Barton's Triple-Double Not Enough in NAU's Five-Set Loss to CSUB

Jensen Barton
Jensen Barton

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – Senior Jensen Barton tallied her first career triple-double and freshman Abby Akin registered 10 blocks, but the Northern Arizona volleyball team fell short in a comeback effort to CSU Bakersfield, 25-22, 21-25, 25-19, 15-25, 15-11, Thursday evening. NAU's five-match win streak came to a halt with the defeat, as the Lumberjacks now sit 7-3 this season.

Barton became the first Lumberjack in nearly seven years since Kelli Dallmann accomplished the feat to record a triple-double. She finished the match with a career-high 10 kills along with 42 assists and 10 digs. Meanwhile, Akin hit the double-digit block threshold for the second time this season, having her hand in 10 of NAU's 12 team blocks.

NAU dominated the stat sheet, using a big block advantage of 12.0-3.0, to hold a seemingly commanding edge in hitting at .260-.119. Yet, at the service line – an area NAU has excelled at this season – was where CSU Bakersfield stunned the 'Jacks. The Lumberjacks recorded a season-low two aces, while the Roadrunners aced the 'Jacks on 11 occasions, which is the most allowed by NAU this season.

The Roadrunners had the Lumberjacks playing catch up in the match following a first set win. CSU Bakersfield overcame an initial 7-3 NAU lead with a 6-0 run to take 13-9 lead. Akin brought the 'Jacks even at 14-14 with her first of two solo blocks and the Lumberjacks briefly took a 20-19 lead following a kill from senior Addy Lofstedt. After a timeout, CSU Bakersfield snapped a 22-all tie with the final three points – the last coming on a service ace.

CSUB continued its momentum into the second set with a lead as late as 18-15 before Akin sparked the Lumberjacks. Down at that point in the game, NAU ripped off an 8-0 run in a blink of an eye with Akin contributing three straight blocks in that span – two with Lofstedt and one with freshman Sydney Lema. With the lead in hand, NAU proceeded to hold off a three-point answer by CSUB to head into the intermission tied at one set apiece.

CSU Bakersfield handled the third set, taking a 4-2 lead and never looking back, but NAU responded with a decisive fourth set win itself. Senior Lauren Jacobsen put the 'Jacks on her back, recording eight of her team-high 19 kills in the set alone to force a fifth and final set. NAU hit a match-high .536 in the fourth game and led by as much as nine points.

Playing in its first five-set match of the season, the final game mirrored the entire rollercoaster nature of the match. The Roadrunners claimed the first four of five points and led 11-6 until the Lumberjacks axed their deficit with a 5-0 run. Lofstedt provided NAU with sideout, which redshirt freshman Hannah Cherry took and served the 'Jacks back into an 11-11 tie. However, CSUB used a timeout to regroup and promptly ended the match with the final four points.

The Lumberjacks had a season-high five players reach double-digit digs led by Lema's season-high 17. Sophomore Jordan Anderson was next with 16, followed by Jacobsen's 14 – which notched Jacobsen's seventh double-double – junior Brooke Donnelly's 12 and 10 from Barton.

Lofstedt had five blocks behind Akin's 10 as CSUB hit no higher than .184 in any set after the opener.

The 'Jacks look to jump back into the win column with their first match of the CSUB's Roadrunner Classic Friday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. versus UC Riverside.