FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Sophomores Lauren Campbell and Jen Wilson totaled 18 kills apiece but Northern Arizona volleyball came up just short in a 3-2 loss to Montana at the Rolle Activity Center on Thursday. The Lumberjacks dropped a tight match by sets of 17-25, 25-22, 22-25, 25-17, and 15-12.
"We knew coming in this was going to be a long grind-it-out type of match," said head coach Craig Choate. "We had opportunities to win but ultimately came up one set short. We need to regroup and start preparing for Saturday against Montana State."
NAU (6-9, 2-3 BSC) came out fast in the first set hitting .265 as a team and limiting Montana (8-9, 4-2 BSC) to -.027 during the set. The Lumberjacks limited Montana to just seven kills and forced eight hitting errors.
Montana evened the match at 1-1 in the second set despite another strong effort from the Lumberjacks. The Grizzlies hit .375 in the second while NAU turned in a .216 hitting percentage and was within reach of taking a 2-0 lead down just one point at 23-22. Montana followed up with two kills to end the second.
The Lumberjacks jumped ahead 2-1 in the third but Montana followed suit in the fourth pushing the match to a deciding fifth set. NAU jumped ahead, 3-0, before a 6-1 run by Montana but the Grizzlies up 6-4.
NAU stayed within two points of the Grizzlies till a 5-2 run put the Lumberjacks ahead 12-11 with three kills from Campbell, one from Wilson, and one from senior Chelsea Cheeley. Montana answered back preventing NAU from scoring another point closing the match with four straight points. NAU finished with a .163 hitting percentage while Montana ended the match hitting .191 as a team.
Campbell turned in her best performance of the season tying a match-high in kills and hitting .229 on the night. Wilson reset her career-high in kills, two more than her previous best. Cheeley had a game-high .538 hitting percentage converting 9-of-13 attacks.
Sophomore Kelli Dallmann posted 50 assists and 16 digs for the Lumberjacks only double-double of the night, her sixth of the season.
NAU plays on Saturday, October 9 at 7 p.m. in the Rolle Activity Center against Montana State. The Lumberjacks play their next three conference matches on the road after Saturday.