Analaine Mailoto wrapped up her career as a T-Birds with team bests of 17 kills and 21 digs
SUU Strategic Communications

SUU Volleyball Guts Out Five-Set Victory over UND

November 17, 2012
By SUU Strategic Communication

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CEDAR CITY, Utah - Southern Utah University women's volleyball sent its seniors out with a memorable match on Saturday night, posting a five-set victory over the University of North Dakota on "Senior Night". The match marked the first time in school history that the Thunderbirds came back from a two-set deficit to post a win.

"I'm so proud of how these girls fought tonight," head coach Debby Baker said. "Our seniors did an amazing job tonight and it was great to see them go out like that."

Southern Utah was down early, falling in the first set 25-17 and trailing 24-23 in the second set. SUU tied it at 24-24 on a Kylie Schofield kill and then captured their first set point on an Alissa Youart kill. However, UND tied the frame again at 25-25, but a UND error on the very next point gave the T-Birds another set point at 26-25.

North Dakota continued to hang in the set as an SUU service error squared the frame for a third time, 26-26. The Thunderbirds then took their third consecutive set point, 27-26, on a Cashaana Renfro/Youart block, but three consecutive points by UND swept the victory from beneath the Thunderbirds and gave the visitors a 2-0 advantage with the 29-27 victory.

Southern Utah came out strong in the third set, scoring the frame's opening seven points and taking a 7-0 lead. The margin was whittled down to just one point late in the set, 21-20, but back-to-back points on Youart and Mailoto kills gave the T-Birds a three-point cushion, 23-20. North Dakota scored the next point, but another pair of kills by Mailoto gave the set to the Thunderbirds, 25-21.

SUU used four different two-point runs in the beginning of the fourth set to build a lead of 12-8 and kept at least a two-point cushion throughout the remainder of the set to take the stanza 25-21 and force a deciding fifth set.

North Dakota played to a 10-7 lead late into the finale, prompting a Southern Utah timeout. The Thunderbirds came out of the break with a 5-1 run to take the lead 12-11 and force a timeout called by the North Dakota bench. A UND kill following the break tied the match at 12-12, but Southern Utah finished the set on a 3-1 run with a final Renfro/Gabi Mirand block wrapping up the match 15-13.

Mailoto led the Thunderbird attack with 17 kills and added a team-best 21 digs for her 13th double-double of the season. She was followed by Kylie Schofield's 15 kills and a team-best three solo blocks. Fittingly, Renfro wrapped up her career at Southern Utah with a team-best 10 blocks, part of a school-record 21 blocks for the team during the match. Another senior, Anna Burgess, finished her career with one of her best nights in the Centrum Arena with 17 digs, three assists and Southern Utah's lone service ace.

With the victory, Southern Utah can finish as high as sixth place in the conference standings, but will miss out on a berth in the Big Sky Conference tournament when it comes down to tie-breakers. If Montana State loses to Montana on Monday night, SUU, MSU and Sacramento State will all be tied for sixth place, but Sacramento State will earn the tournament berth, carrying a 3-1 record against the other schools, having swept Montana State during the regular season.

Southern Utah finishes the year with an overall record of 12-20 and a conference mark of 8-12. The 12 wins are the second most in the program's short five-year history. The Thunderbirds will now turn their attention to the 2013 season with a release of the 2013-14 signees anticipated to be available following the Thanksgiving break.