Big Sky Conference standings
FLAGSTAFF -- Northern Arizona hit .313 while Sacramento State was limited to a .081 percentage as the Lumberjacks defeated the Hornets, 3-0 (25-13, 25-22, 25-14), in a Big Sky Conference volleyball matchup Thursday evening at the Rolle Activity Center.
The loss snapped a five-match winning streak for the Hornets, who dropped to 13-12 overall and 8-3 in the Big Sky Conference. In fact, each of those five wins prior to tonight had come via three-set sweep. Sacramento State dropped into a three-way tie for second place in the conference standings with Northern Arizona and Weber State as each team is now 8-3. Idaho, which beat Idaho State at home tonight, is now all alone in first place with a 9-2 conference record. Only seven league matches remain on the regular season schedule.
Tonight's loss was the first for the Hornets since falling in four seats at Idaho on Oct. 4. Since that time, Sacramento State had posted three-set sweeps of Eastern Washington, Idaho State, Weber State, Montana State and Montana. In addition, the Hornets had not been swept by a conference opponent in over two calendar years with the last time coming on Oct. 15, 2016, at NAU.
Northern Arizona (16-8, 8-3) won its third straight and sixth in the last seven matches. The Lumberjacks are now 6-2 at home, which includes a win over then eighth-ranked Florida on Sept. 7. The Hornets and NAU split the season series, which included a five-set Sacramento State win inside the Nest on Sept. 29. However, should the two teams finish the season tied with the same conference record, NAU would win the tiebreaker by virtue of having a better set differential in the teams' two meetings (SAC won in five, NAU won in three).
Flagstaff continues to be a tough place for the Hornets. Sacramento State has now dropped 10 straight meetings against the Lumberjacks on the road. Overall, the Hornets are 10-16 on NAU's home floor. By contrast, Sacramento State is 24-1 all-time at home against Northern Arizona.
Sacramento State posted season lows in aces (1) and team blocks (1.0) while also recording its fourth lowest hitting percentage (.081). One of the nation's best serving teams, the only ace of the evening came from Skyler Takeda. In addition, the Hornets had not finished with anything less than five team blocks this season until recording one this evening.
Meanwhile Northern Arizona hit .313, the second highest percentage allowed by Sacramento State this season. The Lumberjacks had 44 kills with just eight errors in 115 attacks. Amazingly, NAU had just one attack error in both the first and third sets. NAU had sizable leads in every statistical category, which included a 44-31 advantage in kills and a 68-53 edge in digs.
For Sacramento State, middle blocker Brie Gathright had seven kills and a .389 hitting percentage. Gathright, who is hitting .348 in league play, is now hitting .406 over her last six matches. Setter Ashtin Olin had four kills, a .429 hitting percentage, 25 assists and six digs. Libero Paige Swinney had a team-high 18 digs while Takeda finished with 11 digs.
Outside hitter Mikaela Nocetti, who has won each of the last two Big Sky Offensive Player of the Week awards, was limited to seven kills. She had recorded double figures in kills in 12 straight matches until that streak came to an end this evening. Sarah Davis led the team with nine kills.
Three NAU players finished with double figures in kills, comprised of Ryann Davis (11 kills, .391), Kaylie Jorgenson (10 kills, .375) and Heaven Harris (10 kills, .360).
Of the Hornets' final seven regular season matches, four will come on the road. That includes this Saturday at Southern Utah when the Hornets and Thunderbirds square off at noon PDT.
November 17, 2018 VOLLEYBALL’S MATCH AGAINST NORTHERN COLORADO IS CANCELED
November 13, 2018 VOLLEYBALL MOVES TO 11-6 IN LEAGUE AFTER ROAD WIN AT PORTLAND STATE
November 10, 2018 VOLLEYBALL FALLS IN FOUR SETS AT IDAHO STATE
November 8, 2018 VOLLEYBALL DROPS 3-1 ROAD DECISION AT WEBER STATE
October 27, 2018 VOLLEYBALL SPLITS ROAD TRIP AFTER THREE-SET SWEEP AT SOUTHERN UTAH
October 25, 2018 WINNING STREAK COMES TO AN END, VOLLEYBALL FALLS AT NORTHERN ARIZONA
October 23, 2018 FIRST-PLACE VOLLEYBALL ON THE ROAD FOR A PAIR THIS WEEK
October 22, 2018 TWO STRAIGHT WEEKS! NOCETTI NAMED BIG SKY PLAYER OF THE WEEK AGAIN
October 20, 2018 VOLLEYBALL WINS FIFTH STRAIGHT, REMAINS IN TIE FOR FIRST PLACE
October 15, 2018 NOCETTI NAMED BIG SKY VOLLEYBALL PLAYER OF THE WEEK
October 13, 2018 VOLLEYBALL MOVES INTO FIRST PLACE AFTER SWEEP OF WEBER STATE
October 11, 2018 VOLLEYBALL CONTINUES TO ROLL, SWEEPS IDAHO STATE AT HOME
October 6, 2018 VOLLEYBALL WINS AT EASTERN WASHINGTON, NOW 4-2 IN BIG SKY PLAY
October 4, 2018 VOLLEYBALL’S WINNING STREAK SNAPPED IN 3-1 LOSS AT IDAHO
October 1, 2018 OLIN NAMED BIG SKY OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
September 29, 2018 VOLLEYBALL WINS THIRD STRAIGHT, BEATS NORTHERN ARIZONA IN FIVE SETS
September 27, 2018 VOLLEYBALL’S MATCH TONIGHT VS SOUTHERN UTAH PUSHED BACK TO A 8:00 PM START
September 27, 2018 VOLLEYBALL BEATS SOUTHERN UTAH, WINS 1,000TH MATCH IN PROGRAM HISTORY
September 26, 2018 VOLLEYBALL HOSTS A PAIR OF MATCHES; SEEKS 1,000TH WIN IN PROGRAM HISTORY
September 22, 2018 VOLLEYBALL WINS AT MONTANA STATE; NOCETTI SECURES 1,000TH CAREER KILL
September 18, 2018 VOLLEYBALL OPENS BIG SKY CONFERENCE PLAY THIS WEEK AT THE MONTANA SCHOOLS
September 14, 2018 INJURY RAVAGED VOLLEYBALL PLAYS TOUGH, BUT FALLS TO PORTLAND
September 14, 2018 VOLLEYBALL FALLS TO 13TH-RANKED WASHINGTON
September 10, 2018 SWINNEY NAMED BIG SKY DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
September 6, 2018 VOLLEYBALL HOSTS THE 4-TEAM SACRAMENTO STATE INVITE FRIDAY AND SATURDAY
September 4, 2018 VOLLEYBALL COMES UP JUST SHORT IN 3-1 HOME LOSS TO UC DAVIS
August 28, 2018 VOLLEYBALL FALLS ON THE ROAD TO SANTA CLARA
August 25, 2018 VOLLEYBALL FALLS IN FOUR SETS TO ARIZONA
August 24, 2018 VOLLEYBALL OPENS SEASON WITH 3-1 VICTORY OVER UTAH STATE
August 8, 2018 VOLLEYBALL SELECTED THIRD IN BIG SKY PRESEASON COACHES POLL