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Volleyball Pulls off Upset of Northern Colorado in Five Sets to Close Out 2008 Season

GREELEY, Colo. – The NAU volleyball team did its part to try to extend its season, but by virtue of a Sacramento State upset of Portland State, the Lumberjacks will not be going to the Big Sky Tournament despite pulling off a 3-2 upset of Northern Colorado on the road. NAU finishes the year at 15-10 overall and 7-9 in Big Sky play, with its overall record being the best since 2001.

After getting dominated 25-14 and 25-13 by Northern Colorado in the first two sets, NAU rallied back and won the next three sets by scores of 25-18, 25-23 and 15-10.

“I’m just so incredibly proud of the way these girls came back after being beaten in every way,” said head coach Craig Choate. “They didn’t fade, and that says a ton about the kind of people they are. To me, the win was everything. I really wasn’t thinking about the tournament. We’ll come back next year and really earn our spot in the tournament.”

Lexi Sullivan tallied a double-double with a team-high 20 kills along with 12 digs. Kailee Savage recorded a season-high 15 digs, and Brittany Stowers led all players with 28 digs. Kenzie Shreeve led Northern Colorado with 22 kills and 11 digs.

NAU started off terribly with five kills and six errors in the first set, getting into an early 5-0 hole and never recovering. The second set didn’t go much better, and the Bears improved their hitting to once again win easily.

The Lumberjacks were down 10-8 in set three before a 6-0 run finally started to turn things around. NAU held the lead the rest of the way, and a kill by Sullivan ended the set in favor of the Lumberjacks.

Set four was tied as late as 17-17, but Katie Bailey recorded a kill and then served out four straight points to put NAU up 22-17. Northern Colorado came back to within two, 22-20, but the teams traded points from there as NAU evened the match at 2-2.

With 12 kills and just two errors in the final set, including an impressive seven kills by Sullivan in the last set alone, NAU cruised to a win in its final match of the year.