FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Northern Arizona volleyball defeated Sacramento State, 3-0, in its first Big Sky Conference home match of the season at the Rolle Activity Center on Saturday. NAU won by sets of 25-23, 25-21, and 25-21 to stay undefeated at home this fall.
NAU (6-7, 2-1 BSC) posted its fourth straight win at home and pushed its streak of 3-0 wins in Flagstaff to three. The Lumberjacks played their last five matches on the road after recording three home wins, two by 3-0 totals, at the Fiesta Bowl Tournament on September 3 and 4.
On Saturday, NAU produced a balanced attack with six players combining for 36 kills for a .153 hitting percentage with just 19 errors. Sacramento State (7-10, 0-2 BSC) outhit the Lumberjacks picking up 39 kills but NAU forced 28 hitting errors from the Hornets for a .088 hitting percentage.
Sophomore setter Kelli Dallmann totaled the match's only double-double with 33 assists (11.0 aps) and 11 digs (3.67 dps). Dallmann, along with sophomore Anna Gott (16 digs, 5.33 dps) and junior Kobi Christensen (11 digs, 3.33 dps), played superb defense allowing the NAU offense to convert points throughout the night.
"We took care of our home court and that is all you can ask for in conference," said head coach Craig Choate. "The team passed relatively well and we played good defense."
NAU trailed early in the first set but an 8-1 run shifted the momentum as the Lumberjacks took a three-point lead late in the set, 19-16. The team was able to hold off a late surge by Sacramento State to win the first, 25-23. In the second and third sets, the Lumberjacks held comfortable leads to clinch the victory.
"We played great as a team tonight," said Dallmann. "It is always fun to win in front of our home crowd and we need to carry this energy over to next week."
With the win, the Lumberjacks sit in a tie for third place in the Big Sky Conference standings. NAU faces its toughest test in the conference next week, taking on the league's top team, Northern Colorado. NAU plays on Saturday, October 2 at 6 p.m. in the team's only match of the week.