Coming off a 2-1 road trip, the NAU women’s volleyball team returned to the Rolle Activity Center and swept the No. 1 ranked team in the Big Sky Conference, the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) Bears.
The Lumberjacks opened aggressively as the whistle blew, jumping out to an early lead and fought to suppress the Bears offense. NAU’s defense stood strong in the first set, totaling four block assists compared to UNC’s zero.
The Bears attempted to mount a comeback, but it was a case of too little, too late. The Lumberjacks won the first set 25-17.
At the start of the second set, NAU stuck to what worked in the first set. The Lumberjacks continued to dominate and kept the pressure on the Bears. Freshman outside hitter Taylor Jacobsen shined in the first and second sets, racking up 8 kills and 8 points. Senior middle blocker Abby Akin did her part too, tallying 6 kills and 8 points of her own after the first two sets.
The Lumberjacks were again able to hold the offense of Northern Colorado, as they strolled to win the second set 25-17 again, giving NAU a commanding two-set lead.
The third set is when Northern Colorado woke up a little bit. The teams battled back-and-forth to get the upper hand, but NAU eventually obtained another commanding lead and refused to look back. NAU won the third set 25-18, completing the three-set sweep against the Bears.
For the entire game, Jacobsen was a force on the floor. She finished with 14 total kills and a .481 kill percentage.
“I really just came out with a mindset that I was going to have no regrets and leave it all on the court,” Jacobsen said. “I tried to really trust my shots like I hit in practice every day.”
Not only was this a big win for NAU as a team, but it also gave head coach Ken Murphy his 144th win. Murphy is now the winningest coach in NAU women's volleyball program history.
“I just love NAU and we’ve had such a good experience here,” Murphy said. “We have so many good players here and I feel like I’m just the beneficiary of all that. It’s a great place to be, a great school to be a part of and we’ve got a great group of girls.”
The Lumberjacks hope to keep the win streak going, as they hit the road again for their next matchup against Idaho State Oct. 31.