OREM, Utah – After battling for a 25-20 first set win, Northern Arizona dominated the second and third sets by scores of 25-16 and 25-10, respectively, for a season opening 3-0 sweep of CSU Bakersfield at the Wolverine Invitational in Orem, Utah. The Lumberjacks were paced by 14 kills and a .522 hitting percentage from junior Lexi Sullivan, as NAU hit .393 as a team while the Roadrunners had a team hitting percentage of just .085.
The first set was level at 16-16 before NAU won six of the next eight points to open a 22-18 advantage. After the Roadrunners pulled within two points at 23-21, NAU answered with kills from freshman Hannah Fitzgerald and Sullivan to take the opening set.
The Lumberjacks would have an easier victory in the second set, opening up a 16-11 advantage early after a service ace from senior Kobi Christensen. NAU reached 20 points, and a 20-12 lead, after another kill by Sullivan, but CSU Bakersfield would make a brief run to push the score to 22-16. The next three points would be recorded by the Lumberjacks, however, capped by a kill from senior Katie Bailey for a 2-0 lead.
The third set was a quick affair, with NAU taking a 10-5 lead and then extending their advantage with a 6-0 run. After scoring eight of the next 13 points, Sullivan would end the match for the Lumberjacks with her 14th kill to give NAU the season opening victory.
The Lumberjacks hit .619 in the third set, while CSU Bakersfield hit .000 in both the second and third sets. Christensen added 12 kills with a .321 hitting percentage while adding six digs. Junior setter Kelli Dallmann notched 32 assists while junior libero Anna Gott paced the team with nine digs. Bailey had five block assists, with NAU totaling 15 blocks compared to just seven for the Roadrunners.
The Lumberjacks will continue play in Orem with two matches on Saturday, facing Illinois State at 9 a.m. and host Utah Valley at 6 p.m.