Volleyball’s undefeated streak rained on in northwest
Lumberjack volleyball traveled to the northwest to face off with the Vikings of Portland State and the Eastern Washington University (EWU) Eagles, splitting 1–1 and ending their unbeaten streak.
“The girls said that we were playing not to lose, not to win,” said head coach Craig Choate, via NAU Athletics. “Things just kind of lightened after that.”
NAU ended their weekend with a 3–2 victory over EWU. The Eagles took the first two sets with scores of 26–24 and 25–18. The first set was a back-and-forth duel, but second set was not as close of an affair. The Eagles jumped out to a lead that forced the Jacks to play catch-up the whole time. NAU came within two points about halfway through the set, but EWU took control and finished the set with consecutive points.
The Lumberjacks rallied to take the final three stanzas 25–19, 25–22 and 15–12. EWU scored the first point of the third game, but NAU tallied the next three points, giving them a lead EWU matched, but was not be able to overcome. The third set was capped off by a kill from junior outside hitter Jen Wilson, giving NAU the 25–19 win.
NAU kept their momentum going in the fourth set, leading by as many as five points through the match. The Eagles battled to within two, but a kill by freshman outside hitter Taylor Stephens sealed the deal, evening the match at two sets apiece.
In the final stanza Eastern Washington trailed for the majority of the match, only tying NAU twice. Freshman middle blocker Sydney Kemper put the nail in the coffin and moved the Jacks to 13–1 overall with the final kill of the game.
Junior libero Anna Gott tallied a career high 34 digs and junior outside hitter Jen Wilson scored her second consecutive double-double with 11 digs and 16 kills.
“We just talked about taking it one set at a time and having some fun,” Choate said, via NAU Athletics. “We just started playing well after that.”
The Jacks started their road trip 12–0 when they arrived in Portland, looking to extend the school record they broke in their last game against Sacramento State.
The Vikings had other ideas and handed the Lumberjacks their first loss of the season, beating them 3–1. NAU dropped the first set of the match 25–15, followed by a close 26–24 loss in the second. The Jacks made sure that they were not swept in straight sets by clinching the third stanza 25–18, but came up short in the fourth with a 25–16 loss.
Wilson hit a career high 19 kills throughout the match, but that did not help the Lumberjacks, who posted a season low 13 percent hitting average.