City Sweeps Golden Eagles in Conference Opener

Press Release Photo
JBU's Molli Pugh (21) looks to loft a kill over OCU's Tori Leisure and Shekinah Clarke

SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. (September 15, 2015) -- The John Brown women's volleyball team (10-4, 0-1 SAC) suffered its second-consecutive defeat, this time in a 3-0 fashion at Bill George Arena on Tuesday evening (Sept. 15) in a 20-25, 8-25, 21-25, match with Oklahoma City (5-3, 1-0 SAC).

Seniors Melissa Bakke and Audrey Dearien each posted 10 terminations in the three-set match to lead all players. Sophomore Beth Brankle led all JBU players with 11 digs while sophomore Alyssa Arnold passed out 26 assists in the loss. Dearien and senior Libby Blasingame combined for John Brown's lone block of the evening.

In a match that saw the Stars led for the vast majority, the Golden Eagles stayed close in sets one and three, but a -.185 hitting percentage in the second frame allowed the visitors to run away with the set in JBU's most lopsided set score of the season. JBU hit an impressive .423 percent in the first set and again hit well in the third with a .273 percent to finish the match at a .174 percent clip (31-16-86).

John Brown had a difficult time stopping the OCU trio of Stefani Nell, Jami-Rae Renwick and Tori Leisure. Nell and Renwick each contributed a team-high eight kills while Leisure finished with seven. The balanced City offense hit at a .473 percent rate (40-5-74) and posted a match-best .524 percent hitting mark in the second set. Dani Chase paced the OCU back line with 11 digs and Hannah Mitchum notched a match-high 28 assists in the victory.

In a tight first set, John Brown held a brief 10-9 lead, but with City's Lindsey Grace serving, the visitors went on a 5-0 run to open up an 18-11 advantage. Down 22-17, the Golden Eagles used a Stars error and rode a pair of Brankle serves, including an ace, to pull within two, 22-20. City would finish the set with three consecutive points.

Hampered by eight attack errors, John Brown waded through a difficult second set that saw the visitors post a .524 hitting percentage and commit only one error on 21 attack attempts. Rolling to an 8-2 lead, City continued to an 18-6 lead and finished the set on an 8-2 rally.

The third set again found the Stars racing to a 10-5 lead that quickly ballooned to 20-10. The Golden Eagles fought back, however, jump-started by a Bakke kill. Then behind the service line, Bakke recorded a pair of aces and JBU received a pair of kills from Blasingame to race on a 7-0 rally, pulling within 22-19. Despite two more kills from Dearien down the stretch, a kill from City's Fia Faa'agi concluded the set, 25-21, and the match.

John Brown will now head to the Lone Star State to face No. 21 Wayland Baptist (Texas) on Saturday (Sept. 19). The conference affair is slated to begin at 11 a.m.

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