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August 31, 2012

Volleyball Defeats Fresno State 3-1 to open Colorado Tournament

BOULDER, Colo. – Senior Kelli Dallmann continued her torrid start to the season with a career-high 21 kills and 12 digs as NAU rallied from a first set loss to top Fresno State, 3-1 (19-25, 25-21, 25-21, 25-21), to open play at the Omni Hotels Colorado Volleyball Classic. NAU improved to 4-0 and has won 13 consecutive nonconference matches dating back to last season while Fresno State, which swept Cornell earlier in the day, dropped to 3-2.

Dallmann hit .320 for the match and is now averaging 4.33 kills per set for the season. Freshman Janae Vander Ploeg also recorded a double-double with 11 kills and 10 digs while sophomore setter Kalee Kirby notched a career-high 47 assists. Senior Anna Gott posted a team season-best 24 digs and sophomore Sydney Kemper added seven blocks to contribute to 17 total blocks for the Lumberjacks. NAU hit .181 for the match after hitting .356 combined last weekend at the UNLV Invitational but held the Bulldogs to a .128 average in the win.

NAU hit just .111 in the opening set as Fresno State took the early lead. The Bulldogs held a slim 12-11 cushion before pulling away with a 6-0 run and eventually taking a 24-16 advantage. The Lumberjacks would withstand three set points before succumbing, 25-19.

The second set began close as well, with Fresno State holding an 11-10 lead before using a 6-2 run to take a 17-12 advantage. The Lumberjacks would fight back to draw even at 18 and eventually go up 21-18 on the heels of a 9-1 spurt. The Bulldogs pulled to within two points at 22-20 but a kill by Dallmann, an FSU attack error, and another kills by Dallmann would give NAU the set and level the match at 1-1.

The Bulldogs led through the early stages of the third set, building a 14-10 lead, before NAU pulled even at 15-15. The Lumberjacks would open a 20-17 lead and, up 23-21, would get kills from Dallmann and freshman Payton Bock and to take the set 25-21.

The fourth set was the closest of the match as the teams would be deadlocked at 20-20. NAU benefited from a kill by Dallmann and three FSU errors to take a 24-20 lead and, after the Bulldogs fended off one match point, closed the match on Dallmann's 21st kill to claim the 3-1 win.

Northern Arizona continues play at the Omni Hotels Colorado Volleyball Classic on Saturday, facing host Colorado at 10 a.m. before closing the tournament vs. Cornell at 3 p.m.