After an intense and closely matched game against the Montana State University Bobcats, the women's volleyball team won 3-2 in sets Saturday. The Lumberjacks are on a four-game winning streak and have an 18-10 overall record. The game’s highest scorers were junior opposite hitter Heaven Harris with 20 kills and freshman outside hitter Taylor Jacobsen with 14 kills. Combined, both NAU and Montana State had 60 kills total. Montana State’s top scorer was junior outside hitter Evi Wilson with 21 kills.
The first set was neck-and-neck, as the Lumberjacks maintained a small lead over the Bobcats through the start of the game. The two teams struggled to achieve a lead over one another early in the match. A series of kills led NAU to pull away and maintain the lead. A kill by Harris closed out the first set 25-21.
NAU played aggressively and managed to jump to an 8-1 lead over the Bobcats in the second set. Toward the end of the second set, NAU brought the score to 22-9 until the Bobcats freshman outside hitter Kira Thomsen scored a kill. Sophomore outside hitter Ryann Davis scored a kill for the Lumberjacks, ending the second set at 25-14.
A high-scoring third set saw both teams struggling back-and-forth trying to get a lead over one another. The Bobcats managed to maintain a lead of several points over the Lumberjacks for most of the set, but nearing the end, NAU started to catch up and even the score. A kill by NAU sophomore setter Aubrea Bandfield tied the score 24-24. For several minutes, the Lumberjacks and Bobcats fought to score, but a bad set by Davis allowed the Bobcats to win the second set 26-24.
NAU began the fourth set much like Montana State did in the second. The Lumberjacks kept the score tight but fell behind after a series of four errors, which caused NAU to call a timeout. Montana State kept a sizable lead over the Lumberjacks for the rest of the fourth set, ultimately winning 25-16.
The Bobcats managed to recover after losing a lead to the Lumberjacks early in the fifth set. Senior middle blocker Abby Akin got a kill for NAU, bringing the game to match point. An attack error by Thomsen ended the game with a score of 17-15, giving NAU a hard-fought victory.
NAU is now 11-5 in conference play. The Lumberjacks will return home for a match against the Eastern Washington Eagles Thursday. NAU has defended the Rolle Activity Center, only losing once at home all season.