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Volleyball Unable to Fight Off Sacramento State

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Northern Arizona women’s volleyball outhit Sacramento State .235 to .222, but the Lumberjacks were unable to translate the stat line to the scoreboard falling to the Hornets 3-1 at Rolle Activity Center on Thursday. NAU was defeated by scores of 25-21, 24-26, 25-22, and 25-23

NAU (6-12, 3-6 BSC) held leads in each set, but Sacramento State (14-10, 5-4 BSC) showed its experience battling back on the road and outplaying the Lumberjacks in the latter stages of each set.

“It is part of growing up,” said head coach Craig Choate. “I don’t think that will happen next year. Sacramento State just played a little bit better. It’s not like it wasn’t tight. We haven’t gotten to the point where we do fundamental skills out of habit.”

The Lumberjacks had brilliant performances across the board starting with sophomore Kobi Christensen and freshman Kelli Dallmann. Christensen recorded a team high 15 kills hitting .300 for the match while Dallmann posted a double-double with 21 assist and 13 kills hitting a career-high .476.

“The problem is you can’t get it done with just two hitters,” Choate said after acknowledging the solid play of Christensen and Dallmann. “We just had a tough night. We passed well enough to do things, but we couldn’t finish. You have to credit Sacramento State.”

NAU dropped a narrow first set, but answered back in the second to even the match at 1-1.

In the pivotal third set, the Lumberjacks went up 11-3 after an 8-0 run, but Sacramento State stormed back immediately with an 11-3 run of their own to even the score at 14-14. NAU stretched its lead on two separate occasions to three, but the Hornets answered both times and pulled out the third set.

The Lumberjacks were also up in the fourth before Sacramento State tied the set at 15-15 and pulled ahead for good to close the match.

“Whenever we needed a really important point we couldn’t get it,” Choate said. “The momentum never went our way.”

The Lumberjacks season is far from over with seven matches remaining on the schedule, but five will be played on the road beginning next weekend with away matches against Weber State and Idaho State on Fri., October 30 and Sat., October 31, respectively.