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CEDAR CITY, Utah - Southern Utah University women’s volleyball will take its first conference road trip of the season this weekend and face Sacramento State and Northern Arizona. The matches are scheduled for Saturday and Monday nights.
The Thunderbirds will enter the matches with an overall record of 2-10 on the year and a 1-1 mark in Big Sky Conference play. The record includes a two-match losing skid with losses to Idaho State (3-0) and UNLV (3-1) in the previous matches.
Kylie Schofield continues to pace Southern Utah’s attack with a team-best 135 kills and a 2.93 kills per set average. SUU’s middles lead the team in efficiency with Annie Stradling (.267, 77-25-195), Lusia Angilau (.253, 30-10-79) and Taylor Heine (.220, 45-18-123) tops on the team in hitting percentage.
Southern Utah’s defense is among the leaders of the Big Sky, sitting second in opponent hitting percentage (.186), third in blocks (2.49 per set) and second in digs (15.19 per set). Heine has paced the team block this season, totaling 46 and leads the Big Sky with a 1.44 blocks per set average. Sariah Pelaez leads the team in digs with 158 this season.
Fans can follow both matches via live stat and live video links that will be available online at www.suutbirds.com.
Southern Utah has recorded more blocks than its opponents in nine of its 12 matches this season.
Scouting Sacramento State
Sacramento State is currently 5-8 on the year and 0-2 in Big Sky Conference play. The Hornets will host Northern Arizona before welcoming Southern Utah on Saturday night.
Sac State has totaled 566 kills this season, averaging 11.79 per set with Sloan Lovett leading the team with 152 kills and an average of 3.23 kills per set. Hannah Hettinga has directed the offense with 463 assists this season.
Sacramento’s blocks has been led by Kayla Beal with 31 total this season as the team has tallied 74 and an average of 1.54 per set. Katie Aprile leads the team in digs with 166 (3.69 er set) with the team accumulating 678 this season for an average of 14.12 per set.
The all-time series between the schools is tied 1-1 since the return of volleyball to SUU in 2008 as both sides secured home victories in 2012. SUU sealed a 3-1 win in Cedar City with Sacramento State taking a 3-0 win in Sacramento.
Scouting Northern Arizona
Northern Arizona is currently 8-3 on the year and a perfect 2-0 in the Big Sky after conference opening sweeps over Idaho State and Weber State last weekend. NAU will play at Sacramento State on Friday before hosting Southern Utah on Monday.
The Lumberjacks have totaled 468 kills this season, averaging 13.00 per set and are led individually by Janae Vander Ploeg with 111 kills and a 3.08 kills per set average. NAU runs a 6-2 with Jensen Barton and Erin Truett sharing time at setter with each having tallied 201 and 156 assists, respectively.
Defensively, Northern Arizona has totaled 87 blocks and 516 digs, averaging 2.42 and 14.33 per set, respectively. Individually, Taylor Stephens leads the NAU block with 44 and Trianna Henry leads the team in digs with 150.
Northern Arizona leads the all-time series with Southern Utah 2-1 since the return of the program to SUU in 2008. The Lumberjacks took both meetings in 2012 with a 3-1 win in Cedar City and 3-0 win in Flagstaff.