OGDEN, Utah – Despite leading 2-1, the Northern Arizona volleyball team lost a tough five-set match at Weber State Friday night at Swensen Gym 25-16, 22-25, 20-25, 25-19, 15-13.
"We just could not generate the offense on the outside tonight," said Craig Choate. "We hurt ourselves and came back in the fifth set. But our unforced errors hurt us. When you get a couple points down in the fifth set it is hard to comeback. There is not enough time."
NAU dropped to 15-8, 6-8 in Big Sky play, while Weber State won for just the third time this season. The Wildcats improved to 3-23, 3-10 in the Big Sky. Weber State shocked NAU with its first win of the season in Flagstaff on Oct. 15, a 3-0 sweep.
NAU trailed 12-8 in the fifth but pulled back within one point twice but never gained a lead, dropping the fifth and decisive set 15-13.
"Right now we are letting everyone score the first three or four points of the game," said Choate. "For some reason we have lost our confidence and swagger. It is all part of the process. They will get there."
Weber State out-hit NAU .216 to .129 and led in blocks 15.5 to 7.
"Katie was great and the passers handled it better," said Choate. "We dug some bullets."
Weber State started the first set off 4-0 and never trailed, winning 25-16 to take the early advantage. The Wildcats hit .212 and had four kills from Bethany Wray. The Lumberjacks started slow, hitting -.053 out of the gate.
The Lumberjacks battled in the second after trailing at the start, tying the set at 10 and 15 before taking the team's first lead of the match at 16-15. NAU built the lead to three two times and finished off the set 25-22 to tie the match at 1. The Lumberjacks hit .171 in the second set led by four kills from Bailey.
Tied at 11 in the third, the Lumberjacks took the lead with a 4-0 run and never trailed in the set again, winning 25-20. Weber State hit a match-low .086. Sydney Kemper and Katie Bailey combined for seven kills in the set, leading to a 2-1 advantage.
Weber State tied the match at 2 with a strong fourth set, hitting a match-best .387 and recording 16 kills.
NAU finishes the road trip Saturday night at Idaho State in the final road match of the season against the Bengals.