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CEDAR CITY, Utah - Southern Utah University women’s volleyball will return home this weekend and face Portland State and Eastern Washington.
The games will represent the top and bottom of the Big Sky Conference with the Vikings leading the league with a 13-1 conference mark and the Eagles tied with Weber State for 10th place with a 2-12 record.
Southern Utah will enter the match having encountered a recent three-game losing skid that included losses at Sacramento State, CSU Bakersfield and Northern Arizona. However, the Thunderbirds currently have a winning record at home and are tough to beat during the final month of the season with an all-time mark of 7-2 in November.
Game time for each contest is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. with live stat and live video links anticipated to be available online at www.suutbirds.com.
Scouting Portland State
Portland State will enter the match on Thursday night with an overall record of 17-8, including a league-best 13-1 mark in Big Sky Conference play.
The Vikings rank in the top five of the conference in all but one category, blocks, leading the league in service aces (1.53 per set) and digs (17.40 per set).
Individually, Jaklyn Wheeler paces the PSU attack with 367 kills and an average of 4.03 per set which ranks second in the conference. She is followed by Megan Ellis with 301 kills and an average of 3.31 per set.
Kasimira Clark leads the team defensively with 485 digs on the year and also leads the team in service aces (35). She is currently ranked first in the conference in digs (5.33 per set) and second in service aces (0.38 per set).
Southern Utah is 0-1 against Portland State since the return of women’s volleyball to campus in 2009.
Last time against Portland State
SUU took the first set 25-18 in Portland on September 29, but the Vikings came back to take the final three sets to remain undefeated (6-0) in Big Sky Conference play. Three T-Birds logged double-digit kills as Analaine Mailoto led the way with 12 and was followed by Cashaana Renfro (11) and Kylie Schofield (10). Jaklyn Wheeler led Portland State with 17 kills.
Scouting Eastern Washington
Eastern Washington will play at Northern Arizona on Thursday night before making the trip to Cedar City on Saturday. Currently, EWU is 2-23 on the year with both of its victories coming in Big Sky Conference play (2-12).
The Eagles are led offensively by Cora Kellerman with 214 kills and an average of 2.55 per set. Kellerman is also tops on the team in digs with 253, averaging 3.01 per set.
Talia Fermantez leads the Eastern Washington block with 72 with Shelby Puckett leading the team in service aces with 14 on the year.
The all-time series between the two teams in tied at 1-1 since the return of women’s volleyball to Southern Utah in 2009. SUU picked up the latest victory with a five-set win in Cheney earlier this year.
Last time against Eastern Washington
Eastern Washington stretched Southern Utah to five sets in Cheney with the Thunderbirds having to take sets four (25-22) and five (15-11) to take the match. Analaine Mailoto paced SUU with a season-high 25 kills and added 16 digs to record her eighth double-double of the season. Cashaana Renfro was also strong on the block, logging a career-high and school-record 11 blocks during the contest.