FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The Northern Arizona volleyball team may have split the team into the one's and the two's for the majority of its scrimmage on Saturday but if the results are any indication, the team's depth is a strength. The spirited scrimmage, which ended with both sides splitting the four sets played, concluded the team's fall camp as the Lumberjacks now set their eyes on their season-opening tournament next weekend at the William & Mary Invitational.
"Several spots have really close competition and we know that if someone is having an off night, we can change someone in there and not go down," said head coach Ken Murphy. "That's a really good feeling to have."
Although there were a few substitutions between sets, the scrimmage gave fans in attendance a look at this year's Lumberjack volleyball team and the squad's depth was on full display as evidenced by each side winning two sets apiece. Sophomore Janae Vander Ploeg led both sides with a match-high 24 kills against just two errors while hitting .407. Vander Ploeg was also the lone Lumberjack to record a double-double as she added 16 digs.
A number of other Lumberjacks performed well in the team's final scrimmage of the fall including juniors Sydney Kemper and sophomore Payton Bock, who totaled 15 and 13 kills respectively, and sophomore Trianna Henry who recorded a match-high 21 digs.
While the team's returners starred, a pair of freshmen – Jensen Barton and Izzy Gosar – also gave fans a glimpse at what they can do. Both Barton and Gosar rotated between the two sides of the net throughout the scrimmage, but were able to turn out solid numbers as Barton dished out 54 assists and Gosar posting 14 kills to go along with eight blocks to lead all players.
"Overall, I saw things that we've been working on in terms of attitude at the net and our aggressiveness," Murphy said. "There were moments that we were flat, but that tells me that we need to keep working hard in order for us to have the success that we want to have."
With fall camp in the rear view mirror, the Lumberjacks can now begin preparation for next weekend when they will travel to Williamsburg, Va. to face Campbell, San Jose State and host William & Mary.
"It's been a great two weeks of camp," Vander Ploeg said. "The first week we stayed in the dorms and that brought us closer. We're all excited to go to Virginia next week and finally play against someone different other just playing against ourselves."