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CEDAR CITY, Utah - Southern Utah University women’s volleyball will look to break out of a three-game losing skid when the Thunderbirds host Eastern Washington and Portland State this weekend.
SUU won its home opener under similar circumstances earlier in the season, snapping a three-match losing streak with a 3-1 victory over Weber State on Sept. 19. The victory came by way of a strong block as the T-Birds recorded 14.0, the highest single-match total to that point in the season.
Southern Utah’s block has been solid throughout the year with the Thunderbirds recording more blocks than their opponents in 10 of 14 matches this season. Sophomore Taylor Heine is tops on the team with 50 and leads the Big Sky Conference with a 1.35 blocks per set average.
SUU is also among the conference leaders in digs, ranking second with a 14.70 digs per set average. True freshman Sariah Pelaez leads the way with a team-best 178, averaging 3.36 digs per set.
Southern Utah is scheduled to face Eastern Washington on Thursday night and Portland State on Saturday night. Both matches are set for 7:00 p.m. with live stat and live video links available online at www.suutbirds.com.
Scouting Eastern Washington
Eastern Washington will enter Thursday’s match with an overall record of 5-10, including a 2-2 mark in the Big Sky. The Eagles have captured their conference victories over Sacramento State (3-2) and Montana State (3-2).
EWU is led offensively by Allie Schumacher with a team-best 163 kills and a 2.96 kills per set average. As a team, EWU is hitting .182 on the year with 609 kills (11.07 per set). Lindsay Niemeier leads the team in assists with 346.
Defensively, the Eagles have accumulated 662 digs and 120 blocks, averaging 12.04 and 2.18 per set, respectively. Ryann Ensrud leads the team in digs with 152 with Allison Doerpinghaus best on the team block with 55.
Eastern Washington holds the all-time series lead 2-1 over the T-Birds since the return of volleyball to Southern Utah in 2008.
Last Time Against Eastern Washington
CEDAR CITY, Utah - Nov. 3, 2012 - Southern Utah University volleyball suffered a three-set defeat to Eastern Washington on Saturday night, falling to 9-19 on the year and 5-11 in Big Sky Conference play. The Eagles moved to 4-24 overall and 4-13 in conference play, continuing a two-game winning streak.
Analaine Mailoto led Southern Utah with 12 kills on the night with Hailey Moore leading the team with 11 digs.
Scouting Portland State
Portland State will play at Northern Arizona on Thursday night before making the trip to Cedar City on Saturday night. The Vikings are currently 7-7 on the year and a perfect 4-0 in the Big Sky. This weekend will mark PSU’s first conference road trip of the season and only the second weekend the team has played outside of Portland.
The Vikings have totaled 614 kills this season, hitting .195 and have average 13.1 kills per set. Kaeli Patton and Aubrey Mitchell lead the team with 137 and 127 kills, respectively and average 2.91 and 2.70 kills per set. Garyn Schlatter has directed the PSU attack, recording 468 assists.
Defensively, Portland State has totaled 690 digs (14.68 per set) and 111 blocks (2.36 per set). Kasimira Clark leads the team in digs with 221 (4.70 per set) and Leigh-Ann Haataja paces the team block with 51 (1.09 per set).
Portland State holds the all-time series lead 2-0 over Southern Utah since the return of volleyball to SUU in 2008.
Last Time Against Portland State
CEDAR CITY, Utah - Nov. 1, 2012 - Southern Utah University women’s volleyball captured sets one and four against Portland State on Thursday night, forcing its first five-set match at home this season, but came up short in the final frame 15-6 in the defeat. The loss drops the T-Birds to 9-18 on the year and 5-10 in Big Sky Conference play while the Vikings remain atop the standings with a 14-1 conference mark and an overall record of 18-8.
Analaine Mailoto led all attackers with 16 kills and also led the T-Birds with a team-best 19 digs for her 11th double-double of the season. Kylie Schofield and Cashaana Renfro joined her with double-digit kill numbers with 12 and 10, respectively. Schofield was also the most efficient hitter for the T-Birds on the night, hitting .310 (12-3-29).
Southern Utah’s block finished with 18.0 total blocks, tying the school record, set earlier this season, for the third time as Renfro and freshman Taylor Heine tied for the team lead with 9 blocks apiece. The SUU defense also logged its second-highest dig total of the season, recording 71 on the night.