John Brown Drops Five-Set Thriller to College of the Ozarks

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POINT LOOKOUT, Mo. (August 26, 2013) -- After falling into a 2-0 deficit, the Golden Eagles (2-1) were able to rally back to tie the match at two, only to fall in the fifth set as Ozarks (Mo.) handed John Brown its first loss of the season Monday night, 3-2 (20-25, 21-25, 26-24, 25-11, 10-15).

The Bobcats (4-1), who received votes in the NAIA's preseason poll, took the first set in convincing fashion as JBU was unable to overcome a fast start by the home squad which took an early 2-2 tie and went on an 8-1 run, creating the separation from the Golden Eagles it needed to take the first set.

The second set featured both squads battling deep into the game, deadlocked at 20. Unfortunately, errors crept up again for JBU as four miscues lead to the final five points for the Bobcats as it ended the set with a 5-1 run to take a commanding 2-0 lead.

Despite posting 11 errors in the third set, John Brown used a 6-2 run in the middle of the game while the score was 18-13 in favor of the visitors. A pair of kills from sophomore Audrey Dearien and a well-time service ace from junior Becca Young positioned the Golden Eagles to easily take the game. However, miscues made it more dramatic for JBU as Ozarks mounted a 6-0 fueled by four John Brown errors. Knotted at 24, Dearien stepped up with a kill before senior Staci Williamson iced the set with a service ace.

John Brown didn't record a single error in the fourth set en route to a dominating 25-11 victory as JBU received three kills from Williamson and a pair from Dearien and freshman Shayna Daniels and Molli Pugh. The Golden Eagle defense held the slumping Bobcat hitting attack to a mere .086 percent, setting up a fifth and final set.

Three Dearien kills launched JBU to a quick 6-5 lead in the shortened fifth set. Down 7-6, Pugh's attack pulled John Brown even again, but it was the Bobcats that pieced together a 7-1 run to take a 14-8 lead, helped by three Golden Eagle errors. Fittingly, Ozarks clinched the match on another JBU hitting error, clinching the 3-2 victory.

Dearien led all players with 17 kills and posted a team-high 17 digs, clinching her second double-double of the season. Overall John Brown was only able to hit at a .172 clip, allowing the Bobcats a .201 hitting percentage. Senior Kailey Bain landed a game-high 27 assists while Daniels added 17.

The Golden Eagles will now travel to Bellevue, Neb., this weekend to face Doane (Neb.), Dordt (Iowa), Briar Cliff (Iowa) and William Woods (Mo.) from Aug. 30-31.

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