SUU falls to Seattle in five-set thriller

Southern Utah University’s volleyball team came up just short in their match against Seattle University with a final score of 3-2. 

SUU fell behind early in the first set 9-3 after a pair of kills from Redhawk outside hitter Arianna Bilby. After some back-and-forth play, SUU cut the lead to one off an ace from Teniyah Leulaui and a pair of kills from Natasha Obradovic and Hana Makonova. Seattle battled through and came out on top with a 25-22 set win.

The Thunderbirds bounced back strong in the second set. It was tied at 13 when SUU went on a 12-4 run to close out the set 25-17 and tie the match at one set apiece. Obradovic led the Thunderbirds with 4 kills, followed by Makonova with 3.

The third set was as close as it could get. Both teams battled hard to make it back and forth the entire time. SUU had a 24-21 lead and was looking for one more point to secure the set. SUU battled and tied the set at 24, but Seattle persevered and won the match 26-24.

In the fourth set, the Redhawks scored the first point but did not see the lead again. SUU came out firing and never looked back. Charlotte Wilson had 4 of the Thunderbirds’ 12 kills, and SUU came out on top 25-18. The teams were tied at two sets each heading into the fifth and final set.

SUU came out soaring in the fifth set, going on an early 8-0 lead. Seattle didn’t give up though, and after being down early, they fought back. The set was tied at 13 after a couple of attack errors by the Thunderbirds and a kill by Naima Foster. With the game on the line, the Redhawks came out on top 15-13 after a kill shot and then a block by Marley Hardgrave.

SUU falls to 1-6 in the WAC conference play and 5-12 overall. Seattle gets their first win of conference play and improves their overall record to 6-12 on the season.

Leading performers
— Seattle’s leading scorer was Bilby with 16 kills.
— Wilson and Andrea Spasojevic led the Thunderbirds with 13 kills each.
—  Leulaui had 39 assists, extending her season total to 472.
—  Hardgrave had 8 blocks, giving her a total of 54 blocks on the season.

Next up
SUU will be at home again this Saturday, Oct. 14, against Utah Valley University. The game will start at 1 p.m. and can be streamed on ESPN+.

Author: Jack Paul
Photographer: Anden Garfield
Editor: Anden Garfield