Dearien’s 13 Kills Carries Golden Eagles Past Southwestern Christian
SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. (October 18, 2014) -- Junior outside hitter Audrey Dearien blasted a match-high 13 kills, drawing closer to a personal milestone, while the Golden Eagles (16-8, 7-4 SAC) limited Southwestern Christian (Okla.) to a mere -.024 hitting percentage en route to a 3-0 (25-10, 25-12, 25-14) sweep this afternoon in Bill George Arena.
Dearien’s 13-kill output brings her within 14 of 1,000 career terminations. She also added five service aces and grabbed the double-double with 10 digs. Junior outside hitter Tiffany Hunnicutt contributed eight kills and a pair of blocks while junior outside hitter Melissa Bakke notched seven kills in the victory. Setters Shayna Daniels (22) and Alyssa Arnold (11) helped the Golden Eagles tally 35 assists on 37 kills. Junior middle hitter Libby Blasingame contributed a match-high two solo blocks and a block assist.
“I’m pleased with our team’s performance today,” head coach Ken Carver noted. “Our focus and execution was where it needed to be today to allow us to pick up another important conference win and to do it efficiently in three sets. Offensively, we had another very good outing with our overall team attack percentage being over .340 for the second match in a row. Our serve reception was even better than last night which, in turn, allowed us to run our offensive set at the tempo we wanted. We were able to be a little bit more aggressive and successful from the service line today as well in terms of service aces. I was very pleased with our team’s management of the match.
“I don’t think Southwestern Christian was able to score any more than two points in a row against us before we were able to side out. Due to our ability to serve aggressively and coupled with our block and back row defense, we were able to hold their team to a negative attacking percentage for the match so that was another plus for us today as well. It was great to finish out the week on a two match win streak and head into our fall break with a little positive momentum heading into next week.”
The Golden Eagles used a .344 hitting percentage (37-6-90) to overwhelm the visitors, limiting SCU to a -.024 attacking percentage (19-21-82).
Molli Pugh’s service aces in the first set helped John Brown jump out to a 10-2 advantage before a pair of Dearien kills jump-started JBU on a 9-3rally, featuring a trio of aces, two from Dearien and another from senior defensive specialist Becca Young. Boasting a 20-9 lead, three SCU errors allowed terminations from Hunnicutt and Blasingame to take the first set, 25-10.
The second set began close as a Blasingame kill knotted the score at 4-4 and a Tori Sharp service error for SCU tied the score at 6 apiece. However, with Daniels serving, the Golden Eagles enjoyed a 6-0 rally, highlighted by a pair of aces from Daniels, to take a 12-6 lead. Dearien then took over the rest of the set with another set of kills and an ace to close out set two, 25-12.
Finally in the third set, a pair of JBU errors allowed the Eagle to claw within one, 11-10, but two kills each from Dearien and Hunnicutt powered the hosts on an 8-1 run. With a 19-11 lead in hand, another pair of Dearien terminations ended the set with the Golden Eagles capturing six of the last 10 points and a 25-14 win.
“Next week is a big week for us,” added Carver, looking towards the next opponents. “Our match against Lyon College on Wednesday is going to be our Dig Pink match. We then follow that up with a long road trip out to play Wayland Baptist at their place. They have not lost another conference match since losing to us, so I can only imagine that they have had our match date circled on their calendars as an opportunity for some redemption.
“We’ll be working hard this next week to finish out our current four-match homestand on a winning note while raising awareness for breast cancer research through our Dig Pink match and then getting ready to face a very determined and motivated Wayland Baptist squad at their place. It Should make for a very fun and exciting week.”
Courtney Clark paced SCU (8-16, 1-10 SAC) with a team-leading six kills on the afternoon while Courtney Traylor added 16 assists in the loss.
JBU will return to the court on Wednesday (Oct. 22) when it welcomes Lyon (Ark.) to Bill George Arena at 7 p.m.