The game between the Grand Canyon University Lopes and the Southern Utah University Thunderbirds ended with a 3-0 victory for the Lopes on Saturday, Oct. 28. The Thunderbirds are on a five-game losing streak, and their form is in a slump, putting them 5-17 overall. The Lopes are on a six-game winning streak and remain hot with an overall record of 18-5.
The first point of the first set was secured by a kill from Lope Tatum Parrott, but Thunderbird Natasha Obradovic answered back with a kill of her own to get SUU’s first point. The set stayed close; the biggest lead was when GCU led SUU by 6 points, 17-11. However, SUU, guided by Andrea Spasojevic, did not let up. The Thunderbirds gained momentum to bring themselves within two points, trailing just 22-20. In the final three points, GCU took the first set with strong defense. The final score was 25-20, and SUU fell despite a good performance. In the set, the Thunderbirds had nine kills, and the Lopes had 15.
In the second set, SUU continued to heat up. Obradovic scored the first point before the teams went back and forth. Every time the Lopes scored, the Thunderbirds came back, never letting the difference between the two sides be more than four points. SUU’s Spasojevic and Obradovic were among the best performers in this set. On GCU’s side, Parrott continued her fiery form, pounding the Thunderbirds’ defense and ending the second set with a kill. The final score of the set was 25-23 with GCU on top. In this set, the Lopes had 16 kills, while the Thunderbirds had 12.
SUU was out of sorts to start the third, allowing Parrott two kills and a block to give GCU three of their first four points. Spasojevic managed to score the first Southern Utah point with a kill, but the Lopes hit hard, scoring seven points before the Thunderbirds got their second, starting with an 8-2 run. SUU then rebounded, Obradovic contributing a kill to make it 10-7 GCU. The Thunderbirds pulled within three points, but Alissa Uhlenhop and Parrott scored in quick succession to put the game away. SUU never got another good chance, and the final score ended 25-16 with GCU winning the match 3-0. SUU ended the game with 31 total kills, and GCU had 49.
After two away games, the SUU volleyball team will head home. The Thunderbirds will play against the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley on Saturday, Nov 4. The game will start at 6 p.m. in the American First Event Center and can be streamed on ESPN+.
Author: Shengbo Zhou
Photographer: Anden Garfield
Editor: Anden Garfield