Golden Eagles Drop Scots and Ravens; Launch to 2-0
SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. (August 24, 2013) -- The Golden Eagles used a pair of nine-kill performances from Audrey Dearien and Erin McIlroy to best Benedictine (Kan.) in the season opener before landing another straight-set victory over cross-state rival, Lyon (Ark.), powered by 11 more Dearien kills and another seven from Melissa Bakke on Saturday night (Aug. 24) at Bill George Arena.
"We need to work on team communication," said head coach Stacie Johnson. "With new players joining the team, there's always going to be a growing period. We have a quick turnaround with another match on Monday, so we're going to continue to work on our blocking and serving, while limiting our errors."
Dearien and Bakke combined for a match-high nine kills apiece while Kailey Bain totaled 15 assists in the Golden Eagle 25-16, 25-18, 25-20 sweep.
John Brown only hit .207 on the match, but its defense was staunch, limiting the Ravens to a meager .035 hitting percentage on the day, even forcing Benedictine to a -.031 percent in the first set.
The Golden Eagles' service burned the visiting Ravens often throughout the match as Dearien and Staci Williamson each finished with three aces, while Shayna Daniels contributed a pair.
JBU jetted out to a quick 3-0 lead on the strong serving of Bain and a Daniels' ace pushed the Golden Eagle advantage to 10-4, forcing the Ravens into an early hole. After pulling within four, Benedictine allowed John Brown to launch a 10-4 run, increasing the home squad's lead to 22-12. Williamson's kill gave the Golden Eagles the first set, 25-16.
The second set featured an early 4-4 tie until back-to-back services aces by Dearien jump-started a 6-2 John Brown run. Two more Raven errors gave JBU a 12-6 advantage before four Benedictine miscues allowed the Golden Eagles to take a 20-12 advantage. Consecutive Erin McIlroy kills, coupled with two Raven errors handed John Brown a 25-18 second set victory.
The Ravens took its first lead of the match when two JBU errors kicked off the third and final set. As the teams battled to four ties through the early goings, a kill from Courtney Marshall gave the Golden Eagles a slim 11-9 advantage. Errors continued to plague both teams as three more deadlocks ensued. It wasn't until six-consecutive Daniels' serves was John Brown able to pull away. Powered by four Benedictine errors and a Daniels' ace, John Brown managed to pull ahead 21-15. After some drama at the end of the set, the Golden Eagles captured the set, 25-20, and the match sweep.
After a couple hours of rest, John Brown returned to the court to face Lyon, which was fresh off a 3-0 loss to Benedictine. The Golden Eagles again made no mistake, putting away the injury-ridden Scots in sweeping fashion, 25-20, 20-10, 20-16.
Dearien again paced JBU with 11 kills and 12 digs, recording her first double-double of the season. Bakke chipped in with seven kills as Daniels recorded 16 assists. Williamson landed seven digs and nine kills in the Golden Eagle 3-0 win.
A Daniels' ace and a Dearien kill combined to push John Brown to an early 9-4 lead. Lyon responded with three consecutive points of its own, but kills from Vanessa Uhrhahn and Bakke helping the Golden Eagles regain a 12-7 advantage. Another Bakke kill and two Lyon errors handed JBU the first set, 25-20.
The second frame was all John Brown as the home team limited the Scots to a -.067 hitting percentage. A pair of kills from McIlroy and Dearien paced the Golden Eagles to a quick 11-5 lead before JBU enjoyed two ten-point advantages after a well-timed kill by Bain and numerous Scot errors sparked the 20-10 John Brown lead. Back-to-back Williamson kills was too much for Lyon to handle as the Scots fell again, this time by a 25-10 margin.
The Golden Eagle effort in the third set completely overwhelmed the clearly exhausted visitors as kills from four different hitters vaulted John Brown to a 10-2 lead, aided by two Blasingame kills. Lyon would recoup some of the lost ground by piecing together a 7-5 run until three errors again doomed JBU's opponent, growing the deficit to 18-10.
Dearien's third and final service ace of the night advanced the Golden Eagle lead to its second-largest of the evening, this time boasting a 22-12 advantage. After allowing five of the next six point to fall to Lyon, Molli Pugh's kill and McIlroy's ace sealed the 25-16 victory.
John Brown dominated the third set, posting its best single-set hitting percentage of the young season at .522 while limiting the tired Scots to an anemic .012 percent on the match.
John Brown improves to 2-0 on the season and will return to action on Monday, Aug. 26, when it travels to Point Lookout, Mo., to face College of the Ozarks for a 7:00 p.m. first serve.