Volleyball Gets Sacramento State at Home on Thursday
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Northern
Arizona volleyball will play one match this week, its second and
final regular season match against Sacramento State held at the
Rolle Activity Center at 7:05 p.m. on Thursday. The Lumberjacks
lost to the Hornets 3-1 on Sept. 24 in Sacramento, Calif.
NAU (6-11, 3-5 BSC) will look to move a position closer to the Big Sky Conference’s final four with a win over Sacramento State.
The Lumberjacks could potentially be seated in the fifth spot after this weekend with Idaho State having to face the first and second-place teams in the league in Portland State and Eastern Washington on the road. The Bengals are tied for sixth place in the conference with NAU.
Sacramento State (13-10, 4-4 BSC) is in fifth place in the league standings and holds the edge over NAU with their victory at home over the Lumberjacks last month. After playing NAU, the Hornets must travel to third-place Northern Colorado.
In their first match this season, freshman outside hitter Jen Wilson played her best match of the year posting career-highs at the time with 14 kills, eight digs, three blocks, and a .464 hitting percentage. Wilson has since emerged as a focal point in the NAU lineup and will look to repeat her performance against the Hornets on Thursday.
Live Stats and Webcast
NAU will provide live stats and at www.nauathletics.com for Thursday’s match. 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 bigskytv.org in order
to gain access.
NAU Volleyball Live TV
NAU's TV Services Department will be broadcasting the Lumberjacks' match this Thursday. They can be seen LIVE on the Universityhouse Channel (Dish Network 9411). Mitch Strohman, the "Voice of the Lumberjacks," will be handling play-by-play duties with Sharon Falor doing color commentary.
NAU Upsets Eastern Washington
The Lumberjacks defeated first place Eastern Washington 3-2 on Thursday night after winning the first 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.
Sign of Things to Come
NAU has hit .167 as a team for the 2009 season. In their last three matches, the Lumberjacks continue to show the improvements of a young team coming together. NAU has hit a combined .219 in its last three matches. In their last road match at Montana State, NAU posted a hitting percentage of .319, its second-highest total on the year and highest away from Flagstaff. In their last two home matches, the Lumberjacks have recorded three sets with hitting percentages over .200 including a season-high .556 against Eastern Washington.
The Lumberjacks are 7-5 all-time against Sacramento State in a series dating back to 1991. NAU split with the Hornets last year and lost at Sacramento State this year 3-1.
NAU has at least one player in the top 10 in four of the seven statistical categories within the Big Sky Conference during league play. Freshman Anna Gott is sixth in digs (3.93 dpg) and fifth in service aces (0.37 sapg). Jana Mays-Robinson sits eighth in assists (7.60 apg). Redshirt freshman Ashley Ames ranks eighth in hitting percentage (2.91 kpg).
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.
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).
Another Freshman Emerges
Freshman outside hitter Jen Wilson had a career night with 14 kills and a .464 hitting percentage against Northern Colorado on Oct. 3. Wilson, from Anaheim, Calif., has appeared in 11 matches this fall and now leads the team in hitting percentage (.240).
Freshman Kelli Dallmann recorded her first-career triple double and the first for any Lumberjack player this fall. Dallmann, from Peoria, Ariz., collected 17 assists, 14 kills, and 14 digs in a 3-1 loss to Idaho State in the conference opener. Dallmann is second on the team in kills (2.09kpg), assists (2.12 apg) and digs (2.02 dpg).
Anna Gott, Kelli Dallmann, and Lauren Campbell are the only Lumberjacks to start all 13 matches and appear in all 50 sets. Gott, Dallmann, 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 will practice Monday and Tuesday 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.
Sacramento State (13-10, 4-4 Big Sky Conference)
After beginning last week with a convincing win over Montana State on Friday, the Hornets were primed to play arguably their biggest match of the season Saturday night against Montana. The two teams entered Saturday tied for fourth place with identical conference records, but it was the Grizzlies who controlled the match throughout, completing a three-set sweep of Sacramento State. The loss marked just the third time the Hornets have been swept at home by a conference opponent in the last 14 years. Despite the Hornets falling on Saturday to Montana, the team has still won four of its last five, eight of 12, and 11 of their last 16 matches dating back to Sept. 12. In fact, the team opened the year 2-5 before turning things around to enter this week with a 13-10 overall mark. Even more impressive is Sacramento State is 7-4 away from home this season, including a 4-3 mark when playing on the home floor of the opponent. That includes a pair of road victories two weeks ago against conference foes Idaho State (3-0) and Weber State (3-1).
Players to Watch
Desiree Hoyum 6-0, OH, Sr. (3.56 kpg, 3.77 dpg)
Janelle Currey 5-10, OH/DS, Fr. (3.14 kpg, 3.34 dpg)
Melissa Melcher 5-9, S, Sr. (9.76 apg, 1.98 dpg)