Volleyball Ends Streak, Picks Up 3-0 Win Over St. Gregory's

Melissa Bakke (15) Floats a Ball Past Two SGU Blockers

Melissa Bakke (15) Floats a Ball Past Two SGU Blockers

SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. (September 29, 2012) — After falling in a season-high four straight contests, the Golden Eagles picked up a convincing win over the visiting Cavaliers of St. Gregory's (Okla.) by a final score of 3-0 (25-20, 25-21, 25-19) this afternoon at Bill George Arena.

In addition to halting its losing skid, JBU (17-7, 1-3 Sooner Athletic) recorded its first win in SAC play.

"It was nice to finally find the win column again," head coach Stacie Johnson said. "The last four losses have shown us parts of our game we desperately need to improve on."

John Brown's offense seemed to return this afternoon as the Golden Eagles hit .200 percent on the day but, even more impressively, kept the Cavalier (9-7, 0-4) offense on its heels, keeping SGU to a meager .125 attack percentage.

Audrey Dearien and Erin Didier finished with double-digit kills for JBU, 11 and 10, respectively. Melissa Bakke posted six kills while Erin McIlroy had a monster game at the net, notching three solo blocks and three kills.

"Melissa (Bakke) really had an outstanding match for us today," added Johnson. "She's been working really hard and it showed today. We're in the conference portion of our schedule now, so that means our opposition hones in on shutting down our top two hitters, statistically, Erin (Didier) and Audrey (Dearien).

"When players like Melissa and Erin (McIlroy) raise their level of play, it takes pressure off our primary hitters and makes the team more well-rounded as a whole."

After a poor start and down 7-3, Johnson called a timeout hoping to get John Brown back on track. The stoppage in play did just that as the Golden Eagles pieced together an 8-4 run to knot the score at 11.

Both teams continued to battle late into the set to a 20-all tie. Kills by Didier and Libby Blasingame, in addition to a Dearien service ace, vaulted JBU to the 25-20 first set victory.

The second set was much of the same as St. Gregory's kept up with JBU which was unable to pull away with a sizable lead. The Cavaliers tied the score 10 times before kills from Bakker, Vanessa Uhrhahn and Dearien helped JBU capture the second set after a 17-17 tie.

The third set was all Golden Eagles. Ignited by multiple attack errors by the Cavaliers, John Brown opened up an eight-point advantage that it never relinquished in a 25-19 final set victory.

"We were able to revive the energy and cohesion that we had from our first games of the season and truly played as a team today," Bakke noted. "The back row defenders were communicating very well with me, and the rest of the front row attackers, about the open shots that were available. Both Aubrey (Adams) and Kailey (Bain) were distributing consistently-placed sets.

"I was honestly just enjoying myself out there today and was extra motivated to perform well for my teammates, because they have been working hard in practice to push me and improve my attacking. I owe my success today to the time that has been invested in me during practice."

Bain's 25 assists proved to be a game high while four players posted double-digit digs on defense, led by Staci Williamson and Becca Young who each netted 12. Didier finished with 11 while Dearien's 10 digs were good enough for third-best.

The Golden Eagles will now take a five-day hiatus until it travels to Oklahoma City in a Sooner Athletic Conference matchup with Mid-America Christian (Okla.) (12-6, 1-3). The game is scheduled for a 7:00 p.m. start.

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Melissa Bakke (15) Floats a Ball Past Two SGU Blockers

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Melissa Bakke (15) Floats a Ball Past Two SGU Blockers