VOLLEYBALL DROPS HEARTBREAKER AT NORTHERN ARIZONA
Outside hitter Janelle Currey had 18 kills, 23 digs and a .306 hitting percentage
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- Northern Arizona’s Lexi Sullivan (21) and Lauren Campbell (21) combined for 42 of the team’s 66 kills as the Lumberjacks defeated Sacramento State, 3-2 (25-22, 25-27, 23-25, 25-23, 15-10), in a Big Sky Conference volleyball matchup Saturday evening at the Rolle Activity Center.
In a match that lasted two hours and 15 minutes, and featured 40 tie scores and 18 lead changes, the Lumberjacks (15-5, 6-5) defeated the Hornets (13-12, 6-4) in Flagstaff for the third time in the last four years.
With just six matches remaining in the season for the Hornets, Sacramento State now finds itself in fourth place in the conference standings, trailing Portland State (9-3), Northern Colorado (8-3) and Eastern Washington (8-4). The Hornets currently own the tiebreaker against all three of those teams, but do not own the tiebreaker with NAU which beat the Hornets in Sacramento earlier this season. The top four teams in the nine-member conference advance to the Big Sky Tournament which takes place Nov. 25-26.
Northern Arizona never trailed in the fifth set and hit .364 in the frame while Sullivan had four kills and Campbell had three. Conversely, the Hornets hit .000 in the decisive set, and had four less kills (9-5) than the Lumberjacks. After a kill from Janelle Currey drew Sacramento State within, 13-10, a Hornet attack error followed by an NAU combo block ended the set and match.
Northern Arizona had just six more kills than the Hornets (66-60), but hit .221 compared to Sacramento State’s mark of .115. The Hornets could not take advantage of 16 NAU service errors.
Sullivan and Campbell both eclipsed 20 kills while no other Lumberjack had more than seven. What made those numbers even more impressive is Campbell hit .360 (21-3-50) and Sullivan hit .300 (21-3-60). Libero Anna Gott led all players with 32 digs.
Currey led the Hornets in kills (18) and digs (23) while also tallying four blocks and hitting .306. Middle blocker Kelsey Elston had 11 kills, three blocks and a team-best .321 hitting percentage (11-2-28), and middle blocker Maddison Thivierge had eight kills, a .273 hitting percentage and career-high tying nine blocks. Defensive specialist Sydney Kordic added four aces and 17 digs, and libero Breanne Menees had 22 digs.
Sacramento State begins a four-match homestand next week with contests against Weber State on Friday and Idaho State on Saturday. The Hornets, who began the week in first place, are now two games back of first-place Portland State. Sacramento State defeated both Weber State and Idaho State on the road earlier this season.