Thunderbirds Fall in Four Sets Against Portland State

The Southern Utah volleyball team came out looking to avenge an earlier loss to Portland State this season. Things started off strong for the Thunderbirds as they won the first set, but the Vikings turned things around to win the next three sets and the match.

Southern Utah came out ready to play at the beginning of this match. Despite falling into a quick 4-0 deficit, the Thunderbirds turned things around to tie the score up at 5-5. Janet Kalaniuvalu played a big role crushing four kills in the set. The score remained close, but a couple clutch kills from Anna Cox at the end of the set helped to seal the set for Southern Utah.

In the second set, Vikings outside hitter, Caitlin Bettenay, caught fire. She hit eight kills in the set alone and 21 for the match. Despite valiant efforts from the Thunderbirds it proved to be too much in the end and Portland State won the second set 25-18.

The third set was time for MaCail Evans to shine. Evans scored three of Southern Utah’s first four points and hit seven total kills in the set. She had 16 total kills for the match. However, Portland State was not backing down. The Vikings held on to a tight lead throughout the set and with the set hanging in the balance at 23-22, Portland State won the next two points and the set.

The Vikings gained a quick 5-0 advantage to begin the fourth set and never looked back. They won the set 25-12 winning the match in four sets.

Macky Fifita picked up a double-double hitting 11 kills and getting 15 digs. Miranda Canez and McKenzie Van Uitert each also had four blocks.

The Thunderbird volleyball team will take the court again this Saturday evening at 7 p.m. MT against the Hornets of Sacramento State. The match will be held in the America First Event Center in Cedar City, Utah.

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Story By
SUU Athletic Strategic Communications