FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The Northern Arizona volleyball team will not make their home debut until Sept. 12, but Lumberjack fans won't have to wait until then to get their first glimpse of this year's squad. The Lumberjacks will host a free open intrasquad scrimmage for all fans this Saturday, Aug. 23 at the Rolle Activity Center beginning at 5 p.m.
The Lumberjacks are nearing the end of their two-a-day practice sessions with the 2014 season opener just a little over a week away. The extra training has been critical for head coach Ken Murphy, who has had to incorporate seven newcomers in with an already talented group of eight returners.
"We're getting better; we're looking more comfortable in our systems and more organized as a team than we did a week ago," Murphy said. "We're more under control. As that is happening, some really good things are starting to show. We look more powerful, hitting at higher points and playing at a much higher tempo because they're starting to look more confident."
NAU, voted in a tie for first in the Big Sky Preseason Poll released last week, will field a deep roster this season which includes returning all-conference honorees in senior Sydney Kemper and junior Janae Vander Ploeg. With all the work that the team has put in, Saturday's scrimmage will be an exciting opportunity for fans to see what the Lumberjacks have in store for 2014.
"We're working really hard and putting in as much as we can," said junior Payton Bock. "From the first day until now, we're so much better. It's really cool to see the team chemistry we've built too."
The Lumberjacks open the regular season on Aug. 29 versus Houston Baptist at the HBU Husky Classic in Houston, Texas.