Thunderbird Volleyball Drops Home Opener to Utah State

Opening up their regular season at home, Southern Utah University Volleyball was not able to hold off Utah State University. The Aggies dominated all around, and won the match 3-1.

The loss pushes SUU’s record to 3-7 now as they gear up for a double-header against Dixie State University this weekend. It may be worth noting that the Thunderbirds lost their home opener last spring before going undefeated the rest of the season at home. 

The match was not a particularly close one as the Thunderbirds struggled to find a groove early on. The Aggies were able to get things rolling right away, starting their scoring off with a six-point run. Utah State’s middle blockers made life difficult for the Thunderbirds and SUU lost the first set 25-12 before they knew it. 

In the second set, things did not look much better for SUU as they committed error after error. They ended the match with 26 errors compared to USU’s 9. Their own mistakes led to them losing the second set as well, this time 25-15. 

The third set was much more even as both teams were able to set up quality shots and execute their plays. The Thunderbirds held the lead as the set went on, and both teams fought to get to 25. With both teams nearing the target score, the crowd got louder and louder until it was SUU winning the third set, 25-23. 

Unfortunately, the Aggies brought their playing to a whole different level in the fourth set and the Thunderbirds could not find an answer. Aggie senior Corinne Larsen dominated the middle and scored 7 of her 17 kills in what would be the final set. 

For SUU, junior middle hitter Raegen Ashby tied for the team lead in kills, scoring on 10 out of her 21 attacks with no errors. Isabella Saucedo finished the night with 10 kills as well. 

The Thunderbirds will now prepare for a two-game series against Dixie State this weekend, playing first in Cedar City at the America First Event Center on Friday at 6 p.m., then again in St. George on Saturday. 

Story by: Christian Esparza                                                                                                                                   

Photo Courtesy of SUU Athletics