FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Northern Arizona volleyball hosts the 18th Annual Fiesta Bowl Volleyball Tournament at the Rolle Activity Center on Friday, September 3 and Saturday, September 4. The tournament features three-first time entrees: Maryland Eastern Shore, Rider, and Texas A&M Corpus Christi.
NAU compiled a 40-12 (.769) record in its own event and won 10 team titles in the tournament's 18 year history. Some top programs have participated at the Fiesta Bowl Tournament including Oregon State, Radford, San Diego State, Arkansas-Little Rock, Memphis, Houston, West Virginia and Santa Clara all of which earned national postseason appearances during the seasons in which they visited Flagstaff.
Northern Arizona volleyball and the Fiesta Bowl Committee wish to thank Arby's and the Courtyard Marriott for providing hospitality to the 2010 Fiesta Bowl visiting teams and for their support of the Fiesta Bowl Tournament.
Fiesta Bowl Schedule
|9/3||Rider vs. Maryland Eastern Shore||4 p.m.|
|9/3||Texas A&M Corpus Christi at NAU||7 p.m.|
|9/4||Maryland Eastern Shore vs. Texas A&M Corpus
|9/4||Rider at NAU||Noon|
|9/4||Texas A&M Corpus Christi vs. Rider||4:30 p.m.|
|9/4||Maryland Eastern Shore at NAU||7 p.m.|
Fans can follow the Fiesta Bowl Tournament through www.nauathletics.com. Live streaming video and live stats can be seen through Big Sky TV found through the multimedia link on the NAU home page or through the schedule/results section on the NAU volleyball page.
The Lumberjacks' matches against Rider and Maryland Eastern Shore will appear live on the Universityhouse Channel, on Dish Network 9411. The broadcasts will be available on tape delay on Fox College Sports and Fox Sports Arizona at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., respectively, on September 9.
Last Weekend: UniWyo Wyoming Invite
Northern Arizona went 1-3 at the UniWyo Wyoming Invite. The Lumberjacks dropped their first match to Central Arkansas, 3-0. The Sugar Bears finished the tournament 3-1 after a 27-3 record last fall and a Southland Conference championship. The Lumberjacks fought back to even their record at 1-1 with a 3-1 victory over Murray State. The next day, NAU battled Southern Utah through five-sets but lost in 15-11 in the fifth. In their final match, the Lumberjacks fell to the tournament champion, Wyoming, in three sets.
Small Only in Name
In her first collegiate tournament, freshman Niki Small earned All-Tournament team honors at the UniWyo Wyoming Invite. Small started all four matches and played in all 15 sets as NAU went 1-3 with a win over Murray State (3-1) and losses to Central Arkansas (3-0), Southern Utah (3-2), and Wyoming (3-0). Small posted a .363 hitting percentage, with 2.47 kills per set. The freshman from Ashland, Ore., also totaled 0.67 blocks per set. She led the team in hitting percentage during the tournament.
Back to Full Strength
Sophomore Lexi Sullivan played her first match in 343 days after suffering a knee injury last fall on September 17 at home against Idaho State. Sullivan received a medical hardship in 2009 and returned against Central Arkansas on August 27. She posted a team-high 10 kills and .192 hitting percentage. She led NAU in kills in three of the Lumberjacks' four matches at the UniWyo Wyoming Invite.
Big Sky Leaders
Four Lumberjacks rank among the top statistical leaders in the Big Sky Conference. Sophomore Kelli Dallmann is second in the conference with 10.13 assists per set. She played at setter full time during three of the Lumberjacks' four matches at the UniWyo Wyoming Invite. Sophomore Anna Gott is third in the league with 4.60 digs per set. The Phoenix native is tied for third in the league with 0.47 aces per set as well. Sophomore Lexi Sullivan is fourth in the Big Sky with 3.64 kills per set, and Niki Small is fourth in hitting percentage at .363.
The Lumberjacks face Texas A&M Corpus Christi in their second matchup all-time. NAU defeated the Islanders, 3-1, in 2006. NAU will play Rider and Maryland Eastern Shore for the first time.
The Lumberjacks practice Monday-Thursday from 2-4:30 p.m. in the Rolle Activity Center. Media seeking admittance need to contact Joe Scacco by phone at 928-523-6330 or by email at Joe.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 35 years. In its 23 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 19 years. In 1999, NAU went to the NCAA tournament suffering a 3-0 loss to No. 5 North Carolina.
Texas A&M Corpus Christ 1-3 (9-22 in 2009)
The Islanders opened the 2010 season at the Mississippi State Maroon Classic this past weekend. Texas A&M Corpus Christi finished 1-3 with a win over Arkansas Little Rock in a five-set match. The team lost to Austin Peay (3-0), Montana (3-0), and Mississippi State (3-1).
Players to Watch
Emma Ridley OH, 5-11, Sr. (3.60 kps, 2.40 dps)
Logen Bourque S, 5-11, Fr. (6.40 aps, 2.13 dps)
Micah Nolan L, 5-6, Fr. (5.07 dps)
Rider 0-0 (3-26 in 2009)
The Broncs play their first match of the season on Tuesday against LaSalle. Rider went 3-26 last season and 0-13 on the road.
Players to Watch
Katelyn Thompson OH/RS, 5-8, Sr. (2.38 kps, 241.5 pts)
Amanda Piccolini S/RS, 5-10, Sr. (7.52 aps, 2.05 dps)
Briana Wallace OH, 5-9, So. (2.06 kps)
Maryland Eastern Shore 1-3 (24-7)
UMES traveled to the Tiny Laster Invitational last weekend in Hampton, Va., finishing the four-team tournament 1-3. The Hawks defeated host-Hampton, 3-0, in their final match. UMES pushed Towson, South Carolina State, and Wofford to five sets but suffered 3-2 losses. UMES was 24-7 last season and 10-0 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC).
Players to Watch
Zoe Bowens OH/RS, 5-10, Jr. (3.44 kps, 1.44 dps)
Maline Vaitai OH, 6-0, Fr. (3.22 kps, 1.72 dps)
Stephanie Sierra S, 5-8, So. (7.67 aps)