The month of October is finally over for Southern Utah University volleyball—a month in which they only won three total sets with their sweep against Idaho State University. The Thunderbirds were swept themselves in all seven of their other October matches including the two most recent losses to the University of Idaho and Eastern Washington University.
University of Idaho
This was the second meeting between these two teams this season, with the first being a 3-1 SUU victory at home in September. This time, the Vandals dominated at home and won 3-0.
The Thunderbirds controlled much of the first set with a strong performance from Raegen Ashby leading to an early lead. The junior middle hitter had three kills in the first set alone as she helped SUU jump to a 21-15 lead. It did not last long though as the Vandals put together a 10-2 run to close the set with a victory. Six of those 10 points came from SUU errors.
Blowing the early lead hung over the Thunderbirds like a dark cloud the rest of the night. The Vandals opened the second set with a 7-1 run and never looked back. There were times when the Thunderbirds fought back and closed the gap, but the Vandals led the whole way in a 25-19 set victory.
By the third set, Idaho was rolling and could not be stopped. They scored five quick points to begin the final set and further bury the Thunderbirds. The Vandals would go on to complete the sweep with a 25-16 set win.
Ashby led the Thunderbirds with seven kills on the night while senior Stacey Hone added another five.
In their second of three straight away matches, SUU went east to play in Cheney, Washington against Eastern Washington. The Thunderbirds fought hard and came close in both of the first two sets, but it was not enough and they were swept 3-0.
In the first set, SUU established themselves early with a run leading to a 16-10 lead. A series of Thunderbird errors led to a comeback by the Eagles and a nail biting finish. Down 24-21, Hone put on a show recording two kills in a row followed by a block to tie the set at 24. The Eagles held strong though and took the set 26-24.
The second set was eerily similar to the first. SUU led for most of the match, but a late comeback by Eastern Washington led to another 26-24 set victory.
After losing two heartbreaking sets, the Thunderbirds were drained. Meanwhile the Eagles had all the momentum in the world and pounded SUU in a 25-11 victory to complete the sweep.
Hone finished the match with 10 kills and two blocks. Defensively, freshman middle blocker Carissa Richie led the team with five blocks.
The Thunderbirds continue their road stretch on Thursday, Nov. 4 against the Northern Arizona University Lumberjacks. After that, they will return to Cedar City for their final home match of the year on Saturday, Nov. 6 against the Portland State University Vikings.
Story By: Christian Esparza Sports@suunews.net
Photo Courtesy of SUU Athletics