The third set was close early, with Eastern Washington holding a 10-9 lead, but the Wildcats gradually pulled away as Cox had seven of Weber State's 17 kills during the final set, including the set, and match, winning point.
The Wildcats improved to 8-12 overall (2-6 Big Sky) with their first home win of the season and their first three-set home win since beating Seattle 3-0 on Oct. 17, 2009. Eastern Washington fell to 0-9 in Big Sky play (0-20 overall).
Weber State will return to action on Saturday at 7 p.m. against league-leading Portland State. The Vikings will take on Idaho State in Pocatello, Idaho on Friday night, before traveling to Ogden.
SOUTHERN UTAH VOLLEYBALL: GRAND FORKS, N.D. — Southern Utah University faced an efficient North Dakota attack on Thursday night and fell in three sets as a pair of UND hitters averaged better than .500 during the contest. The loss drops the Thunderbirds just below North Dakota in the Big Sky Conference standings with a 4-5 and 5-4 record, respectively.
North Dakota led start-to-finish in the first set, scoring the opening point and then building a lead of as much as nine points. UND eventually took the frame 25-16, hitting .323 with 14 kills to Southern Utah's .214 percentage and 10 kills.
The Thunderbirds tallied the opening point in set two on a North Dakota attacking error, but fell behind midway through the set. A late 9-4 run by
Southern Utah tied the game at 19-19, but it was answered by five consecutive points by UND to give North Dakota a set point at 24-19. An Analaine Mailoto kill fought off one set point, but a final UND kill wrapped up the set for the home team 25-20.
The teams went back-and-forth through seven ties during the opening points of the third set as North Dakota broke the final deadlock at 7-7 with a 4-1 run to take a 12-8 lead and prompt a Southern Utah timeout. The Thunderbirds cut the margin to within one, 12-11, on a Gabi Mirand service ace, her team-leading 30th of the season, but were unable to get any closer down the stretch. UND weathered each Southern Utah run, including a late three-point push, to eventually take the match 25-19.
The Thunderbirds were held without a double-digit attacker during the match as Cashaana Renfro led the team with nine kills, hitting a team-best .33
(9-3-18). Renfro also led the team in blocks with one solo and assist as both teams struggled at the net, totaling 4.0 total blocks each.
North Dakota was led by a trio of double-digit attackers in Lexi Robinson (14 kills) and Ronni Munkeby (10 kills) and Ellen Krueger (10 kills). Krueger and Munkeby each hit over .500 on the night with Munkeby hitting a team-best .643 (10-1-14) and Krueger just behind with a .588 average with her 10 kills on 17 attempts with no errors.
Southern Utah will be back in action on Saturday night, facing the Big Sky conference's preseason No. 1, Northern Colorado, in Greeley. The match is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. with live stats and live video links anticipated to be available online at www.suutbirds.com.
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