CEDAR CITY, Utah - Nov. 6 - Southern Utah University women’s volleyball will look to remain undefeated against in-state opponents when the Thunderbirds travel to Weber State on Monday and Utah Valley on Tuesday. SUU already picked up a five-set victory over Utah State in the only other in-state clash this season.
“Playing well against the other in-state schools is huge,” head coach Debby Baker said. “Weber State and Utah Valley are both coached very well and I have a great deal of respect for Tom (Peterson) and Sam (Atoa). We played well last weekend and I hope that our effort can now carry over into Monday and Tuesday.”
Southern Utah will be playing their third and fourth games in six days after hosting South Dakota State and North Dakota State in Summit League games last Thursday and Saturday. The Thunderbirds split results against the Jackrabbits and Bison with a four-set victory on Thursday, followed by a four-set defeat on Saturday night.
SUU is 1-1 against the Wildcats since the return of the program in 2009, suffering a four-set defeat that first season only to come back and post a straight-set victory over Weber State in 2010 in Cedar City. The Thunderbirds will be looking for their first victory over Utah Valley as the Wolverines have a 4-0 mark against SUU. The last match in Orem went down to the wire as three of five sets had to be played into extra points, including a back-and-forth fifth set that ended 19-17 in favor of UVU.
Southern Utah’s offense in 2011 has been led by Analaine Pelaez-Mailoto with a team-best 460 kills on the year and a team-best average of 4.11 per set. The Hooper, Utah native has also been strong on the defensive side of the net with a team-best 341 digs. Freshman Davia Lee is close to overtaking her in that category as the libero has tallied 311 digs on the year and averaged 4.32 per frame in 50 fewer sets.
Other players to watch during the matches will be freshman setter Gabi Mirand who has led the T-Bird offense with a team-best 955 assists, averaging 9.36 per set. Cashaana Renfro has paced the SUU block with 105 on the year and team-bests of 14 solo blocks and 91 assists.
Game time on Monday night in Ogden is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. with the match in Orem on Tuesday night set for 7:00 p.m. Live stats for both matches is anticipated to be available online at www.suutbirds.com.
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