Southern Utah will be looking to snap a four-game losing skid, having suffered 3-0 defeats in its most recent three matches against North Dakota, Drake and Wisconsin-Green Bay. The Thunderbirds will also be looking to build upon two conference road victories in their inaugural season of 2009.
“This weekend is going to be tough,” head coach Debby Baker said. “However, I really like the way that we have practiced this week and I hope that the intensity will carry over to our games.”
Southern Utah’s attack will enter the weekend led by Analaine Pelaez with a team-best 87 kills on a team-high 257 attempts. The sophomore is averaging 3.62 kills per set which ranks No. 2 in the Summit League behind South Dakota State’s Ellyce Youngren with 3.80 kills per frame.
On the defensive side of the net Cashaana Renfro, Jazmine Ma’afala and Tess Lawrence have each tallied double-digit numbers in blocks with 20, 13 and 11, respectively. Pelaez and libero Caitlin Jensen have totaled 86 and 84 digs, respectively, to lead the team in that statistic as both are in the top ten of the Summit League in digs per set with 3.58 and 3.50, respectively.
The lead for service aces on the team is shared among four athletes as Ma’afala, Brittney Clark, Jensen and Jordan Anderson all lead the squad with five. Clark stands alone as the leader in assists with 231 this season while averaging 9.62 per set, a mark that ranks No. 3 in the Summit.
Game time for both matches this weekend is set for 8:00PM MDT with the Thunderbirds opening the two-game set in Fargo. Live stats for both matches is anticipated to be available online at SUU T-Birds.