Lumberjacks fall in last game of season
NAU volleyball ended its 2010 season Saturday, losing 3-1 to Big Sky Conference leader Northern Colorado in the Rolle Activity Center. The Bears (23-6, 14-2) and Lumberjacks were tied 1-1 going into the third set, but Northern Colorado clawed ahead to win 25-20 and 25-18. The loss pushes NAU back to seventh place in the division.
“I hope to be better [next season] than we were this year,” said head coach Craig Choate. “It’s my job to get the team into the tournament, but there are 40 million factors that determine that. We can hit good, but everyone else can hit good — so they get ahead of us.”
Despite the Lumberjacks’ final record (10-16, 6-10 BSC), Choate said he believes the team improved throughout the year.
“We had some tough matches that could have gone either way this season,” he said in a press release. “We are starting to mature as a team, and I expect big things from us next year.”
Senior middle blocker Chelsea Cheeley recorded a .385 hitting percentage and 13 kills in her final match.
“We played really hard tonight,” Cheeley said. “It was a good game to end my career.”
At the end of the match, Cheeley wiped tears from her eyes as she received a team group hug. Cheeley’s father watched from the stands, wearing a shirt emblazoned with the number 11 — his daughter’s number.
“I’m pretty sad,” Cheeley said. “After being here for four years, it’s weird to see it coming to an end. I love the girls so much. They’ve had such a big impact on my life. I’m going to miss them.”