NAU Returns Home to Face Sacramento State, Portland State

  0 volleymob | October 24th, 2018 | College - Women's Indoor, Division I Mid-Major, News

Courtesy: Northern Arizona Athletics

Northern Arizona vs. Sacramento State (Thursday, Oct. 25 | 7 p.m.)Live Stats Video (Channel 239)

Northern Arizona vs. Portland State (Saturday, Oct. 27 | 12 p.m.)
Live Stats Video (Channel 239)

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The Northern Arizona volleyball team returns home to the Rolle Activity Center for the first time in three weeks for a crucial match with potentially big implications on Thursday versus Sacramento State at 7 p.m. The Lumberjacks will then host Portland State on Homecoming Saturday at 12 p.m.

The ‘Jacks enter the week on a roll having won five of their last six matches to move to 7-3 in league play and 15-8 overall. NAU trails the conference leaders, Idaho and Sacramento State, by one game after defeating Weber State and Idaho State on the road last week. The Lumberjacks won with their defense, holding both the Wildcats and Bengals to a combined .121 hitting percentage.

“Last weekend, the thing that stood out the most was that we were really good when we had serve; we were scoring points,” said head coach Ken Murphy. “We executed our blocking the way we wanted to. Our team is starting to put our imprint on a match. When we do that, we’re starting to see how powerful we can be. This weekend, both of these teams play really good defense as well. If we can play a little better defense than Sacramento State and Portland State, we can be successful but we know it’s going to be a big challenge for us.”

NAU welcomes Sacramento State and Portland State to Flagstaff after splitting its first two matches against its Big Sky rivals. The Lumberjacks swept the Vikings on Sept. 27 before falling to the Hornets in five sets two nights later.

The first 100 NAU students will receive a free power bank prior to Thursday’s match. On Saturday, the first 300 fans will receive a free pink rally towel for NAU’s annual Pink Match for breast cancer awareness. In addition, the first 200 fans will receive a free general admission ticket to the NAU Homecoming football game.

Junior Abby Akin was named the Big Sky Defensive Player of the Week on Monday after recording 10 blocks, at an average of 1.43 per set, in last week’s matches. Akin also hit .615 last week and averaged 3.71 kills per set. Akin ranks No. 14 nationally in hitting percentage as she is attacking at a .392 clip. She is currently averaging career-highs of 2.47 kills, 1.12 blocks and 0.39 aces per set.

The Lumberjacks also received big contributions from sophomore Heaven Harris last week. Harris averaged 4.00 kills per set and hit .442 versus Weber State and Idaho State. Harris ranks second on the team for the season with 2.68 kills per set.

NAU continues to be led offensively by redshirt senior Kaylie Jorgenson, who is averaging 2.99 kills per set. Jorgenson also leads the team with 15 double-doubles.

When NAU has won the first set, the Lumberjacks are 14-4. The Lumberjacks’ first set success is not the only indicator of NAU’s wins, as the Lumberjacks are 15-2 when outhitting their opponent, 13-3 when their opponent hits less than .200 and 10-0 when they have more kills.

This week’s matches will be streamed on NAU’s dedicated Pluto TV Channel 239 online and on the free Pluto TV app.

About Sacramento State:
Record: 13-11, 8-2 Big Sky
2018 Big Sky Standing: Tied for First
All-Time Series: SAC, 36-18
Last Meeting: SAC, 3-2 (Sept. 29, 2018)

About Portland State:
Record: 3-19, 2-8 Big Sky
2018 Big Sky Standing: Tied for Ninth
All-Time Series: NAU, 27-20
Last Meeting: NAU, 3-0 (Sept. 27, 2018)

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