Northern Arizona Downs The Citadel in Season Opener
LAS VEGAS – The front row tandem of Ise d'Angelo and Rachael Farrell combined for 14 kills and eight digs, however it was Northern Arizona that completed the 25-9, 25-14, 25-18 sweep of the Bulldogs in the season-opener at the UNLV Tournament.
The Citadel (0-1) got a solid defensive outing from senior Emily Dalton, who finished with nine digs, while teammate Amanda Rudnik recorded seven. Lauren Hurt was a defensive force for the Cadets, notching four assisted blocks, followed closely by Farrell who finished with three.
Northern Arizona (1-0) was sparked by Kelli Dallman, who finished with 13 kills and a .321 hitting percentage. Sydney Kemper (nine kills) and Janae Vander Ploeg (seven kills) were integral in giving the Lumberjacks a 40-22 edge in kills.
The Lumberjacks opened strong with 12-3 run behind eight points from the service game of Vander Ploeg. The Citadel snapped the scoring run with a kill by d'Angelo and following a series of kills by Rudnik and Farrell, a 16-7 margin separated the two teams. NAU closed out the opening set by scoring nine of final 11 points, highlighted by Dallman's seven points in serve.
The two teams battled throughout the second set with the combination of Hurt and d'Angelo forcing a 4-4 tie. Northern Arizona pieced together a 6-1 run, pushing the lead to 10-6, following a Rudnik kill. The Lumberjacks extended the lead to seven, 18-11, following a series of points by Anna Gott. They maintained the advantage throughout the remainder of the set, emerging with a 25-14 advantage.
The two teams reached a 3-3 tie in the early stages of the third set before Northern Arizona scored five unanswered points behind Gott. Farrell, who was responsible for a pair of kills, teamed with d'Angelo to pull the Dogs within one point, 10-9. The Lumberjacks quickly answered with a five consecutive points, extending the lead to 15-9. The Citadel was unable to pull closer than five points over the remainder of the third set as NAU completed the sweep with a 25-18 win.
The Citadel returns to action on Saturday afternoon when they tournament host UNLV at 3 p.m. The Bulldogs close out the tournament later in the evening with an 8 p.m. match against CSU Bakersfield.
For more information on Bulldog Volleyball, go to the official website of The Citadel Athletics, www.CitadelSports.com.