Volleyball seniors ensure Senior Night party in dominant win against NAU
GREELEY, Colo. -- Northern Colorado's volleyball seniors put on a show Saturday night in the final home match of their Bears careers.
Allison Raguse, Taylor Smith, Kenzie Shreeve and Breanna VanDerMost all seemingly contributed in their signature ways and led Northern Colorado to a 3-1 victory over Northern Arizona in front of 985 inside Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion.
That quartet is the first to depart Northern Colorado (19-11, 12-4 Big Sky) after having played their entire careers for head coach Lyndsey Benson, and their effort Saturday propelled the Bears to a 25-22, 25-19, 20-25, 25-16 victory and into the third seed in next week's Big Sky Conference championship in Cheney, Wash.
Raguse finished with 14 kills and 10 digs (her eighth double-double this season), Smith had 13 kills and five blocks, Shreeve came in with 15 kills and 10 digs (sixth double-double) and VanDerMost added 20 digs, giving her 20 or more in a match for the eighth time this year.
Junior Ashley Lichtenberg led all players with 16 kills and just three errors in 31 swings (.419).
Northern Colorado and Eastern Washington, which solidified its spot as the tournament's second seed with a victory Saturday against Sacramento State, will play at 8 p.m. (MT) Friday, Nov. 27, in the second of two semifinal conference tournament matches at Reese Court.
The Bears combined for five blocks and 36 digs during the first two games against the Lumberjacks (8-17, 5-11) Saturday and went into the intermission up 2-0.
They then took a step back in the third game, hitting just. 154, before rebounding and hitting a scorching .548 in game four and sending their quartet of seniors off on the right foot.
Northern Colorado, which improved to 12-2 this season when winning the first two sets, is now 5-3 against Northern Arizona as a member of the Big Sky Conference and 6-5 overall in matches dating back to 1976.