BOZEMAN, Mont. – Four NAU players had double digit kills and freshman Sydney Kemper posted a career high nine blocks as the Lumberjacks rallied from down 1-0 to pull out a 3-1 victory over Montana State on Saturday night in Bozeman (18-25, 25-20, 29-27, 25-18). The Lumberjacks ended a four match losing streak with the win, improving to 14-5 overall and 5-5 in the Big Sky while the Bobcats dropped to 2-8 in conference play and 3-18 overall.
"Of course it's great for us to get off the schneid," said NAU head coach Craig Choate. "We hit really well tonight, as all five of our hitters contributed. We started a little slow, but we got it together after that and started playing harder, and I really thought we played nicely tonight."
NAU hit .231 for the match, its highest hitting percentage since September 22, while Montana State hit .143, the Lumberjacks lowest opponent hitting percentage since they last met the Bobcats on September 15. NAU also totaled 10 team blocks and had a season high 95 digs, with five players recording double digit digs.
The Bobcats jumped to a 1-0 lead with a 25-18 first set win in which NAU had just six kills and totaled a hitting percentage of .000. The Lumberjacks rallied back in the second, going on an 11-6 run after the set was level at 14-14 to post a 25-20 win and even the match at 1-1.
The third set would be the most tightly contested stanza, with the score even late at 16-16, but NAU moved to a set point at 24-21. Montana State would rally back and withstand three set points before taking a 25-24 lead. The Lumberjacks kept the set alive and had two more set points before the set was level at 27-27. After a kill from junior Lexi Sullivan, NAU got a block from Sullivan and Kemper to take the set, the longest for NAU this season, by a 29-27 score.
With NAU leading 19-18 in the fourth, the Lumberjacks would close strong with a 6-0 run, punctuated with a kill by Sullivan, to finish off a 3-1 victory.
Kemper added eight kills on a .350 hitting percentage to go with her career high nine blocks. Sullivan paced the Lumberjacks with 14 kills while senior Katie Bailey and juniors Lauren Campbell and Jen Wilson also reach double digits in kills. Wilson added 11 digs for her third double-double of the season, while junior Kelli Dallmann notched her 11th double-double of the year with 52 assists and 13 digs. Junior Anna Gott led five Lumberjacks with double-digit digs with a total of 27.
NAU returns home for a three match home stand which will begin next Saturday vs Sacramento State in Rolle Activity Center at 7 p.m.