No. 2 Spartans Hand Volleyball 3-1 Setback Despite Spirited Effort

Press Release Photo
Audrey Dearien (3) smacks one of her six kills on the afternoon against No. 2 Missouri Baptist.

SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. (October 21, 2015) -- The John Brown volleyball team (16-11) gave No. 2 Missouri Baptist almost all it could handle tonight, but the Spartans rallied after dropping the third set and claimed a four-set victory on Wednesday (Oct. 21) afternoon inside Bill George Arena, 14-25, 23-25, 26-24, 17-25.

The Spartans’ strong attack featured four players in double-digit kills, led by Mallory Dillon’s 16 and Hannah Carey’s 13. Taylor Cook and Kristina Medanovic also contributed 12 and 10 terminations, respectively, in the victory. Ally Krus passed out 43 assists while Dillon and Carey each notched double-doubles with 13 and 10 digs apiece.

MBU (29-3) launched a .315 attack percentage (65-20-143) on the evening, while also serving up 12 aces, six of which came in the first set. The Spartans’ best offensive output came in the fourth and clinching set, where Baptist hit .394 percent (19-6-33) and claimed an eight-point win.

The Golden Eagles were paced by senior Libby Blasingame’s 12 kills and followed closely by junior Molli Pugh’s 11 terminations. Sophomore Alyssa Arnold set 34 assists. Blasingame also posted two solo blocks and a pair of block-assists as the hosts out-rejected the Spartans, 7-6, on the afternoon.

Sophomore Beth Brankle dug a team-best 17 balls in the losing effort.

Baptist’s strong offensive attack kept JBU from its usual defense, as John Brown managed just 47 digs, 27 digs fewer than MBU. Pugh was the most effective hitter, attacking at a .400 percent rate (11-3-20), but the Golden Eagles could only manage a .190 attack clip (41-15-137) as a team.

With the loss, JBU is in the midst of a season-worst five-game losing skid, but will look to turn that around this weekend when it travels to the Dallas-Ft. Worth area to take on a pair of teams it already has beaten.

On Friday (Oct. 23) JBU will face Southwestern A.G. (Texas) at 7 p.m. in Waxahachie, Texas, before turning around on Saturday (Oct. 24) in a matinee affair against Texas Wesleyan in Ft. Worth.

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