Upstate Volleyball Cut Down by Lumberjacks, 3-1
USAF Academy, Colo. – The Northern Arizona Lumberjacks (7-0) defended their perfect record tonight, uprooting the USC Upstate volleyball team 3-1 at the Air Force Falcon Invitational.
Despite winning the first set 25-22, the Spartans couldn't hang on and dropped the next three set by scores of 25-21, 25-16 and 25-11. This was the first match-up between the two teams.
The Spartans were led offensively by seniors Morgan Thomas and Kelsie Queen with 14 and nine kills, respectively. Freshman Kayla McAvoy registered seven kills and a team-high six blocks. Thomas also recorded four blocks and six digs.
NAU was led by Kobi Christensen with 16 kills, while Jen Wilson added 15 kills. Kelli Dallmann recorded 42 assists. Four Lumberjacks had double-digit digs as Anna Gott led the charge with 24, followed by Kalee Kirby with 17, Dallmann with 15 and Christensen with 11.
This marks the best program start for Northern Arizona since the 1991 team began its year 11-0 and played in the national Invitational Volleyball Championship, one of two postseason appearances in program history. NAU is led offensively by Kobi Christensen with 95 kills, averaging 4.13 kills per set.
Other noteworthy Spartans on the night included junior Mindy Quimby, who recorded a trio of kills and digs. Sophomore Paige Weiland collected six digs, while junior Emily Bingham had three kills and two digs.
Upstate opens play Saturday with a 1 p.m. MT match against tournament host Air Force. This marks the first meeting for the Spartans and Falcons. Air Force is 2-5 on the year and is coming off of a 1-2 showing at Denver University's tournament last weekend. AFA is led offensively by Ayesha Hein and Cami Richen with an identical team-high 73 kills each.
The Spartans square off with Utah Valley Saturday at 5 p.m. MT for the first time in history. The Wolverines have a 6-2 record, marking the program's best Division I start. UVU won its last four matches with wins over Syracuse, Santa Clara, Cal Poly and BYU Hawaii. The Wolverines are led offensively by Lindsay Barker and Chelsey Heaps with 89 and 86 kills, respectively.