Volleyball to Take on Two of the Conference's Top Performers in Portland State and Eastern Washington
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Northern
Arizona volleyball will play matches this weekend at first-place
Portland State and third-place Eastern Washington on Friday,
November 13 and Saturday, November 14, respectively. Both matches
are scheduled for 8 p.m. starts. The Lumberjacks fell to Portland
State 3-0 and defeated Eastern Washington 3-2 at home earlier this
NAU (8-14, 5-8 BSC) is 2-2 in the last four matches, but face a pair of times with 15-2 combined records at home. Portland State (17-7, 11-2 BSC) has proven to be one of the top teams in the Big Sky Conference this season as the Vikings sit in a two-way tie for first place with Northern Colorado (18-9, 11-2 BSC).
Eastern Washington (15-9, 9-4 BSC) is situated in third-place in the conference standings but riding a two-match losing streak. The Eagles will look to clinch a postseason berth this weekend taking on Northern Colorado on Friday and NAU on Saturday. Portland State and Northern Colorado have already guaranteed spots in the Big Sky Championships later this month.
The Lumberjacks are currently in a tie for sixth place with Idaho State and still in the running for a tournament appearance. NAU will more than likely need to win its final three matches and have Montana (11-13, 7-6 BSC) and Sacramento State (15-13, 5-7 BSC) lose its remaining matches. The top four teams advance to the Big Sky Championships played on November 27-28 in Cheney. Wash.
Live Stats and Webcast
Live stats will be available free of charge for both matches. Portland State will provide live stats at www.GoViks.com on Friday. Viewers can find live stats here. Eastern Washington will also provide live stats at www.goeags.com. Viewers can find live stats here. 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.
Big Sky Up for Grabs
Three teams are in position to win the Big Sky title with Portland State and Northern Colorado tied for first place with 11-2 records. Eastern Washington sits in third place with a 9-4 mark and still has an outside shot to win the conference if Portland State and Northern Colorado falter down the stretch. Montana currently has the fourth place spot with Sacramento State, Idaho State, NAU and Weber State still in the running with two weeks left in the season. The top four teams advance to the Big Sky Championships. Portland State and Northern Colorado have clinched postseason berths.
Montana State/Montana Last Week
Kelli Dallmann led all players with 16 kills and a .419 hitting percentage as NAU beat Montana State 3-1 on Thursday. The Lumberjacks won by scores of 25-14, 25-20, 21-25, and 25-22. Senior setter Jana Mays-Robinson played in her final home match at the Rolle Activity Center on Saturday recording 11 assists and seven digs in Northern Arizona volleyball’s 3-0 loss to Montana. NAU was defeated in straight sets by scores of 25-14, 25-18, and 25-23.
Around Two Hundred
NAU has hit .178 as a team for the 2009 season. The Lumberjacks had a four-match streak of hitting over .200 in their last match against Montana. They have hit over .200 in four of their last five and seven of their last 11 matches including two of those 11 with hitting percentages of .198 and .176. These recent trends are encouraging considering the Lumberjacks hit over .200 in only two of their first 11 matches prior to the current hot streak.
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. She is averaging 3.68 apg, 2.21 kpg, and 2.28 dpg.
NAU has at least one player in the top 10 in three of the six statistical categories within the Big Sky Conference. Freshman Anna Gott is fourth in digs (4.39 dpg) and fourth in service aces (0.33 sapg). Senior Jana Mays-Robinson sits eighth in assists (7.24 apg).
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.
Anna Gott, Kelli Dallmann, and Lauren Campbell are the only Lumberjacks to start all 22 matches and appear in all 82 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.
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.
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 sophomore (including freshman libero Anna Gott).
The Lumberjacks are 15-12 all-time against Portland State in a series dating back to 1996. NAU held a 15-2 record against the Vikings, but has dropped its last 10 in the series. The Lumberjacks fell 3-0 to Portland State earlier this year. The Lumberjacks are 21-31 all-time against Eastern Washington in a series dating back to 1986. The Lumberjacks defeated the Eagles earlier this year in their biggest win of the season.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Portland State (17-7, 11-2 Big Sky Conference)
Portland State has dominated the Big Sky lately riding a six-match win streak, all 3-0 victories. The Vikings took advantage of a one-match weekend last week defeating third place Eastern Washington 3-0 at home. Portland State faces NAU on Friday then welcomes Northern Colorado who is currently tied with the Vikings for first place in the conference standings. The winner of Saturday’s matchup will likely win the Big Sky. Portland State is hitting .243 on the year while limiting opponents to a .172 hitting percentage. The Vikings are 8-1 at home this season. Portland State’s last loss at home was on Sept. 5 against No. 3 Washington.
Players to Watch
Whitney Phillips 5-10, OH, Jr. (4.88 kpg,2.19 dpg)
Erica Jepsen 6-0, MB, Sr. (1.82 kpg, 1.54 bpg)
Nique Fradella 5-9, S, Sr. (11.56 apg, 1.97 dpg)
Eastern Washington (15-9, 9-4 Big Sky Conference)
After opening 5-0 in the Big Sky, Eastern Washington has gone 4-4 in the Big Sky conference with four wins sandwiched between a two sets of loses. The Eagles faced Portland State in a one-match weekend and lost on the road 3-0. Eastern Washington’s only conference loses have come against NAU, Montana, and Portland State twice with three of those matches played away from Cheney. The Eagles are 7-1 at home this year and have not lost at home since Oct. 9. Eastern Washington is hitting .206 on the season while limiting opponents to a .178 percentage.
Players to Watch
Hayley Hills 5-11, OH, Sr. (3.56 kpg, 2.59 dpg)
Cheanoa Coviare 6-1, MB, Jr. (2.86 kpg, 1.23 bpg)
Ashley Hamilton 6-0, S, Sr. (9.36 apg, 1.56 dpg)