Blasingame, Golden Eagles Rout Mid-America Christian in Sweeping Fashion
SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. (October 17, 2014) -- Junior middle hitter Libby Blasingame tallied a match-high 10 terminations and the Golden Eagles (15-8, 6-4 SAC) used a .389 hitting percentage to quickly dispatch Mid-America Christian (Okla.) in straight sets (25-12, 25-22, 25-13) tonight at Bill George Arena.
John Brown hit at a very efficient .389 percent (48-11-95) while holding the visiting Evangels to a mere .108 percent (23-14-83). Blasingame contributed a season-high 10 kills without making an error. Junior outside hitter Audrey Dearien also posted a match-leading 10 kills, in addition to nine digs and a pair of service aces. Senior defensive specialist Becca Young earned nine digs while setters Shayna Daniels and Alyssa Arnold tossed around 19 and 18 assists, respectively.
“I was pleased with our team’s focus and level of execution tonight,” said head coach Ken Carver. “This was probably one of the most balanced matches offensively we have had all season long. Shayna and Alyssa did an excellent job in executing our game plan and putting our hitters in optimum positions to be very effective tonight. Our middle hitters and opposite saw more sets tonight by design and all of them did a good job putting the ball away for points. Libby and Vanessa, in particular, were very efficient offensively and smart with some of their shot selections. I felt our players did a good job of serving zones and particular players in order to keep MACU predominately out of system.
“While we didn’t have as many aces as we normally do, due to a little better serve reception on MACU’s part, we hit the zones we needed to. Our block did a good better job tonight in not only block terminating but touching balls and allowing our back row a good play on the ball.”
JBU built an early 11-3 lead in the first set while limiting MACU to a -.037 attack efficiency in the stanza. A couple of errors allowed the Evangels to creep back to within a 12-7 score, but a pair of Dearien terminations sent John Brown on a 4-0 run, creating a nine-point gap, 16-7. Dearien then took over from the service line, sending over consecutive aces that fueled the remainder of the hosts’ run before back-to-back Mid-America Christian errors ended the first set in favor of JBU, 25-12.
A tandem of kills from senior outside hitter Vanessa Uhrhahn allowed John Brown to take a narrow 9-7 lead in set two. MACU quickly tied the set, but three visitor errors sent JBU on a 5-1 rally and a 15-10 advantage. Molli Pugh, Courtney Marshall, Melissa Bakke and Dearien each contributed kills down the stretch, extending JBU’s lead to 20-13. However, four Golden Eagle errors, coupled with three Hannah Luedtke service aces brought the Evangels all the way back to knot the score at 22 apiece. Bakke’s kill at 22-22 returned the lead and the serve back to John Brown. Another MACU error and finally a Pugh termination ended the Evangel comeback bid, 25-22.
Nursing a narrow 5-4 advantage in the third set, Blasingame book-ended a 7-3 Golden Eagle rally that featured terminations from four separate individuals to boost JBU to a 12-7 advantage. A trio of Tiffany Hunnicutt kills at 16-11 stretched the John Brown lead to 20-11. Only a pair of Shannon Nemeier kills interrupted the hosts’ rally as terminations from Bakke, Uhrhahn and Blasingame ended the set, 25-13.
“The first time we played MACU they saw a lot of success tipping for points,” added Carver. “While they did score some points against us with the tips we did a lot better job in reading and reacting to those balls and playing a number of those up for points in transition. Overall, it was a good win and the team did a good job coming off the loss against OCU on Wednesday and played a very good match.”
Nemeier ended the match with a team-leading 10 kills for the Evangels while Luedtke added 15 assists and Camera Broadnax chipped in with 12 digs in the loss.
JBU will return to action tomorrow (Oct. 18) afternoon against Southwestern Christian (Okla.). The two teams will tangle at noon inside of Bill George Arena.