SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. (October 18, 2014) -- The Golden Eagles (15-8, 6-4 SAC) will aim for its second-consecutive win this afternoon when it hosts Southwestern Christian (Okla.) in a noon matchup at Bill George Arena.
Last night, junior middle hitter Libby Blasingame tallied a match-high 10 terminations and JBU used a .389 hitting percentage to quickly dispatch Mid-America Christian (Okla.) in straight sets (25-12, 25-22, 25-13).
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.
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.
Just last night, Southwestern Christian (8-15, 1-9 SAC) suffered a 3-1 setback at home against St. Gregory’s (Okla.), falling in a 3-1 fashion.
Courtney Clark and Tory Sharp paced SCU with 11 kills apiece. Nicole Morris followed with seven kills of her own.
Clark and Sharp currently lead the Eagle offense with 234 and 227 kills, respectively, making up 58 percent of SCU’s kill total. Courtney Traylor runs the offense with a team-best 609 assists while Nicole Morris (197) and Jessie Crenshaw (252) are the standouts on defense. Clark far and away poses the most difficult block, posting 27 solo rejections on the season and 68 total.
The Eagles have lost six of its previous eight contests.
Live video and stats will be provided for this afternoon's match, set to start at noon, by JBUathletics.com.