Volleyball Set to Host 2009 Fiesta Bowl Tournament

Volleyball Set to Host 2009 Fiesta Bowl Tournament

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Northern Arizona women's volleyball kicks off its home schedule with the 2009 Fiesta Bowl Tournament from Friday, Sept. 11 to Saturday, Sept. 12. In all, six matches will be played on Friday and Saturday between NAU, Wyoming, The Citadel, and Utah State.

What, When, and Where
Northern Arizona volleyball will open its home schedule playing host to Wyoming, The Citadel, and Utah State at the 2009 Fiesta Bowl Tournament, an annual tradition at NAU. The tournament will begin on Friday, Sept. 11, at 4 p.m. with Utah State and The Citadel opening play.

Tournament Schedule
Friday, Sept. 11
Utah State vs. The Citadel - 4 p.m.
NAU vs. Wyoming - 7 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 12
NAU vs. The Citadel - 10 a.m.
Utah State vs. Wyoming - 1 p.m.
Wyoming vs. The Citadel - 4 p.m.
NAU vs. Utah State - 7 p.m.

Live Stats and Webcast
NAU will provide live stats for all matches this weekend. Live stats will be available free of charge. Big Sky TV (www.bigskytv.org), the league’s comprehensive video streaming package, (www.bigskytv.org) video streams all volleyball matches played in Big Sky venues.

For the second straight season, the service will be free to viewers, but viewers will need to register at bigskytv.org in order to gain access.

NAU Volleyball Live TV
NAU’s TV Services Department will be broadcasting all three of the Lumberjacks’ matches this weekend. They can be seen LIVE on the Universityhouse Channel (Dish Network 9411). Check nauathletics.com for further television information. Mitch Strohman, the “Voice of the Lumberjacks,” will be handling play-by-play duties with Sharon Falor doing color commentary. Jordan Byrd will serve as the play-by-play for Saturday’s matches.

FOX Sports Arizona, on DirectTV channel 686 and Dish Network channel 415, will offer tape delayed airings of NAU matches against The Citadel and Utah State on Wednesday Sept. 16 at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., respectively.

At the Trojan Invitational
NAU went 1-2 at the Trojan Invitational co-hosted by No. 21 Pepperdine and No. 16 USC. The Lumberjacks lost 3-0 to both Pepperdine and USC, but posted their second win of the year against Florida Gulf Coast 3-1. As a team, NAU hit .289 against Florida Gulf Coast, its highest hitting percentage to date this season. Sophomore outside hitter Lexi Sullivan was the lone Lumberjack to earn all-tournament honors

Sullivan Takes All-Tournament
The 6-0 outside hitter led NAU with 41 kills in three matches this past weekend. She recorded double-digit kills in all three matches and in six matches this year has finished below 10 kills just once. She posted hitting percentages of .243, .289, and .333 in matches against No. 21 Pepperdine, Florida Gulf Coast, and No. 16 USC. For the season, Sullivan leads the Lumberjacks in total attacks (259) and kills per set (3.64) starting all six matches for NAU and appearing in all 22 sets.

Positive Results in Boise
Northern Arizona volleyball finished third at the 2009 Boise State Bronco Invitational. The Lumberjacks were 1-2 in three matches over two days with a win over Boise State (3-1) and losses against CS Northridge (3-2) and Tulsa (3-0). The Lumberjacks nearly pulled off a pair of upsets as they were tied 12-12 in the fifth set against Northridge and within two points (22-20) in the second and third sets against Tulsa.

The Young Get Younger
The Northern Arizona volleyball roster consists of 12 freshman and sophomores. Junior Chelsea Cheeley and senior Jana Mays-Robinson are the only upperclassmen on the 2009 roster.

Tournament Honors for New Lumberjack
Lauren Campbell, playing in her first tournament as a collegiate, was selected to the Bronco all-tournament team two weeks ago in Boise, Idaho. In three matches, Campbell totaled 34 kills, 37 digs and four blocks. In the Lumberjacks 3-1 win over Boise State, Campbell, a freshman outside hitter from Covington, Wash., posted a double-double with a game-high 18 digs, 14 kills, and a .244 hitting percentage. She equaled the feat on Saturday in a 3-2 loss to Cal State Northridge with 15 digs and 13 kills. Against tournament champion Tulsa, Campbell added seven kills and four digs in a three-set loss.

Newcomers Making a Difference
Seven NAU Lumberjacks have seen significant playing time after six matches in 2009. Sophomore Lexi Sullivan leads NAU with 3.64 kills per set accompanied by two freshman and one sophmore in the top four in kills. Freshmen Lauren Campbell (2.59 kpg), Kelli Dallmann (2.77 apg), and Anna Gott (5.14 dpg) have played in all 22 sets for the Lumberjacks this season to go along with Sullivan who has played 22 and sophomore Katie Bailey who has played in 21.

Wyoming (4-2)
The Cowgirls finished the 2007 season 5-20 overall, a record good enough for eighth-place in the Mountain West Conference. Wyoming returns three starters and four letterwinners from last year's team. The Cowgirls are 4-2 on the year after defeating Montana State (3-2) and North Dakota (3-1), and losing to Fresno State (3-1) at home last weekend. The Cowgirls are led by freshman outside hitter Jodi Purdy who is hitting .246 and averaging 3.12 kills and 2.58 digs per set. As a team, Wyoming is hitting .187 on the season as compared to a .159 hitting percentage for its opponents.

Players to Watch
Jodi Purdy, Fr., OH (3.12 kpg, .246 hitting pct.)
Barbara Lasic, Jr., S (10.29 apg, 1.21 dpg)
Jessica Kagarise, Sr., L (4.25 dpg)

The Citadel (1-6)
The Citadel ended play in 2008 with a 9-23 record overall and a sixth-place finish in the South Division of the Southern Conference. In 2009, The Citadel returns four starters and seven letterwinners. The Citadel is 1-6 on the season after losing matches to North Carolina State (3-0), USC Upstate (3-2) and UNC Asheville (3-0) last weekend. The Citadel’s first victory came against North Carolina Central, a 3-1 win. The Bulldogs are led by junior outside hitter Tatum Jestila who is hitting .259 and averaging 3.11 kills and 2.41 digs per set. As a team, The Citadel is hitting .185 on the season as compared to a .268 hitting percentage for its opponents.

Players to Watch
Tatum Jestila, Jr., OH (3.11 kpg, .259 hitting pct.)
Alyssa Holum, So., S (7.59 apg, 2.04 dpg)
Jessica Maxwell, Fr., MB (1.96 kpg, .52 bpg)

Utah State (2-2)
Utah State went 11-17 overall in 2008 with a 9-7 record in the Western Athletic Conference. The Aggies are 2-2 on the season after defeating BYU at home in five sets in its last match. USU is led by junior middle blocker Katie Astle who is hitting .379 and averaging 1.72 kills and 0.83 blocks per set, while fellow junior middle blocker Shantell Durrant is hitting .324 and averaging 1.94 kills and 1.17 blocks per set. Sophomore outside hitter Liz McArthur currently leads the team with 3.50 kills per set. As a team, Utah State is hitting .207 on the season as compared to a .207 hitting percentage for its opponents.

Players to Watch
Liz McArthur, So., OH (3.50 kpg, 1.39 dpg)
Chelsea Fowles, Jr., S (10.56 apg, 0.78 bpg)
Christine Morrill, Jr., L (4.33 dpg)

Media/Practice Information
The Lumberjacks will practice Monday-Thursday this week from 2-4:30 p.m. in the Rolle Activity Center. Media wishing to attend practice should contact Joe Scacco at 928-523-6330 or joseph.scacco@nau.edu.

What is the history of Northern Arizona volleyball? We're glad you asked. Going back to the old AIAW days, NAU has been a player in women's intercollegiate athletics for 34 years. In its 22 years in the NCAA, NAU has posted nine winning seasons and 15 with double digit wins. The Lumberjacks have reached the postseason 14 of the past 18 years. In 1999, NAU went to the NCAA tournament suffering a 3-0 loss to No. 5 North Carolina.