When this season's UAA volleyball team debuts Saturday with the annual alumni match, it really will pit the old against the new.
Coach Chris Green's youngest team since he took over 11 years ago will introduce itself to fans in the 7 p.m. match at the Alaska Airlines Center.
The 15-woman roster includes seven freshmen, four sophomores, one junior and three seniors. The seven freshmen are the most for a Green team, as are the combined total of 11 freshmen and sophomores.
But the Seawolves are by no means green.
Among those returning to the team are two seniors and one sophomore who netted major postseason awards in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.
Two of them Wednesday were named to the GNAC preseason team — Chrisalyn Johnson, a senior outside hitter from Anchorage, and Casey Davenport, a sophomore setter from Auburn, Washington.
Johnson, a powerful 5-foot-9, was a unanimous pick on the 14-player team. She was made the GNAC honorable mention team at the end of last season, during which she averaged 3.05 kills per set. She posted double-doubles in 11 of her final 15 matches last season.
Davenport took over as UAA's starting setter midway through last season and garnered Freshman of the Year honors in the GNAC.
Johnson is one of three seniors on the team. Tara Melton, a 6-foot senior middle blocker from Glendale, Arizona, joined the team last season as a transfer and earned the GNAC Newcomer of the Year award after averaging 1.46 kills per set.
Taylor Noga, a 5-9 defensive specialist from Anchorage, averaged 2.07 digs per set, is a strong server and is one of UAA's top players on serve-receive.
The only junior on the team is 6-1 middle blocker Vanessa Boyer (formerly Vanessa Hayes) of Salem, Oregon. Last season for the Seawolves she ranked third in kills per set with 1.65 and second in blocks per set .82
UAA is coming off a 19-11 season and its fifth straight NCAA tournament appearance. The Seawolves aren't ranked in the Division II preseason top 25, although they received votes in the poll.