Scrappy Effort Falls Short in 3-1 Loss to No. 10 Bison
SHAWNEE, Okla. (September 19, 2013) -- Despite winning the first set in which John Brown led the vast majority of the game, No. 10 Oklahoma Baptist (10-3, 1-0 SAC) seized control of the match midway through game two, handing the Golden Eagles a 3-1 (25-21, 21-25, 17-25, 18-25) setback tonight inside Mabee Arena.
JBU continues to struggle in Shawnee, falling victim to the Bison for the fifth-consecutive season.
The Golden Eagles (5-12, 0-1) started out on a torrid pace in the first game, overcoming an early 3-2 deficit, courtesy of back-to-back OBU errors. John Brown was the recipient of 10 Bison errors that vaulted the visitors into a commanding 16-11 lead. After closing the gap to 17-14, two more Oklahoma Baptist attacking miscues generated points for John Brown. The Bison would manage to pull within a point, 20-19, until a thundering kill from sophomore Audrey Dearien offered JBU a two-point lead. Dearien's timely kill setup an ace just two points later, completing the impressive game one victory.
John Brown handed in one of its best attack outings so far this season, throwing down nine kills while only committing one error (.348 percent). The persistent block of Dearien and senior Erin McIlroy caused issues for the Bison offense, forcing the hosts into 10 errors on 39 attempts (.077 percent).
The second set featured JBU in an early hole, but consecutive kills from freshman Molli Pugh and junior Courtney Marshall pulled John Brown to within a point, 7-6. Attacks from Dearien, McIlroy and sophomore Melissa Bakke earned the Golden Eagles its first lead of the set at 10-9. The middle part of the second frame saw the squads battle to five consecutive ties before a Marshall kill and two OBU errors finally offered JBU some padding. Up 18-17, the ensuing serve initiated a rally that lasted over a minute, finally falling the way of John Brown when yet another Bison attack error rallied the Golden Eagles. Knotted at 20, the Golden Eagles only managed a lone kill from sophomore Libby Blasingame as the Bison ended game two on a 5-1 run.
Although John Brown battled hard in the early ongoing of games three and four, OBU used two well-timed runs of 9-2 and 7-1, respectively, to squash any hopes of the Golden Eagle comeback attempt.
"Our effort was much improved tonight," head coach Stacie Johnson said after the match. "We did all the things we've been working on in practice. We now have to practice making faster adjustments to our defense and offense.
"We need to make those adjustments without having to call a timeout. Even though we're a young team, we will fix it."
Dearien and McIlroy ended the match with eight kills apiece to lead the John Brown attack. The Golden Eagles received seven and six kills, respectively, from Marshall and Pugh while Bakke and Blasingame each finished with a trio of successful attacks. Freshman Shayna Daniels posted a team-high 16 assists while counterpart Kailey Bain chipped in with 12 helpers on the night.
John Brown pieced together a good blocking game, totaling 11 team blocks which tie for its third-best output of the season. McIlroy was the catalyst for two solo stuffs while Dearien threw up a solo block of her own. Pugh was also active on the block assisting in three four blocks.
Three players landed in double-digit kills, led by senior Staci Williamson's 20 scoops. Pugh and Bain each chipped in with 11 in the losing effort.
The Bison ended up with the advantage in attacks (.150-.127), assists (41-34) and digs (83-71). However, strong defensive play from John Brown forced 27 OBU attack errors.
John Brown will return to the hardwood this Saturday (Sept. 21) when it welcomes St. Gregory's (Okla.) to Bill George Arena. The match will serve as the Golden Eagles' hope opener as the first serve is slated for 11:00 a.m.