FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Northern
Arizona volleyball travels to Montana for a pair of matches this
weekend, its first weekend road trip since the Trojan Invitational
in early September. The Lumberjacks face Montana on Friday, October
9 at 6 p.m. in Missoula then play Montana State at 6 p.m. in
Bozeman on Saturday, October 10.
NAU (4-9, 1-3 BSC) has played four Big Sky Conference matches this fall picking up its only win at home against Weber State (3-1). In their other matches, the Lumberjacks have played two of the Big Sky’s four top teams who hold a combined record of 7-3 in league play.
NAU will first play Montana (6-10, 2-3) led by middle blocker Jaimie Thibeault who is tops on the Grizzlies in kills per set (3.22), hitting percentage (.401), and blocks per set (1.22). Montana is currently fifth in the Big Sky standings.
NAU follows up the Grizzlies with a Saturday match against Montana State, ninth in the Big Sky. Montana State (2-12, 0-5 BSC) is led by senior middle blocker Kyla Hendry, first in kills per set (2.59) and hitting percentage (.307).
Live Stats and Webcast
For this weekend's mactches live stats will be available through www.montanagrizzlies.com on Friday and www.msubobcats.com. Click these links to be redirected to Montana’s Live Stats and Montana State’s Live Stats. The live stats icon will be up on Montana State's homepage on Saturday. A free webcast will be available through Big Sky TV at www.bigskytv.org. Click the previous link and follow instructions to register.
The NAU volleyball team has played four matches in the Big Sky Conference this season. Of its four opponents, two rank in the top four in the conference standings. The Lumberjacks four opponents have combined for 29 wins this season and 10 in league play.
In Saturday's 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.
Another Freshman Emerges
Freshman outside hitter Jen Wilson had a career night with 14 kills and a .464 hitting percentage. Wilson, from Anaheim, Calif., has appeared in eight matches this fall and now leads the team in hitting percentage (.236).
Gott Digs Top Libero
Freshman libero Anna Gott was recognized as the Fiesta Bowl Tournament’s best libero with 45 digs over the weekend, an average of 15 per match. Gott, a native of Mesa, Ariz., recorded 23 digs against Wyoming, the highest dig total of any player at the Fiesta Bowl Tournament.
NAU has at least one player in the top 10 in six of the seven statistical categories within the Big Sky Conference on the season. Freshman Lauren Campbell ranks eighth in kills (3.02 kpg) and ninth in points (3.38 ppg). Freshman Anna Gott is first in digs (4.80 dpg) and fifth in service aces (0.35 sapg). Senior Jana Mays-Robinson sits sixth in assists (9.17 apg) and sophomore Katie Bailey ranks tenth in blocks (0.82 bpg).
Freshman Kelli Dallman recorded her first-career triple-double and the first for any Lumberjack player this fall. Dallman, from Peoria, Ariz., collected 17 assists, 14 kills, and 14 digs in a 3-1 loss to Idaho State in the conference opener. Dallman is second on the team in kills (3.05 kpg) and assists (2.12 apg) and third in digs (2.02 dpg).
Anna Gott, Kelli Dallman, and Lauren Campbell are the only Lumberjacks to start all 13 matches and appear in all 50 sets. Gott, Dallman, and Campbell are three of NAU’s five true freshmen who have seen significant playing time this fall. Ashley Ames, in her redshirt freshman year, is second on the team with 0.81 blocks per set.
The Lumberjacks are 22-27 all-time against Montana in a series dating back to 1980. The Lumberjacks hold a 24-22 edge in the series and have beaten the Bobcats in four consecutive matches.
The Lumberjacks will practice Monday-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 email@example.com.
What is the history of Northern Arizona volleyball? We're glad you asked. Going back to the old AIAW days, NAU has been a player in women's intercollegiate athletics for 34 years. In its 22 years in the NCAA, NAU has posted nine winning seasons and 15 with double digit wins. The Lumberjacks have reached the postseason 14 of the past 18 years. In 1999, NAU went to the NCAA tournament suffering a 3-0 loss to No. 5 North Carolina.
Montana (6-10, 2-3 Big Sky Conference)
The Grizzlies are enjoyed a steady season and remain in contention for a Big Sky Conference berth situated in fifth place in the league standings. Montana is 2-3 in Missoula this fall and 1-1 at home in the conference. In their last home stand, the Grizzlies split with Idaho State (L, 3-1) and Weber State (W, 3-1). Montana defeated Montana State in its other conference victory. Montana is hitting .205 for the season while its opponents have hit .210. Middle blocker Jaimie Thibeault leads the Grizzlies in kills, hitting percentage, and blocks.
Players to Watch
Jaimie Thibeault 6-2, OH, Jr. (3.22 kpg, .401 hit pct.)
Whitney Hobbs 6-0, OH, Sr. (3.08 kpg, 1.77 dpg)
Taryn Wright 5-10, S, Sr. (10.05 apg, 2.19 dpg)
Montana State (2-12, 0-5
Big Sky Conference)
The Bobcats are currently on a five-match losing streak since the start of the conference season and in ninth place in the Big Sky. Montana State is 0-3 at home this fall with its two wins (Coppin State and UTEP) this year coming in the non-conference season. The Bobcats are hitting .164 for the season while its opponents have hit .235. Montana State is led by Kyla Hendry who averages 2.59 kills per set. She also owns a team leading .307 hitting percentage.
Players to Watch
Kyla Hendry 6-1, MB, Sr. (2.59 kpg, .307 hit pct)
Taylor Faught 5-8, S, Sr. (8.33 apg, 1.57 dpg)
Meghan Albiston 5-5, L, Jr. (3.89 dpg, 16 service aces)