The Southern Utah volleyball team gained their first conference win of the season last week in an impressive outing against Eastern Washington. Going into a tough road stretch starting with Sacramento State and Portland State this week, the Thunderbirds look to improve upon their record.
MaCail Evans, Macky Fifita, and Elisa Lago each had notable performances against Eastern Washington in their most recent match. Fifita and Lago each recorded double-doubles in kills and digs. Evans, however, was the real standout in this contest. She recorded 17 kills with .421 hitting percentage and almost earned a double-double herself falling just one block short with nine.
Those nine blocks helped propel Evans to 11th in the country for total blocks with 97.
Thanks to the work of those three and strong play for the rest of the Thunderbird team, Southern won this matchup against Eastern Washington in four sets. This improved their overall record to 6-12 and their Big Sky record to 1-5 on the season.
The Hornets of Sacramento State are currently the top ranked team in the Big Sky conference. They are undefeated in conference play thus far and knocked off the former conference champs, the University of North Dakota in five sets.
The hornets are led by senior, Shannon Boyle. Boyles leads the team in kills with an average of 3.45 kills per set. On the defensive end, middle blocker Lana Brown is a force to be reckoned with. She is 16th in the nation for total blocks with 95 on the year so far.
With Sacramento State on a 6-0 run coming into this match, Southern Utah have to be on their top game to take them down.
Portland State is currently the second ranked team in the Big Sky right behind Sacramento State. They also upset the Fighting Hawks of North Dakota recently. Their singular loss in conference play so far came in a three set sweep versus Sacramento State.
The Vikings have good depth across the board on their roster, but thier sophomore outside hitter, Caitlin Bettenay, has been a leading force for them on their offensive attack this season. Bettenay averages an impressive 4.10 kills per set. Defensively speaking, Middle blocker Mikaelyn Sych has given offenses fits this year averaging 1.47 blocks per set, the 21st highest in the country.
A live stream of both matches 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
SUU Athletic Strategic Communications