FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Weber State hit .254 for the match and outblocked NAU 11.5 to 2.0 to score a 3-0 victory over the Lumberjacks on Saturday night in Rolle Activity Center (25-22, 25-17, 25-21). The win was the first of the season for the Wildcats, who improved to 1-19 overall and 1-7 in conference play, while NAU dropped its third consecutive match to drop to 13-4 overall and 4-4 in the Big Sky.
"I'm not sure of where we've gone to," said NAU head coach Craig Choate. "We hit well in set one and still lost, and we could never build a lead throughout the match. Every team seems like they are coming into our gym now and outserving us and outpassing us."
Freshman Kalee Kirby started at setter and performed well, totaling 26 assists, five kills on a .667 hitting percentage, four digs, and a block assist. Junior Kelli Dallmann shifted to the outside and contributed six kills and five digs, but the Lumberjacks struggled with both hitting and blocking as a team. NAU had a team hitting percentage of .111, did not record its first block of the match until midway through the third set, and was held without a service ace for the first time all season.
The Lumberjacks outhit Weber State .333 to .300 and in the opening set, but the Wildcats still recorded more kills and NAU had three service errors as the visitors took a 1-0 lead. After WSU held a slim 9-8 lead in the second set, the Wildcats went on a 14-8 run to close the set, limiting NAU to a -.057 hitting percent in the frame to take a 2-0 lead. The third set would be even at 16-16 before the Wildcats again went on a big run and pulled away for a 25-21 set win and their first victory of the season.
"It's not a physical issue with us, so it's incredibly hard for a coach to change this," added Choate." It's on the mental side, and it's my job to figure out how to get us past this."
NAU will be on the road next weekend, facing Montana on Friday at 6 p.m. and Montana State next Saturday at 6 p.m.