Women’s volleyball looks to continue undefeated streak
NAU Volleyball travels to Colorado to play in the Air Force Falcon Invitational this weekend, looking to win their third tournament championship in as many weeks. The Jacks will be facing the South Carolina Spartans, Utah Valley Wolverines and the Air Force Falcons.
The Lumberjacks faced the Wolverines in their season opening tournament, the Wolverine Invitational, pulling out the win in their first meeting. The Jacks beat Utah Valley three sets to one, with all sets closely contested.
“We’ve practiced really hard all week, we’ve done a lot of game-like situations,” said junior outside hitter Lexi Sullivan. Sullivan, who has tallied 61 kills in six games, believes the ladies are mentally prepared for this upcoming tournament.
“One of our coaches said that if you want to be a good team, you have to crush the teams that are bad,” Sullivan said.
Mentally, the Lumberjacks are in the best state of mind. The team feels the chemistry both on and off the court and the confidence is giving the team the cohesiveness that they have been searching for.
Sullivan feels that the 6–0 record has given the Lady Jacks an edge going into this weekend.
“I feel like we have an advantage,” Sullivan said. “We have a lot of confidence right now and we have a lot of bonding going on which is helping our team chemistry, and it feels really good.”
Junior libero Anna Gott has defensively held the team together with 78 digs in the past six games, averaging 3.39 digs per set.
“We really focused on what our problem areas were from our first tournament this week,” Gott said.
In terms of how the team is handling the winning streak, Gott believes NAU has a new found confidence.
“I mean, winning is a definite confidence booster so it’s good that we have been winning, Gott said. “I think we are also staying humble and we know we have to play our game to win.”
Junior setter Kelli Dallmann, who took MVP in the Wolverine Invitational, agrees with her teammates about being confident with the 6-0 record.
“We are really pumped from the last two tournaments, but we have to be focused also,” Dallmann said.
The improvements from last year to this season are due to the experience and connection on this year’s team. Dallmann recognizes that things are finally clicking for the Lumberjacks this year.
“We have an older team now, I think everything is fitting together finally,” Dallmann said. “We all work really well together, we are really scrappy and everyone is doing their job and is making it work.”