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Volleyball team defeats Humboldt State

Submitted by Dave Geringer
Phone: 6807


ARCATA, CA-The University of Alaska Fairbanks' volleyball team pulled out the crucial third game and senior middle blocker Carlin Smith (Brea, CA/Brea Olinda HS) became the Nanooks' all-time leader in blocks as UAF defeated Humboldt State, 30-22, 24-30, 32-30 and 30-25 at HSU's East Gym Thursday evening.

Senior outside hitter Mallory Bergstrom (Bend, OR/Bend HS), who missed UAF's last match due to an injury, and sophomore outside hitter Danielle Hitzeman (Vacaville, CA/Vacaville HS) registered kills at the end of the third game to break a 30-all tie. The teams had battled back and forth in that game, with neither team having more than a three-point lead. A pair of kills by Bergstrom had given the Nanooks a 29-26 lead, but two kills by HSU's Kristina Barnum and an error allowed the Lumberjacks to even the score at 29. Barnum and Bergstrom exchanged kills before UAF's decisive rally.

Smith had eight blocks to give her 362 and make her UAF's all-time leader in blocks. She entered the match tied for the all-time lead with Tara Hollenbeck at 354.

Hitzeman finished with 26 kills, nine digs, three blocks and a .367 hitting percentage. Bergstrom added 18 kills, 22 digs and five blocks, junior libero Crystal Wheelock (Anchorage, AK/Bartlett HS) added 14 digs, junior middle blocker April Blandford (Valdez, AK/Valdez HS) had seven kills and seven blocks, and sophomore setter Dasa Capova (Prague, Czech Republic/U. of Economics) had 50 assists.

Barnum had 14 kills to lead HSU. Erin Jackson and Jessica Murray added 11 apiece. The Nanooks outhit the Lumberjacks, .189-.129, and had 15 blocks to HSU's six.

"We played fairly well, and we played hard, which was important," said UAF Head Coach Phil Shoemaker. "It was nice to have Mallory back, and it was a good win, and we needed it. You've got to maintain your composure and do the things that make you successful, and we were able to do that. Winning the third game was very important, it was great that Carlin got the record for blocks, and Danielle had a nice evening."

UAF improved to 12-12 with the victory, 9-8 in conference play, while HSU fell to 2-22 and 1-16. The Nanooks will conclude their regular season when they visit Western Oregon Saturday night.

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