Southern Utah scored the first point of each set during the night, but it was Portland State who ultimately recorded the final point in each set. The Thunderbirds opened the match with a 2-0 lead behind points from the service line in a PSU service error and Joanna Christenson service ace. The teams then went back-and-forth, fighting through 11 ties and nine lead changes, including an 18-18 deadlock late in the set. The Vikings broke the tie with back-to-back points and finished out the set on a 7-2 run to take a 1-0 lead with the 25-20 decision.
Southern Utah picked up the first point of the second set on a Portland State error, but the Vikings came back on the next rally to tie the match at 1-1. The teams worked through seven more ties until PSU broke a 10-10 score with back-to-back points to take a 12-10 lead. The Vikings then used a 13-4 run, including the final seven points of the set, to take a 2-0 lead with a 25-14 win.
Alissa Youart recorded a kill to open the third set putting SUU up 1-0, but PSU countered with a four-point run to take a 4-1 lead. The advantage stayed with the visitors throughout the set with the Vikings taking their first match point at 24-16. The Thunderbirds didn't quit and put together four straight points behind strong serving from sophomore Jenna Bradfield to cut the margin to 24-20. However, a final kill by Portland State ended the run and match, 25-20.
Southern Utah was led offensively on the night by Ann Clappier with nine kills and a team-best .333 hitting percentage (9-4-19). The Thunderbirds were led defensively by Sariah Pelaez, Bradfield and Hailey Moore with 12, 10 and 10 digs, respectively. Clappier tied Annie Stradling for the team lead in blocks with five as the team recorded 10.0 total blocks during the night.
SUU will return to courts next weekend with a road trip to Montana to face Montana and Montana State on Friday and Saturday. Both matches are scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. with live stat and live video links available online at www.suutbirds.com.