A Saturday afternoon matchup between the Texans of Tarleton State University and the Thunderbirds of Southern Utah University resulted in a 3-1 victory for SUU.
The Thunderbirds improved to 5-11 overall and 1-5 in Western Athletic Conference play, while the Texans dropped to 11-9 on the season and 2-4 in conference play.
The first set was as tight as it gets. It was back and forth the whole way, with the largest lead coming when SUU was up by just three points. Southern Utah held on to win the set 26-24. The Thunderbirds collected 11 kills and made just five errors as compared to Tarleton’s 12.
Besides the first point, Southern Utah never let Tarleton have the lead in the second set. The 25-21 result was in favor of the Thunderbirds. Teniyah Leuluai led all players in assists for the set, dishing out nine for Southern Utah.
Tarleton State refused to go down quietly and wrestled the third set out from under the Thunderbirds for a 25-23 win. Just like the others, the set stayed close the entire time and featured 11 different ties. SUU struggled with some sloppy play and committed 10 errors, while the Texans committed just four of their own, collecting 14 kills along the way.
In another back-and-forth set, Southern Utah toughed out a 25-21 win to complete their 3-1 victory. They locked in their momentum with a late 5-0 run to earn themselves a 21-16 lead. The final jab came courtesy of a Natasha Obradovic kill, her second of the set and her 12th of the afternoon.
— Tarleton’s Allison Bryant led all players in kills with 20.
— Leuluai and Andrea Spasojevic each had three service aces for the Thunderbirds, Leuluai’s personal best for a single game this season.
— Matti Theurer’s 24 digs for the Texans puts her tied for the third most in the WAC for a four-set match.
SUU will return home for a four-game homestand starting on Thursday, Oct. 12. They will take on Seattle University at 6:30 p.m.
Author: Anden Garfield
Photographer: Anden Garfield