CEDAR CITY, Utah – Southern Utah wrapped up their home season with a 3-0 loss to Northern Colorado.
Prior to the game, seniors Chennin Benson, Sariah Pelaez-Harris, and Ann Clappier were recognized after four standout years at Southern Utah University.
“Chennin was an absolute delight. She’s one of my all-time favorite players. Good situation or bad situation, she was always trying as hard as she could. I wish I had her for four years starting now,” head coach Craig Choate said. “Ann’s knee just did not let her finish her senior season the way she wanted, but she worked hard. She’s been playing in pain, so I’m proud of her. Sariah was our leading passer all year long, and she worked really hard. I'm very proud of all of our seniors and their examples.”
The first set tied at 6-6 before the Northern Colorado broke ahead for a 12-8 lead midway through the first set. The Bears hung onto a comfortable lead to conclude the first set with a 25-15 win. Fifita, Clappier, and Evans each posted two kills in the first set.
SUU took a quick 4-2 lead to hit off the second set before the Bears fought back to knot the game at 8-8. The game tied again at nines, 10s, and 11s before UNC rallied ahead to capture the second set 25-21 and enter the break with a 2-0 lead over the Thunderbirds.
Returning with fire, SUU put up the first five points of the third set before UNC battled to tie the game up at 6-6.The game tied again at 11, 12, and 13 before the Bears rallied to take a 25-18 third set victory and conclude the game with a 3-0 win over the Thunderbirds.
All three seniors had a successful night on the court as Benson led the team with 15 kills, Clappier posted four kills and a solo block, and Pelaez-Harris finished with six assists, six digs, and two service aces.
“I’ve been really lucky to have this opportunity to play for SUU,” Benson said. “It’s just been a really great experience, and I’m grateful for everyone that has supported me.”