SUU Drops 3-2 Heartbreaker Versus Montana

CEDAR CITY, Utah — The Thunderbirds blew a 2-0 lead en route to a 3-2 loss against Montana.

SUU stormed out to a 2-0 lead after 25-16 and 26-24 wins of the first two sets. Montana then won consecutive 25-23 sets to force a fifth set.

SUU took an early 2-0 lead in the final set before back-to-back kills from Montana’s Mykaela Hammer evened the score. It sparked Montana to a commanding 14-11 lead.

SUU scored on a service error and a kill from Emma Mangum to make it 14-13. SUU’s last ditch effort would fall short though as Hammer capped off Montana’s 15-13 victory.

Hammer finished with 21 kills, with eight coming in the final set.

Janet Kalaniuvalu led SUU with 25 kills in the match. Miranda Canez tallied nine blocks for the Thunderbirds and Alexis Averett assisted on 45 points.

The score was tied 31 times and there was 14 lead changes in the match. SUU finished the match with a .243 hitting percentage compared to only .144 for Montana. SUU got 20 blocks while Montana tallied nine blocks.

With the loss, SUU falls to 2-15 overall and 1-4 in the Big Sky. They return to the America First Event Center at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday against Montana State (6-10, 1-4). The game will be streamed on Pluto TV channel 236.

Story by: Aaron Peterson
Photo by: Mitchell Quartz