POCATELLO, Idaho - Southern Utah University women's volleyball proved to be on the short side of 25 ties and 11 lead changes at Idaho State on Friday night, falling to the Bengals in straight sets. The 25-17, 25-21, 25-20 loss drops the T-Birds to 2-19 overall and 1-10 in the Big Sky this season while ISU moves to 14-8 overall and 8-3 in conference with the win.
The two teams battled through nine ties during the opening set, culminating in a 13-13 deadlock. The Bengals then made a four-point run to take a 17-13 lead, but it was countered with a 4-1 Southern Utah run to pull the Thunderbirds within one at 18-17. However, ISU provided the knock out punch with a seven-point run to close out the set 25-17.
Idaho State matched Southern Utah's opening point in the second set as part of a 4-1 run for the Bengals to start the frame. The Thunderbirds came back to tie the set at 6-6, but back-to-back points by the home side gave ISU an 8-6 lead that it wouldn't surrender, taking the frame 25-21.
The third set was back-and-forth as the teams swapped the lead seven times and fought through 14 ties. Idaho State broke the final tie with a five-point run to take a 24-19 lead and its first set point. Southern Utah prolonged the match by way of a Bengal error, moving the score to 24-20, but a final kill by ISU wrapped up the match 25-20.
Alissa Youart had one of her best outings of the year with 10 kills on 25 swings and only two errors to lead the team with a .320 hitting percentage. The senior also finished second on the team with six digs with Sariah Pelaez leading the way with 12. Taylor Heine led a block that out blocked the Bengals 5.0 to 4.0 with four blocks, including one solo block and three block assists.
Southern Utah will be back on the court tomorrow night when the Thunderbirds play at Weber State. The match in Ogden is scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. with live stat and live video links available online at www.suutbirds.com.