SUU Strategic Communications

Thunderbirds Begin Season Victorious

August 29, 2014
By SUU Strategic Communication

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. Aug. 29– Southern Utah University volleyball opened its 2014 season as the Thunderbirds defeated The Citadel 25-18, 25-12 and 25-14. This win marks the first year SUU will open the season with a victory since 2010. The Thunderbirds finished the match with a .360 hitting percentage leaving the T-Birds with a 1-0 record before facing Navy and Providence on Saturday.

“I was very pleased with our efforts today. We served tough and did a good job of keeping them out of system,” head coach Debby Baker commented after the win. “We have a long ways to go but this is a good start for us.”

In the opening set, Southern Utah and The Citadel were tied at three before the Thunderbirds took off on an 11-3 run. SUU took advantage of errors on the opposing team and executed their kills, earning a 25-18 win with 12 kills.

The Thunderbirds were leading the second set 2-1 when Remo Gaogao went on a 10-point serving streak, putting SUU up 11-1. The Citadel came within five points halfway through the set before the T-Birds pulled through and finished the game with a lopsided 25-12 win. Southern Utah finished the set with 10 kills and a .421 hitting percentage.

The third set was back-and-forth through the first half until the T-Birds went on a five-point run to give them a 22-10 lead, quickly finishing their last set with a 25-14 victory. SUU finished the third set with match-high 15 kills. Madi Forsythe led the team in the third set with four kills, while Ann Clappier and Gaogao each added three kills.

Forsythe and Clappier led the T-Birds with nine kills each. Gaogao followed the two as she chipped in with eight kills. Sariah Pelaez led the Thunderbirds with nine digs.

Southern Utah will be back in action tomorrow as they face Navy and Providence at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. (MT). The games are available to watch live at or the link in SUU volleyball schedule at