GameDay: Volleyball vs. Wayland Baptist

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SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. (October 25, 2014) -- For the second time this season, the Golden Eagles (17-8, 7-4 SAC) will take on No. 22 Wayland Baptist (Texas) as John Brown attempts to crack the top three spots in the Sooner Athletic Conference standings this morning.

On Wednesday (Oct. 22), JBU defeated Lyon (Ark.) for the second time in 2014, this time in sweeping fashion (25-22, 25-14, 25-18) behind 13 Audrey Dearien kills and 20 Shayna Daniels assists at Bill George Arena to claim its third-consecutive win.

With her 13-termination output, Dearien nears a personal milestone in 1,000 career kills. Currently at 999, the junior outside hitter will look to accomplish the feat in JBU’s next match, a Saturday (Oct. 25) tilt at Wayland Baptist (Texas).

Junior outside hitter Melissa Bakke contributed nine kills while sophomore middle hitter Molli Pugh added eight in the win. Freshman setter Alyssa Arnold tallied 12 helpers and senior defensive specialist Becca Young chipped in with a match-high nine digs.

In a match that featured both teams struggling from the service line, the visiting Scots earned three service aces but committed 11 errors. Conversely, the Golden Eagles managed five aces, but stumbled with 13 miscues from the service line. Lyon experienced a difficult attacking night, managing a mere .105 attack percentage (24-15-86) while John Brown rode an impressive .440 percent in the second set to end the match with a .319 hitting percentage (42-12-94).

Bakke’s kill in the first set broke a 7-all deadlock, handing the Golden Eagles the lead for good in the stanza. The lead grew to as many as six, 17-11, when back-to-back Dearien terminations proceeded a Lyon error. Lyon didn’t back down, however, and rallied on a 6-2 run to pull within two, 19-17, but a Courtney Marshall kill ended the Scot comeback bid as JBU captured set one, 25-22.

For the first time in the match, John Brown found itself behind early in the second set. Behind the service of Daniels, the Golden Eagles rallied on a 6-0 run that featured an ace and terminations from Bakke, Pugh and a pair from junior outside hitter Tiffany Hunnicutt. Dearien then took over in the middle of the second set, throwing down a quartet of kills, handing the hosts a 17-12 lead. Three-straight errors by Lyon placed the set out of reach, handing JBU a 20-12 lead. Three more visitor miscues setup the final kill from senior outside hitter Vanessa Uhrhahn as the Golden Eagles took a 2-0 lead after a 25-14 set two win.

The two squads battled in the third set as neither team could gain a large lead, the greatest a 10-6 John Brown advantage. Lyon pulled within scores of 12-11 and 15-13, but with Young serving, a pair of terminations from Pugh and Uhrhahn fueled JBU on a 5-0 run. With a solid 21-15 lead, Dearien helped shut the door for good with two kills down the stretch, including the game-sealer, as the hosts won set three, 25-18, and the match in straight sets.

Katarina Frickleton led Lyon with six kills on the evening while Mackenzie Sharp and Carson Ward each chipped in with four apiece. Emily Sprick assisted on 19 successful Scot attacks and Lyon ended with a 4-2 advantage in team blocks.

The Pioneers (16-9, 9-2 SAC) enter this morning's affair having won seven consecutive contests. Most recently, WBU dispatched St. Gregory's (Okla.) in straight sets (25-13, 25-23, 25-20) last night (Oct. 24). Katie Inman ended with five kills and hit .375 percent, while Rebekah Jones, who had some of her best swings of the season, added three kills while hitting .250 pecent. Shahala Hawkins' 19 kills and .395 hitting percentage paced the Pioneers, followed by Morgan Seaton with six and .278 attacking percentage. Chelsey Driskill matched Inman's five kills.

Wayland came up with 53 digs, led by Emily Welch's 13 and Cat Wiechmann's 10. Both Seaton and Hawkins had one solo and three block assists apiece as the Pioneers ended with seven compared to just one for SGU. Ashlyn Westerman provided 39 assists.

Hawkins' 487 kills continue to lead the Wayland offense and has her ranked No. 1 in the nation in kills per game (5.470) and No. 2 in total kills. Ashlyn Westerman's 952 assists has her ranked No. 23 in the nation in total helpers and No. 13 in assists per set (10.460). The Pioneer defense relies on Welch, Cat Wiechmann and Mercades Torres, as each have recorded over 200 digs apiece.

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