ATCHISON, Kan. -- The John Brown University volleyball team continued its perfect season, but this time in unusual fashion. The Golden Eagles (5-0), despite not having a single player in double-digit kills, relied on strong blocking and coverage, forcing host Benedictine (Kan.) into 29 attack errors, sending JBU to a quick 3-0 (25-19, 25-20, 25-14) sweep on Friday (Aug. 26) afternoon at the Ralph Nolan Gymnasium.
The Golden Eagles haven't started a season with at least five wins in a row since 2009, a season in which John Brown finished 23-11. JBU started out 9-0 that season.
After trading points the majority of the first set, a Raven service error handed JBU a 22-18 edge. Shelstead picked up two of her five kills before the Golden Eagles closed out the first set.
Benedictine (0-1) picked up its lone lead of the match early in the second set, but after trading points, in a set that seemed all JBU, the host Ravens stayed in contention down the wire.
Up just 17-15, a Pugh termination jump-started a quick 4-0 run that featured a pair of Bethany Maddox aces. Kills from McKinney and Pugh down the stretch, stopped a 4-1 late Benedictine rally.
Up 2-0, the Golden Eagles put the match away with its most impressive defensive effort of the evening, holding the Ravens to a -.188 attack percentage (6-12-32).
Tied at seven, again with Maddox servering, John Brown rattled off a 7-0 run. The lead eventually ballooned to eight, 19-11, Pugh and freshman Megan Beck contributed back-to-back kills to end the match.
The Golden Eagles pieced together its second-best attack effort of the young season, connecting at a .273 clip (27-6-77).
JBU closes out the Benedictine Invitational on Saturday (Aug. 27) with matches against Lindenwood-Belleville (Ill.) and St. Mary (Kan.) at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., respectively.