The Southern Utah University volleyball team is set for a weekend doubleheader at the America First Event Center in Cedar City, Utah. The Thunderbirds will be facing the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Rebels on Friday, Sept. 16, at 7:30 p.m and will be aired on ESPN+. This will be followed by the Thunderbirds versus the Idaho State Bengals on Saturday, Sept. 17, at 2 p.m., also to be aired on ESPN+.
Last time out
In the Boise State Classic, the Thunderbirds struggled early in their sets, making it difficult to mount a comeback. The Thunderbirds went 0-3 in the tournament against Eastern Washington, Boise State and Butler University.
Posting 26 kills over the weekend, junior Makenzi Templeton led the Thunderbirds in scoring for the tournament. Defensively, it was sophomore Calli Johnson who raked in 23 digs for the Thunderbirds while only playing two of their three games.
The Rebels are 7-1 on the season and are fresh off a victory against 19th-ranked University of Kansas Jayhawks. They will be playing the Bengals before facing off against the Thunderbirds in their Friday doubleheader.
The Thunderbirds will have their hands full in the matchup and need to look out for redshirt sophomore Isabelle Martin, who has 130 kills on the season. Freshman Chloe Thomas has been the defensive leader for the Rebels, amassing 31 blocks on the season thus far.
The Bengals are 7-3 on the season and recently swept the Big Sky Volleyball Players of the Week. Junior outside hitter Jamie Streit earned Offensive Player of the Week by averaging 3.62 kills per set with 47 in total and hitting .254 in the CBU Classic in Riverside, California.
Sophomore Emrie Statuala was a key part of the Bengals’ defense in the tournament. She had 17 total blocks that averaged 1.31 per set, earning her the Big Sky Defensive Player of the Week and helping the Bengals to 3-0 in the tournament.
The Thunderbirds have matched up against the Rebels four times since 2011, with a record of 0-4 against the Rebels. In their 20 matchups against the Bengals, the Thunderbirds have a record of 6-14 since 2012.
Article by: Chevy Blackburn
Photos courtesy of SUU Athletics