The University of Texas at Arlington defeated the Southern Utah University volleyball team in five sets on Thursday, Oct. 19. SUU was unable to pull off the upset, and the Mavericks won two straight sets to take the win.
In a wild back-and-forth set, the Thunderbirds found themselves leading 21-17 late. The Mavericks didn’t roll over, though, and proceeded to rattle off a straight 5 points to take the lead. UT Arlington won two of the next three points, and while it looked dreadful for SUU, things changed quickly: three errors by the Mavericks allowed the Thunderbirds to hold on and win the set 27-25.
After an 8-6 start for SUU, UT Arlington came out hot. The Mavericks completed two runs, earning 5 and 6 points. They were able to get good production from their hitters, as they totaled 11 kills and completely overwhelmed the Thunderbirds. A barrage of Southern Utah errors helped the Mavericks win 25-15.
SUU was able to turn things around and lead the entire set. While UT Arlington retaliated with back-to-back points to cut the Thunderbird’s lead to 16-1, Southern Utah responded right back with a four-point run to put the set away. A late 5-0 surge from the Mavericks wasn’t enough, and the Thunderbirds won the set 25-20.
Leading the match 2-1, SUU looked to complete the upset. UT Arlington didn’t give up, though, and countered every Thunderbird run throughout the set. Tied at 22, two kills by the Mavericks and an attack error from the Thunderbirds allowed UT Arlington to win 25-22 and push the match to the fifth and final set.
In the decisive set, UT Arlington got a substantial contribution of five kills from senior middle blocker Paige Reagor. Both teams competed at their highest level, as there were six lead changes. Ultimately, the Mavericks were able to finish off the Thunderbirds with a kill to complete the comeback with a 15-13 set win.
With the devastating loss, Southern Utah drops to 5-14 overall and 1-8 in Western Athletic Conference play. UT Arlington continues their strong season and now stands at 16-6 overall and 5-4 in the WAC.
The Mavericks were led by Reagor, who totaled 23 kills on the night with a .444 hitting percentage.
The Thunderbirds got a great contribution from junior outside hitter Natasha Obradovic. She tallied a career-high 15 kills to lead the team.
Southern Utah will finish their four-game homestand on Saturday, Oct. 21, facing off against Stephen F. Austin University. The match will take place at 11:30 a.m. and can be streamed through ESPN+.
Author: Brig Pyfer
Photographer: Anden Garfield
Editor: Anden Garfield