MISSOULA, Mont. – NAU outhit Montana .267 to .100 and got double-doubles from sophomore Kalee Kirby and freshman Janae Vander Ploeg in an easy 3-0 (25-13, 25-14, 25-18) sweep on Friday night in snowy Missoula, Mont. The Lumberjacks swept the Grizzlies in both meeting between the teams this season and improved to 13-4 in the Big Sky and 21-5 overall, equaling the 1982 team for the second most wins in a season in program history.
Kirby totaled 43 assists and 15 digs for her team-leading 11th double-double of the season while Vander Ploeg had her sixth double-double with 11 kills and 10 digs. Senior Kelli Dallmann equaled Vander Ploeg for the team-high in kills with 11 and sophomore Sydney Kemper added seven kills and three blocks. NAU hit over .300 in two of the three sets and held the Grizzlies to sub-.100 hitting percentages in two sets while holding a 63-40 advantage in digs and a 6-0 tally in service aces.
NAU led from the onset in the first set and turned a 9-7 lead into a 15-8 cushion. After Montana got within 16-10 the Lumberjacks went on a 7-0 run, which included a string of four Vander Ploeg kills within five points, to open up a commanding 23-10 lead. The Grizzlies went on to score three straight points before kills from Kemper and Vander Ploeg ended the set.
Montana hit just .028 in the second set as NAU turned an early 7-6 lead into a 16-8 advantage following a 9-2 spurt that extended to a 14-3 run and a 21-9 lead. Six different Lumberjacks had at least one kill in the set and five had two or more kills as senior Lexi Sullivan terminated the set with a kill and gave NAU a 2-0 lead.
The third set was the closest with eight ties and four lead changes. The Grizzlies led narrowly into the middle of the set and held a 15-13 advantage. NAU then went on a 10-0 run that included four kills, three blocks and a service ace to move to a 23-15 advantage and ease to a 25-18 set to clinch the match.
At third place in the Big Sky NAU plays its final road match of the regular season at 7 p.m. Saturday at Montana State.