POCATELLO, Idaho – After losing a tight first set, 26-24, NAU was unable to overcome Idaho State in the second and third sets as the Bengals completed a 3-0 sweep of the Lumberjacks on Saturday night in Pocatello (26-24, 25-17, 25-22). The loss dropped NAU to 15-9 overall and 6-9 in the Big Sky, eliminating the Lumberjacks from Big Sky Championship contention, while the Bengals evened their conference record at 7-7 and moved to 14-12 overall.
NAU started the first set strong, opening up a 16-11 lead midway through the opening stanza. Idaho State fought back and eventually leveled the score at 19-19, with the deadlock remaining until the squads were even at 24-24. A kill by the Bengals' Vanessa Muir gave ISU a match point, and an NAU attack error gave the opening set to the home team.
Idaho State built of its momentum to start the second set, opening up an early 7-3 lead and limiting NAU to a .000 hitting percentage in the set to take an easy 25-17 win. The third set saw seven ties and five lead changes, and NAU was able to withstand two match points before ISU's Breanne Van Every posted her match-high 21st kill of the night to complete the Idaho State sweep.
NAU hit just .110 for the match while Idaho State hit .243 and posted an 8-7 advantage in blocks. Junior Jen Wilson and freshman Sydney Kemper paced the team with nine kills apiece, with Wilson adding seven digs and four blocks. Junior Anna Gott totaled a team-high 17 digs, as well as three service aces, to move within 20 digs of moving into second place on NAU's all-time career digs list. Junior Kelli Dallmann totaled 21 assists, seven digs, three kills and one block in the loss.
The Lumberjacks will close their season next Saturday, Nov. 19, when they will host Big Sky-leading Northern Colorado at 7 p.m. in Rolle Activity Center. NAU seniors Katie Bailey, Kobi Christensen, and Sam Hodgkins will be honored prior to their final home match.