POCATELLO, Idaho – Northern Arizona volleyball lost at Idaho State, 3-1, in the first match of the Big Sky Conference season at Reed Gym on Friday. The Lumberjacks fell by sets of 25-14, 25-17, 19-25, and 25-20.
For the second straight year, NAU (4-7, 0-1 BSC) opened the Big Sky Conference regular season against the Idaho State Bengals. The Lumberjacks fell in last year's opener, 3-1, and also lost in four sets to start the 2010 conference season.
The Lumberjacks fell behind early in the first and second sets but fought back in the third to push the match to a fourth. NAU held a comfortable lead throughout the third set and kept the Big Sky's second best team in the non-conference season from mounting a comeback.
The Lumberjacks were down 18-10 in the fourth set before putting together a 7-2 run cutting Idaho State's lead to three at 20-17. The Bengals regained their composure to close out the match and earn their first conference win of the season.
NAU posted a .047 team hitting percentage compared to a .180 hitting percentage for Idaho State. Kobi Christensen led the Lumberjacks with 12 kills followed by Niki Small who collected 11 kills. Small led the team with a .241 hitting percentage. Kelli Dallmann had a match-high 34 assists for the Lumberjacks.
Idaho State's Haylee Thompson-Brock turned in a match-high 20 kills hitting .326 on the night. Jaclyn Hone totaled 12 kills rounding out the match's kill leaders.
NAU will look for its first league win on Saturday, September 18 as the team travels to Weber State. The Lumberjacks swept Weber State last fall and hold a 31-26 all-time record against the Wildcats. The match is schedule for a 6 p.m. start.