Volleyball falls to UTRGV, remains winless in conference play

On Thursday, Sept. 28, the Southern Utah University women’s volleyball team lost to the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.  

The Vaqueros swept the Thunderbirds and improved to 8-8 on the year and 2-1 in Western Athletic Conference play. SUU fell to 4-9 and are now 0-3 in the WAC.

Southern Utah let the first set get away from them early on. Midway through, they were down 14-7. That all changed when SUU won seven of the next eight points thanks to four attack errors by UTRGV. Unfortunately, the Thunderbirds were unable to keep the momentum going, and the Vaqueros outscored SUU 10-7 the rest of the way to give them a 25-21 set victory. 

In the second set, however, SUU landed their biggest punch. It was back and forth early as a three-point run by the Thunderbirds led to a 10-10 tie. The rest of the set was a battle of runs. SUU had five points in a row. UTRGV countered with their own four-point stint to put them ahead 16-15. Southern Utah once again countered with another small charge, taking back the lead and putting themselves up 18-16. After that small stint, it was all UTRGV. A kill by senior middle Luisa Silva Dos Santos capped off the set with a 25-23 victory for the Vaqueros. 

UTRGV controlled the back half of the third set. Leading 14-13, the Vaqueros totaled seven straight points, putting the set out of reach for the Thunderbirds. UTRGV ended the set defeating SUU 25-17 to complete the sweep.  

Top performers
— Junior setter Teniyah Leuluai led the way for Southern Utah with 22 assists.
— Senior Andrea Spasojevic tallied 13 digs and added six kills.
— Outside hitter Natasha Obradovic had the most kills on the team with eight.

What’s next?
The Thunderbirds will travel south to take on Utah Tech University. The match will take place on Monday, Oct. 2, at 6 p.m. and can be streamed on ESPN+.

Author: Brig Pyfer
Photos courtesy of SUU Athletics
Editor: Anden Garfield