PORTLAND, Ore. - Southern Utah University women's volleyball suffered a three-set defeat at Portland State on Thursday night. The loss drops the T-Birds to 3-23 overall on the year and 2-13 in the Big Sky. PSU maintained its second-place spot in the league, moving to 12-3 in the Big Sky and 15-10 overall.
The Thunderbirds fell behind 5-1 early in the first set, but their own 5-1 run later in the frame to take their first lead 10-9. PSU countered with a three-point run to take back the lead, 12-10, but a Viking error on the next rally pulled the T-Birds within one, 12-11. However, it was as close as Southern Utah would come as a six-point run by the home side created a strong enough buffer that would carry the Vikings to the 25-19 victory.
Southern Utah was up on five separate occasions in the second set, but its final lead of 12-11 was erased by a three-point Portland State run, giving the Vikings a 14-12 advantage. PSU then finished the set on a 9-1 run to take a 2-0 lead with the 25-15 result.
A similar scenario played out in the third as the Thunderbirds' final lead of 11-10 disappeared by way of a four-point run by the Vikings, shifting the lead to PSU, 14-11. A Hailey Moore kill cut the margin to two, 14-12, but Southern Utah's attack stalled at 14 points as the Vikings put together a five-point run to take a 21-14 lead. SUU used a Portland State service error to fight off the Vikings' first match point at 24-15, but a closing kill by the home side gave them the victory 25-16.
Kylie Schofield led Southern Utah's offense with nine kills. Fellow senior Alissa Youart led the defense with 11 digs. Portland State's Kaeli Patton provided most of the Vikings' highlights with 16 kills on a .520 hitting percentage (16-3-25).
Southern Utah will return to the court tomorrow night when the Thunderbirds play at Eastern Washington. The match in Cheney, Wash. is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. (MT) with live stat and live video links available online at www.suutbirds.com.