CEDAR CITY, Utah - Southern Utah University volleyball dropped a three-set decision to Northern Colorado on Saturday night, falling to 2-18 overall on the year and 1-9 in conference play. The loss was the Thunderbirds' 10th straight and is something out of the ordinary for the program, far surpassing the team's previous record streak of six losses back in 2010.
SUU scored the first point of the match, making the most of a UNC error and had a lead as late as 8-7 in the first frame. However, the Bears used a four-point run to reverse their fortunes and take an 11-8 lead and never looked back. The T-Birds cut the UNC margin to only one at 11-10, but another seven-point run by the visitors stretched the score to 18-10, keeping Southern Utah at bay. Northern Colorado eventually took the opening set 25-16 on a punctuating kill.
The Thunderbirds scored the opening point of the second set as well as the Bears opened the frame with another attacking error. SUU had its final lead at 2-1 as another four-point run by UNC broke a 3-3 tie and gave the visitors a 7-3 lead. Southern Utah came to within one at 7-6 and 9-8, but were unable to get any closer as the Bears closed out the set 25-16.
The familiar storyline continued in the third set as Southern Utah opened the frame with the first point on a UNC error as Annie Stradling and Ann Clappier recorded a block. The Bears then broke a 4-4 tie with a three-point run to take a 7-4 lead and then kept the Thunderbirds at a distance. SUU made a late 6-2 run to pull within four points (22-18), but ultimately fell 25-19.
Southern Utah's highlight for the match proved to be its block as the Thunderbirds recorded 8.0 (1-14-2) to Northern Colorado's 4.0 (0-8-0). Alissa Youart (1-3-1) and Taylor Heine (0-4-0) led the way with four blocks apiece.
SUU will be back in action next weekend when the Thunderbirds travel to face Idaho State and Weber State on the road. The matches are scheduled for Oct. 25 and 26 with live stats and live video links available online at www.suutbirds.com.