FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Northern Arizona volleyball plays Montana and Montana State this weekend at the Rolle Activity Center in its first two-match homestand of the conference season. The Lumberjacks face Montana on Thursday, October 7 and Montana State on Saturday, October 9. Both matches will start at 7 p.m. and will be televised live on FS Arizona and Fox College Sports.
NAU (6-8, 2-2 BSC) traveled to the Big Sky Conference's top team, Northern Colorado, last week in its only match of the weekend. The women dropped a 3-0 decision to the Bears by sets of 25-15, 25-21, and 25-21. With the defeat, the Lumberjacks sit in fifth place in the conference standings.
Montana (7-9, 3-2 BSC) is coming off a 1-1 split last weekend with away matches at Idaho State and Weber State. The Grizzlies lost to Idaho State, 3-1, and then defeated Weber State 3-1 the following day.
Montana State (9-8, 2-3 BSC) is 3-1 in their last four contests coming into Saturday's match against NAU. Montana State plays at Northern Colorado on Thursday before arriving in Flagstaff. Last weekend, the Bobcats split its road trip at Weber State and Idaho State. Montana State defeated Weber State, 3-1, and then fell to Idaho State, 3-1 the following night.
Fans can follow the Northern Arizona match through www.nauathletics.com. Live stats will be provided free of charge and live streaming video is available through Big Sky TV. Thursday's match will also be broadcasted live on NAU's Universityhouse Channel, FS Arizona, and Fox College Sports. See the 2010 Northern Arizona Volleyball TV Matches link for more details.
Lauren Campbell led the Lumberjacks with nine kills and a .261 hitting percentage against Northern Colorado on Saturday. Campbell earned a team-high 23 attacks and also recorded one assist and one dig on the night.
Last Home Game
Kelli Dallmann helped keep Northern Arizona's home record clean and led the team to its second conference win of the season on Saturday against the Hornets (3-0). Dallmann produced the match's only double-double with 33 assists and 11 digs. The sophomore setter averaged 11 assists per set and 3.67 digs per set for the game.
The Lumberjacks pushed their home record to 4-0 this year keeping the unbeaten streak alive after defeating Sacramento State, 3-0, on Saturday, September 25 in the Rolle Activity Center. NAU is the only team in the Big Sky Conference to still have an undefeated record at home.
Class in Session
Freshman Niki Small, sophomores Kelli Dallmann and Anna Gott lead their respective classes in the Big Sky Conference's offensive categories. Small leads all freshman with a .262 hitting percentage, Dallmann leads all sophomores with 9.57 assists per set and Gott leads all sophomores with 4.07 digs per set.
Kelli Dallmann is one of ten players in the Big Sky Conference this season to have five or more double doubles. The sophomore setter picked up her fifth double double on Saturday, September 25 against Sacramento State with 33 assists and 11 digs.
Big Sky Leaders
Five Lumberjacks rank among the top statistical leaders in the Big Sky Conference. Sophomore Kelli Dallmann is first in the conference with 9.57 assists per set. Sophomore Anna Gott is fourth in the league with 4.24 digs per set and third in the Big Sky with 0.37 service aces per set. Freshman Keely Stevenson is sixth with 0.31 service aces per set and freshman Niki Small is sixth in hitting percentage at .262. Junior Kobi Christensen is ninth in kills per set with 2.98.
Head Coach Craig Choate won his 300th career match against Maryland Eastern Shore on Saturday, September 4. Choate has coached at New Mexico State (1990-93), San Jose State (1993-07), and is in his third year at Northern Arizona. He has amassed a career record of 298-286.
Feasted at Fiesta
Junior outside hitter Kobi Christensen received the Fiesta Bowl Volleyball Tournament Most Valuable Player after leading all players in hitting percentage and kills in each of Northern Arizona's three matches. She totaled 48 kills on 78 attacks over the weekend with only 11 errors. The native of Kelowna, B.C., Canada averaged a .474 hitting percentage with 4.80 kills per set with 1.20 digs per set during the tournament.
The Lumberjacks are 22-29 all-time against Montana in a series that dates back to 1980. NAU has lost its last four matches to the Grizzlies. The women are 26-22 all-time against Montana State since their first meeting in 1987. NAU is currently riding a six-match win streak against the Bobcats.
Small Only in Name
In her first collegiate tournament, freshman Niki Small earned All-Tournament team honors at the UniWyo Wyoming Invite. Small started all four matches and played in all 15 sets as NAU went 1-3 with a win over Murray State (3-1) and losses to Central Arkansas (3-0), Southern Utah (3-2), and Wyoming (3-0). Small posted a .363 hitting percentage, with 2.47 kills per set. The freshman from Ashland, Ore., also totaled 0.67 blocks per set. She led the team in hitting percentage during the tournament.
Back to Full Strength
Sophomore Lexi Sullivan played her first match in 343 days after suffering a knee injury last fall on September 17 at home against Idaho State. Sullivan received a medical hardship in 2009 and returned against Central Arkansas on August 27. She posted a team-high 10 kills and .192 hitting percentage. She led NAU in kills in three of the Lumberjacks' four matches at the UniWyo Wyoming Invite.
The Lumberjacks practice Monday-Thursday from 2-4:30 p.m. in the Rolle Activity Center. Media seeking admittance need to contact Joe Scacco by phone at 928-523-6330 or by email at Joe.Scacco@nau.edu.
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 35 years. In its 23 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 19 years. In 1999, NAU went to the NCAA tournament suffering a 3-0 loss to No. 5 North Carolina.