Volleyball Closes Home Schedule with Montana State and Montana

Volleyball Closes Home Schedule with Montana State and Montana




FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Northern Arizona volleyball will play its final home stand of the 2009 season with a pair of matches scheduled against Montana State and Montana this weekend. The Lumberjacks have Montana State on Thursday and Montana on Saturday at the Rolle Activity Center with both matches schedule for 7:05 p.m. start times.

NAU (7-13, 4-7 BSC) are 1-3 in the last four, but face a Montana State (3-18, 1-10 BSC) team on Thursday that has just one road victory all season. Montana (10-12, 6-5 BSC) posts a better record, but have also struggled on the road with a 2-6 away record.

The Lumberjacks currently sit in sixth place in the Big Sky Conference and will need to jump Sacramento State and Montana in order to move into fourth place in the league standings, the final spot in the Big Sky Championship tournament held later this month.

Live Stats and Webcast
NAU will provide live stats and at www.nauathletics.com for both matches this weekend. Live stats will be available free of charge. Big Sky TV (www.bigskytv.org), the league's comprehensive video streaming package, video streams all volleyball matches played in Big Sky venues. For the second straight season, the service will be free to viewers, but viewers will need to register at www.bigskytv.org in order to gain access.

NAU Volleyball Live TV
NAU's TV Services Department will broadcast both matches this weekend. They can be seen LIVE on the Universityhouse Channel (Dish Network 9411). Check www.nauathletics.com for further television information. Mitch Strohman, the "Voice of the Lumberjacks," will be handling play-by-play duties with Sharon Falor doing color commentary. Jordan Byrd will serve as the play-by-play for Saturday's match.

Re-broadcasts of this weekend’s matches can be seen on the Universityhouse Channel and locally on channels four and 59. The Montana State match can be seen on tape delay on Universityhouse and channel four at 10:30 p.m. on Nov. 5, at 8 a.m. on Nov. 6, 1 p.m. on Nov. 7, and 1 p.m. on Nov. 8. On local channel 59, re-broadcasts can be viewed on Nov. 6 at 9 a.m. and 10 p.m. and Nov. 7 at noon. The Montana match can be seen on tape delay on Universityhouse and channel four at 10:00 p.m. on Nov. 7 and at 11 a.m. on Nov. 8. On local channel 59, re-broadcasts can be viewed on Nov. 8 at 7 a.m. and 10 p.m.

Gott Diggin’ Top Spot in Big Sky
Freshman Anna Gott ranks first in the Big Sky Conference in digs per set (4.51) for the first time since Sept. 27. She had previously shifted from second and third over the past several weeks and the bump to first is largely due to her career-high 29 digs against Idaho State. Gott is also ranked 71st in all of NCAA Division I Women’s volleyball.

Doubles Triple Double
Freshman Kelli Dallmann posted her second triple-double this season with 19 assists, 14 kills, and 14 digs against Idaho State on Oct. 31. Dallmann recorded her first career triple double also against Idaho State on Sept. 17. She is one of five Division I women’s volleyball players with two or more triple-doubles this fall.

Sign of Things to Come
NAU has hit .176 as a team for the 2009 season. The Lumberjacks are currently on a three-match streak hitting over .200. They have hit over .200 in six of their last nine matches including two of those nine with .198 and .176 percentages. These recent trends are encouraging considering the Lumberjacks hit over .200 in only two of their first 11 matches this year prior to the current streak.

Sweeping Weber State
The Lumberjacks totaled their second 3-0 sweep over a conference opponent beating Weber State in straight sets on Oct. 30. Their last 3-0 win came against Montana State on Oct. 10. Both matches have been played on the road. NAU’s only sweep at home came against The Citadel on Sept. 12.

Top 10's
NAU has at least one player in the top 10 in four of the seven statistical categories within the Big Sky Conference. Freshman Anna Gott is first in digs (4.51 dpg) and fourth in service aces (0.35 sapg). Redshirt freshman Ashley Ames ranks seventh in blocks (0.90 bpg) and senior Jana Mays-Robinson sits eighth in assists (7.50 apg).

Freshmen Six
Anna Gott, Kelli Dallmann, and Lauren Campbell are the only Lumberjacks to start all 20 matches and appear in all 75 sets. Gott, Dallmann, Campbell, Jen Wilson, and Lexi Schroeder are all true freshmen and have seen significant playing time this fall. Ashley Ames, in her redshirt freshman year, is first on the team in hitting percentage.

Dallmann in Rare Company
Freshman Kelli Dallmann is one of two players in Division I Women's volleyball to average two kills, three assists, and two digs per set. Dallmann has shown her versatility this season moving back and forth between outside hitter and setter.

NAU Upsets Eastern Washington
The Lumberjacks defeated first place Eastern Washington 3-2 on Thursday night after winning the firs two sets, dropping the next two, but picking up the victory in the fifth set. Sophomore Kobi Christensen paced the Lumberjacks with a career-high 17 kills and .286 hitting percentage. Kelli Dallmann recorded a double-double with 24 assists and 14 digs.

In its match against Northern Colorado, the Lumberjacks welcomed one of their biggest attendance figures in program history with 1,166 spectators. The crowd was aided by Family Weekend and the Northern Colorado football team.

The Young Get Younger
The Northern Arizona volleyball roster consists of 11 freshmen and sophomores. Junior Chelsea Cheeley and senior Jana Mays-Robinson are the only upperclassmen on the 2009 roster. During the conference season, the Lumberjacks have started six freshmen and one sophomores (including freshman libero Anna Gott).

Series History
The Lumberjacks are 25-22 all-time against Montana State in a series dating back to 1987. NAU is riding a five-match win streak against the Bobcats. The Lumberjacks are 22-28 all-time against Montana in a series dating back to 1980. NAU is currently on a three-match losing streak to the Grizzlies. The Lumberjacks split on the trip with Montana State and Montana earlier this fall.

Media/Practice Information
The Lumberjacks will practice Monday and Wednesday this week from 2-4:30 p.m. in the Rolle Activity Center. Media wishing to attend practice should contact Joe Scacco at 928-523-6330 or joseph.scacco@nau.edu.

Montana State (3-18, 1-10 Big Sky Conference)
The Bobcats are on a three-match losing streak after upsetting in-state rival Montana in Missoula, Mont., on Oct. 23. Prior to that win, Montana State had been on a nine-match losing streak. The Bobcats' five-set victory over Montana was their lone conference win of the season and only third overall. Montana State is last in the Big Sky Conference in overall record and conference record. Montana State is hitting .146 as a team; however, their opponents are hitting .212 against them. The Bobcats are 1-6 on the road this year.

Players to Watch
Kyla Hendry 6-1, MB, Sr. (2.47 kpg, 0.88 bpg)
Taylor Faught 5-8, S, Sr. (8.45 apg, 1.88 dpg)
Meghan Albiston 5-5, DS, Jr. (4.17 dpg, 22 aces)

Montana (10-12, 6-5 Big Sky Conference)

The Grizzlies are currently in fourth place in the Big Sky Conference standings are in position to be the last team into the Big Sky Championships later this month as the top four advance to the postseason. Montana has posted a 6-5 record in the Big Sky, 5-5 mark at home, and 3-1 at neutral sites, but is just 2-6 on the road this season. The Grizzlies suffered an upset loss to Montana State then dropped a 3-1 decision to Portland State, but rebounded by beating Eastern Washington 3-2 at home this past weekend. Montana is hitting .207 on the season while limiting its opponents to .204. Montana's Jaimie Thibeault is leading the conference in hitting percentage at .388 per match.

Players to Watch
Jaimie Thibeault 6-2, OH, Jr. (3.29 kpg, 1.30 bpg)
Whitney Hobbs 6-0, OH, Sr. (3.02 kpg, 1.60 dpg)
Taryn Wright 5-10, S, Sr. (10.30 apg, 2.15 dpg)