CEDAR CITY – Southern Utah University women’s volleyball will continue conference play this weekend when the Thunderbirds host Oakland University on Thursday night and IPFW on Saturday night. The contests will be crucial to conference standings with SUU standing at 2-3, Oakland at 2-2 and IPFW at 3-1.
“IPFW and Oakland are always tough matches,” head coach Debby Baker said of the weekend. “We expect both teams to come in and compete and expect the same thing from our girls. This league is so tough this year and you have to take care of business at home.”
Southern Utah will be riding a three-match winning streak against Oakland when the teams take to the court on Thursday night. The Thunderbirds won in five sets in Rochester last season and then swept the Grizzlies in straight sets in Cedar City. Analaine Pelaez-Mailoto combined for 36 kills during the two games, including a 20-kill performance in the Centrum Arena that ranks second all-time in a three-set match.
SUU and IPFW split games in 2010 with the home team taking the victories in both contests. The Thunderbirds swept the Mastodons in straight sets in Cedar City as Cashaana Renfro and Pelaez-Mailoto each tallied double-digit kill numbers and the team recorded 58 digs which still ranks in the top four all-time.
Peleaz-Mailoto continues to power the Thunderbird offense in 2011 with a team-best 244 kills, averaging 4.00 kills per set to rank third in the conference. Kylie Schofield and Cashaana Renfro are behind her with 126 and 116 kills, respectively. Pelaez-Mailoto and Renfro are also the leaders for the team defensively with 167 digs and 62 blocks, respectively.
Both matches are scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. this week with the match on Saturday featuring a Ladies Night promotion with women able to get into the match for only $2. Fans can follow the matches online at www.suutbirds.com with live stats and live video anticipated to be available.