Former WNCC coach Chris Green leads Alaska-Anchorage into the post-season

Former WNCC coach Chris Green leads Alaska-Anchorage into the post-season
(WNCC Sports Information)
December 1st, 2021 | WNCC Sports Information

Former Western Nebraska Community College volleyball coach Chris Green is back in the post-season once again after the University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolves earned a bid to the NCAA Division II national tournament.

The Seawolves, who have made the Division II championships 10 of the last 13 tournaments that Green has been coaching, will open up play Thursday, December 2 when they face the top seed from the West Region Cal State Bernardino at 6:30 p.m. (AST) and 8:30 p.m. (MST)

“Our team is excited to still be competing,” Alaska Anchorage head coach Chris Green said. “There are only 64 teams still practicing in Division 2 and we are one of them, so our team knows that is an accomplishment to be proud of.  There are about 300 D2 Volleyball programs across the country.”

The West Region is one of the toughest in the tournament field to get out of and Cal State-San Bernardino is the defending national champions from 2019. Division II did not hold a national championship in 2020 because of the pandemic.

“Cal State Univ. San Bernardino is the defending national champs with their star player, the reigning National Player of the Year, still playing for them as a senior,” he said. “We lost to them in 2019 in the second round of the NCAAs and they went on to win the whole thing.  They are very good again this year, ranked #2 in the country.

“We have been to the NCAA Tournament 10 of the 13 years that I have been coaching. The West Region (with Hawaii and California) is a tough region to compete, so we have been fortunate enough to have the players and the administration in our history to do very well. In 2016, we played for the National Championship but lost, but it was our most successful season.”

The winner of the West Region will qualify for the Elite Eight December 9-11 in Tampa, Florida.

Alaska Anchorage has had a good season. The Seawolves enter with a 19-11 record and they will face a Cal State-San Bernardino team that is 25-3 on the season. The Seawolves have a young team with just one senior listed on the roster in 6-foot-2 rightside hitter Vera Pluharova from the Czech Republic. Pluharova earned all-GNAC honorable mention honors while juniors Eve Stephens and Ellen Floyd earned first-team honors.

Cal State-San Bernardino will be making their 21st straight NCAA tournament appearance. This past season, the Yotes went 19-0 in CCAA competition and return 3-time CCAA Player of the Year Alexis Cardoza.

Green knows that they will have to be at the top of their game to continue playing after Thursday.

“We will have to be at our best as a team,” Green said. “And, individually, our players will have to collectively be at their bests for this upcoming weekend. The competition in the West Region is very tough this year, so we know the challenge is a big one.”

Green said the Seawolves bread and butter this season is their service game, but for them to advance they will need to play strong offensively.

“We have had some very good games,” Green said. “We have also struggled offensively at times.  We are a very tough serving team, and that has helped us win a lot of games. If we can control the first contact–both in serve receive and with our defense, we have been very good.”

Anything is possible for the Seawolves under the coaching guidance of Green, who has secured himself as one of the top volleyball coaching masterminds in NCAA Division II and Junior College. Green has had winning records in all 13 seasons at UAA and in 2016, Green led the Seawolves to its first appearance in the NCAA Division II national title match. Green is 275-108 at UAA heading into the West Region.

At WNCC, Green built a powerhouse program in his nine seasons at WNCC, compiling a 453-55 record that culminated in the 2007 NJCAA Div. I championship. The Cougars finished in the top 10 at the national tournament in all of Green’s seasons. In his final three seasons, WNCC went 163-7 and finished national runner-up in 2006.

Under Green’s tutelage, the Cougars earned a total of 10 first-team and six second-team All-America certificates and regularly placed players at NCAA Div. I and II programs. WNCC’s players also found success in the classroom, with the team maintaining a cumulative 3.0 grade-point average in all nine of his seasons. In 2011, Green was inducted into the NJCAA Hall of Fame.

Green is a graduate of Gering High School and coached the Bulldogs volleyball team for a spell before spending four years as the head coach at Kauai High in Lihue, Hawaii.

Green always finds a way to win games and that is what he did this season at UAA. Green said the reason he has been successful at the collegiate level is because of the support he has had.

The past support system and our amazing fans have made it fun to coach here,” he said. “We led the country in attendance for several years, with UN-Kearney right behind us in attendance.  I love Alaska and the outdoor adventures that I am able to do outside my job.”

The NCAA Division II West Region will be streamed for free at CCAANetwork.com.

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