Volleyball Outlasts St. Gregory’s, 3-2

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SHAWNEE, Okla. (November 1, 2014) -- The Golden Eagle volleyball squad (18-10, 8-6 SAC) managed to maneuver past a .094 hitting percentage and picked up a split in Shawnee, Okla., as it took down St. Gregory’s (Okla.) in five sets (20-25, 25-16, 25-16, 22-25, 15-12) this morning at the W.P Wood Field House.

For the second time this season, junior outside hitter Audrey Dearien eclipsed 20 kills with a 23-termination effort, a match high, and also completed a double-double with 21 digs. Senior defensive specialist Becca Young turned in a 21-dig effort as well to match Dearien’s match-best output. Sophomore setter Shayna Daniels added onto her service ace total with three and threw around a team-leading 25 assists in the win while freshman teammate Alyssa Arnold chipped in with 18 assists. Junior outside hitter Libby Blasingame was extremely effective when called upon, notching eight kills while hitting .316 percent (8-2-19) on the match.

John Brown broke a nine-all tie in the first set when Blasingame and senior outside hitter Vanessa Uhrhahn teamed up for a block on SGU’s Cierra Mullins. The stanza featured five more deadlocks, including a 14-14 score, but back-to-back Golden Eagle attacking errors handed the Cavaliers a lead it wouldn’t relinquish for the remainder of the set. Daniels’ first service ace of the morning pulled John Brown to within two, 21-19, but the hosts would capture four of the final five points to land a 25-20 win.

The second set featured a quick 10-5 for JBU, highlighted by a service ace from Daniels and sophomore middle hitter Molli Pugh. Four St. Gregory’s errors also contributed to the rally. Consecutive Dearien terminations bolstered the visitors’ advantage to 17-9, and two-straight aces from Dearien continued the lead at 21-13. Two kills from junior outside hitter Melissa Bakke kept SGU from making any serious run down the stretch as JBU captured set two, 25-16.

In the third set, John Brown kept the hosts to a .000 hitting percentage and won convincingly, 25-16. An attack error by SGU’s Tiphani Funk followed by a Daniels’ ace broke open an 8-8 tie. Three Dearien terminations bookended a 6-3 run that found John Brown with a 17-12 lead. Cavalier errors continued the run until the Golden Eagles owned a 21-13 lead. Then kills from Dearien, Pugh and Uhrhahn ended the set quickly, 25-16. Fittingly, JBU’s set point came on another Cav miscue.

With a chance to take the match in the fourth set, St. Gregory’s did everything it could to hand the match to John Brown. Three consecutive SGU errors helped the Golden Eagles build an 8-3 lead. The error bug then hit the visitors as the Cavaliers rallied back on a 7-2 run, knotting the score at 10-10. Tied again at 14, a Bakke ace helped JBU grab and keep a lead all the way until a score of 20 apiece. A trio of JBU errors helped St. Gregory’s end the set on a 5-0 run, securing a 2-2 match score with a 25-20 win.

In the fifth and deciding set, terminations from Uhrhahn and Blasingame, coupled with five SGU errors, setup a big rejection by Pugh and Bakke, vaulting the Golden Eagles to a quick 8-3 lead. More visitor errors allowed the Cavaliers to creep all the way back to 10-8, but a pair of terminations from Dearien and junior outside hitter Tiffany Hunnicutt closed out the set and the match for the Golden Eagles. Daniels assisted on the final four kills.

The Cavaliers (6-21, 2-12 SAC) didn’t fare any differently than John Brown on the afternoon, sporting a .093 attack percentage in the loss. Funk led SGU with 16 kills while Maggie Lasater set a match-high 33 assists in the loss. St. Gregory’s has now lost five consecutive matches.

The Golden Eagles will now enter its final week of the regular season with a pair of non-conference matchups on Tuesday (Nov. 4) in Point Lookout, Mo. Ozarks (Mo.) will host a trimatch where JBU will take on the Bobcats at 7 p.m. after bouting with Williams Baptist (Ark.) at 5 p.m.

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