Freshman Ann Clappier led Southern Utah's attack with a career-high 14 kills and also recorded the team's top efficiency, hitting .250 with six errors on 32 swings. Fellow freshman Sariah Pelaez logged almost one third of the Thunderbirds' digs, totaling 20 of the team's 56 on the night. Sophomore Taylor Heine recorded her first double-digit blocking performance of her career, picking up a career-best 10 on one solo block and nine block assists.
Southern Utah capitalized on 16 Eastern Washington miscues in the first set to come from behind late in the frame and post a 26-24 victory. The Thunderbirds were down three, 22-19, before making a three-point run to tie the match at 22-22 behind a Kylie Schofield kill and a pair of Eagle attacking errors. EWU took back the lead (23-22) on the next play with a kill, but Southern Utah finished out the set on a 4-1 run and back-to-back Eagle errors wrapped up the set.
In the second set, Eastern Washington broke the seventh deadlock of the frame at 8-8 with a four-point run and increased the lead to as much as five at 18-13. Southern Utah answered with some strong serving from Joanna Christenson and put together a four-point run to pull within one at 18-17. However, the run ended and the Thunderbirds were only able to get to as close as two (22-20) down the stretch before finally falling 25-21 to square the match at 1-1.
The two offenses came out of the intermission polar opposites as Eastern Washington hit a match-high .385 and Southern Utah hit a match-low -.065 as the Eagles rolled to a 25-11 victory. The teams then fought through nine ties in the fourth set until a four-point EWU run put the visitors up 15-11. The advantage stayed with EWU for the rest of the set as back-to-back kills by the Eagles sealed the 3-1 victory with the 25-18 result.
Eastern Washington was led by a pair of double-digit attackers in Melissa Waelter and Kelsey Julian with 13 kills apiece. The Eagles also had two players with double-digit digs in Ryann Ensrud with 22 and Waelter with 13. Southern Utah's block proved to be superior on the night as the T-Birds logged 14.0 blocks to Eastern's 8.0.
SUU will be back in action on Saturday night, hosting league-leading Portland State at 7:00 p.m. in the Centrum Arena. Live stat and live video links will be available online at www.suutbirds.com.