FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Northern Arizona volleyball pushed Northern Colorado to four sets but the Lumberjacks could not force a fifth with a 3-1 defeat at the Rolle Activity Center on Saturday. Senior Chelsea Cheeley recorded 13 kills and a .385 hitting percentage in her final match as a NAU Lumberjack.
NAU (10-16, 6-10 BSC) completed the fall season on Saturday night with a loss but played hard throughout the match against one of the Big Sky Conference's best teams. The Lumberjacks fell by sets of 25-20, 17-25, 25-20, and 25-18.
"Our final record may not be exactly what we wanted coming into the season but this is a great group that continued to fight and improve throughout the year," said head coach Craig Choate. "We had some tough matches that could have gone either way this season. We are starting to mature as a team and I expect big things from us next year."
Cheeley, who has been a mainstay in the NAU lineup for the last four years, has been one of the Big Sky's most consistent players in league play and continued the trend on Saturday. She finished off 13-of-26 attacks on the night with just three errors and also contributed on the defensive end with six block assists and one solo block.
Sophomore Lexi Sullivan also ended the season on a high note with a team-high 16 kills. Sullivan, who missed last season due to injury, played her best volleyball in the second half of the season and will look to build off this Big Sky season next fall.
NAU finished the year hitting .130 against Northern Colorado and had opportunities to win all four sets on Saturday. The Lumberjacks hit over .200 in two of the four sets while dominating the second set, 25-17, the largest margin of victory in any set on the night.
Sophomore Kelli Dallmann finished the year with 36 assists against the Bears and will end her sophomore season as the Big Sky leader in assists per set after rotating between outside hitter and setter as a freshman. Sophomore Anna Gott totaled 22 digs completing Big Sky play with 10 or more digs in all 16 matches.
NAU returns all but one player next fall and will look to build upon a 10-season with six wins in the Big Sky Conference. The Lumberjacks finished the year 8-3 at home.