big in a critical league match on Thursday. UAA downed Montana State-Billings in a three-game sweep, 25-19, 25-23, 25-20 to move into a tie with Seattle Pacific for the conference lead. Both schools are 11-2 in conference play and square off on Saturday.
Jackie Matthisen led the Seawolves with 15 kills, while Ariel Austin floored 9 kills on 20 attempts. UAA, which leads the GNAC in hitting percentage with a season average of .232, hit for a .257 attack rate against the Yellowjackets.
The win was especially crucial for the Seawolves because they entered the match ranked 9th in the frist West Region Division II rankings of the season. Only 8 schools from each region make the NCAA tournament, although the GNAC champion receives an automatic berth.