SALINA, Kan. (September 13, 2013) -- In the midst of a three-match losing skid, the Golden Eagles were unable to put an end to its streak, falling twice on day one of the LaQuinta Inn Inviational to Ozarks (Mo.), 3-0, and Tabor (Kan.), 3-1.
In the first match of the day, a rematch with Ozarks (8-6), John Brown received nine kills from sophomore Melissa Bakke and another seven from freshman Molli Pugh, but not a single Golden Eagle was able to land double-digit kills. Freshman Shayna Daniels posted a team-high 15 assists in the losing effort while Courtney Marshall chipped in with a team-leading six digs from the back line.
John Brown only managed a .078 hitting percentage while conceding a .286 percent to the Bobcats en route to a 3-0 (20-25, 18-25, 13-25) defeat. JBU committed 36 errors overall.
In the second match against Tabor, who is receiving votes in the latest NAIA National Poll, the Golden Eagles put together a much better game, but against came up short in the losing effort, 3-1 (21-25, 23-25, 25-19, 23-25).
JBU stepped up its blocking game, finishing the contests with 13 blocks. Pugh earned a match-high two solo blocks while junior Courtney Marshall, senior Erin McIlroy and Daniels each finished with one apiece.
Both teams combined for 250 attack attempts which forced the back rows to be active. Senior Staci Williamson chipped in a match-high 24 digs while junior Becca Young and Pugh notched 14 and 13 scoops, respectively.
Despite the long rallies and back-and-forth action, the Bluejays out-hit (.161-.141), out-dug (97-82) and out-passed (52-41) the Golden Eagles.
JBU kept the scores close, but fell in the first two sets 21-25 and 23-35, before climbing back with a 25-19 win. The fourth set featured intense action and John Brown fighting back in the fourth set. JBU rallied, but fell short when Katelin Horstick kill ended the match with a 23-25 Tabor victory.
"If we can take games like we played against Tabor and build on that, then we will achieve much," admitted head coach Stacie Johnson. "Our defense was much stronger and our passing game improved greatly from our match earlier in the day."
The Golden Eagles will finish the tournament with a round of matches against host Kansas Wesleyan (9-7) at 10:30 a.m. before it closes weekend play with a bout with Saint Mary (Kan.) (5-7) at 3:00 p.m.