The Thunderbirds were unable to get things going in the first set as the Grizzlies broke a 3-3 tie with a 13-2 run to take a 16-5 lead. Montana ultimately took the set 25-12, hitting a match-best .375 (15-3-32) to Southern Utah's .107 (12-6-43).
SUU bounced back in the second set and, despite being down 5-0 early in the set, fought back to tie the frame at 10-10. The deadlock was one of 13 during the set, including a late 23-23 tie that was broken by a Kylie Schofield kill, giving the T-Birds a set point at 24-23. However, the Grizzlies came back and notched three consecutive points to swipe the set away from SUU with the 26-24 result.
Southern Utah had a 10-8 lead midway through the third set, but a six-point Montana run gave the home side a 14-10 lead and led to a Thunderbird timeout. SUU scored out of the break, but was unable to come any closer than three down the stretch as the Grizzlies finished out the match on a 6-1 run to take the victory 25-16.
Schofield led Southern Utah's attackers with 13 kills and added two digs. Jenna Bradfield led the team with 13 digs and also recorded a career-high four service aces. Alissa Youart also tallied double-digit digs with 11 and led the team with two blocks.
Southern Utah will be back in action on Saturday night when the team travels to Bozeman for a match at Montana State. The competition is scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. with live stat and live video links available online at www.suutbirds.com.