LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Senior Kelli Dallmann, sophomore Sydney Kemper, and freshman Janae Vander Ploeg each had double-digit kills as NAU rallied from a first set loss to defeated CSU Bakersfield, 3-1 (26-28, 25-16, 25-22, 25-13), to open play on the second day of the UNLV Invitational. The Lumberjacks moved to 2-0 on the year and will play host UNLV tonight at 7 for the tournament championship. You can hear that match via a live audio broadcast on NAUAthletics.com.
Dallmann and Vander Ploeg paced the team with 12 kills apiece and Kemper added 11 kills and a team high five blocks, while all three hit .370 or better. Senior Jen Wilson added nine kills on a .571 hitting percentage while sophomore Kalee Kirby totaled a career-high 45 assists. CSU Bakersfield's Debora Araujo was nearly unstoppable totaling 23 kills on a .405 hitting percentage.
CSU Bakersfield emerged victorious in an extremely tight first set, using a .515 hitting percentage led by seven kills on a .778 hitting percentage from junior Debra Araujo to pull away late. An NAU service error followed by an attack error gave the Roadrunners the opening set, which featured 23 ties and five lead changes, 28-26.
NAU responded in a big way in the second set, dropping CSU Bakersfield's hitting percentage to .185 and controlling the set throughout. NAU hit .375 as a team and led the entire set to level the match with a 25-16 set win. In the third, NAU broke a tight score open to take a 23-17 lead before the Roadrunners closed to within two points at 23-21. The Lumberjacks would then capitalize on ball handling error and a kill from Kemper to take the set 25-22.
The Lumberjacks dominated the fourth set after jumping to a quick 7-0 lead. NAU would build to a 15-3 lead and use a .520 hitting percentage to claim the set, 25-13, and clinch the match.
UNLV, which swept CSU Bakersfield on Friday night, will play The Citadel before facing NAU to close the tournament this evening.