Thunderbirds Gear Up for Their First Week of Conference Play

SUU Athletic Strategic Communications

Following a four-set loss to Utah State last Friday, the Thunderbirds will look to bounce back against North Dakota and Northern Arizona at home this Thursday and Saturday. Both matches will be played at 7 p.m. MT in the Centrum Arena

In their last contest against Utah State, a couple players for the Thunderbirds rose to the occasion and exhibited some star performances. MaCail Evans had a career night. She dominated on the attack with 15 kills, just one error and a .467 hitting percentage. She also contributed on defense picking up four blocks.

Elisa Lago also had a great performance. The Aggies could not find a way to defend her serve as she picked up four services aces for the match. She also led the team 16 digs.

A tight first set won 26-24 by Utah State may have made the difference in this match. The Aggies held on to their momentum from the tight first set win to go up 2-0. Southern Utah then battled back with some outstanding play to win the thirds, but it was just too much of a deficit to overcome and Utah State ultimately claimed the win in four sets.

North Dakota will be Southern Utah’s most formidable opponent so far this year. The Fighting Sioux won the Big Sky conference last year and have a 15-2 record on the season. Their two losses have come against Georgia Tech and Cal Poly.

Senior, Faith Dooley is the driving force behind North Dakota’s team this year. She leads the team in kills with 195 for the season accompanied by .374 hitting percentage. She also is first in the nation for total blocks with 87 thus far for the year.

A large part of the Thunderbird’s success in this match depends on how they respond to the offensive and defensive prowess of Dooley.

Northern Arizona will be coming into the match with a 4-7 record for the season. The Lumberjacks are coming off of a strong 24-8 season last year.

At the spearhead of Northern Arizona’s offensive attack is junior, Kaylie Jorgenson. Jorgenson has recorded 134 kills for the season and a .182 hitting percentage.

A live stream of Thursday’s match will be on PlutoTV. The PlutoTV app can be downloaded to access PlutoTV programming, or visit pluto.tv/watch. All Thunderbird home programming will be available on channel 236.

Live stats will be available on suutbirds.com prior to the start of the match

Stay updated during this weekend’s event by following them on Twitter and Instagram along with liking them on Facebook.

Fans can purchase tickets for SUU’s match against Utah State University, and all SUU home matches, by visiting tbirdtickets.com or the Centrum Ticket Office.

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