EWU broke an early 5-5 score line in the first set with a five-point run to take a 10-5 lead, but the Thunderbirds countered and pulled within two at 13-11 on an Eagles service error. However, Southern Utah's attack stalled as the Eagles put together six straight points to take a 19-11 lead and eventually took the set 25-14 as part of a 12-3 closing run.
Southern Utah used a four-point push in the second set to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 5-2 lead behind kills from Lusia Angilau, Ann Clappier and Taylor Heine and a Sariah Pelaez service ace, one of a team-best tying three during the match. The teams then fought through nine ties and four lead changes culminating in the final deadlock at 24-24. Eastern Washington fought off three Thunderbird set points to force the final tie, but a kill by Kylie Schofield and service ace from Jenna Bradfield, one of her team-best tying three for the match, wrapped up the set 26-24 in favor of Southern Utah.
SUU was unable to click offensively in the third set, falling behind 10-0 on Eastern's opening run and ultimately dropped the set 25-11 after hitting -.160 (3-7-25). The Eagles used another strong opening in the fourth set to take a 6-0 lead with the Thunderbirds only able to come as close as three, 13-10, midway through the frame. Eastern Washington finished the set on a five-point run to take the match 25-16.
Schofield led Southern Utah's attack with 11 kills as three players logged double-digit digs defensively. Sariah Pelaez led the defense with 14 digs and was joined by Joanna Christenson (11) and Alissa Youart (10) in double digits. Christenson finished the match with her team-best ninth double-double of the season after logging 26 assists.
SUU will return to the court next week for its final home stand when the Thunderbirds host Montana State and Montana on Thursday and Saturday nights. The matches are both slated for 7:00 p.m. with live stat and live video links available online at www.suutbirds.com.