Thunderbirds rack up three wins at Kristen Dickmann Invitational
By SUU Strategic Communication
ANNAPOLIS, Md. Aug. 30 – Southern Utah University picked up its second and third wins of the season Saturday as it beat Navy in four sets and swept Providence in three. The T-Birds lost their first set of the day before winning the following six sets to return home with a 3-0 record.
Southern Utah dropped its first set to Navy, 25-22, but came back to win the following three by scores of 25-19, 25-23 and 25-19. Game three was up in the air until the end as the T-Birds led by just 24-23 before Madi Forsythe came through with a block to seal the third win. SUU closed out the fourth set with a .233 hitting percentage, their highest of the match.
The Thunderbird’s success stemmed from executing their kills as they had 12 in the first, third and fourth set and 11 in the second. Forsythe led Southern Utah with 16 kills as freshman Remo Gaogao and Ann Clappier added with 11 and eight respectively. Annie Stradling led the team in blocks with four while Sariah Pelaez placed the team with a match-high 26 digs.
The second match of the day against Providence saw the Friars take on an early 7-5 lead before the Thunderbirds came through with a five-point streak to tally to a 25-15 finish on 18 kills. SUU finished the second set with 10 kills and a .381 hitting percentage. The T-Birds trailed in the third set, 11-10, before entering a five-point streak to go ahead, 16-10. The T-Birds then wrapped up the match quickly by a final set score of 25-17 and a match-high hitting percentage of .519.
Taylor Heine finished first among the Thunderbirds with an impressive .727 hitting percentage. Forsythe led SUU with 12 kills as Gaogao chipped in 10. Pelaez recorded a team-high 20 digs. The Thunderbirds snagged their third-straight win with an overall hitting percentage of .435.
Madi Forsythe was named the MVP of the Kristen Dickmann Invitational, with Faith Ma’afala earning a spot on the All-Tournament Team.
"I couldn't have asked more from our girls. For the most part we stayed composed and didn't give up big point runs," head coach Debby Baker said "Our passing was good and Faith was able to distribute the ball to everyone."
The Thunderbirds will head home for a week of practice before hosting the SUU Invitational where they will face Savannah State on Friday at 10 a.m. followed by UC Riverside at 7 p.m. The T-Birds wrap up the tournament by taking on Maryland Eastern Shore at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Tournament coverage will be available at www.suutbirds.com.