GameDay: Volleyball at Mid-America Christian

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SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. (September 19, 2014) -- The Golden Eagles carry a 9-4 record into its first conference match of the season tonight, when it faces Mid-America Christian (Okla.) at 7 p.m. in Oklahoma City.

In their last outing, JBU rolled past Ozarks (Mo.) and Wiley (Texas) in a tri-match held at Bill George Arena last Saturday (Sept. 13). John Brown used 24 kills from junior outside hitter Audrey Dearien and 51 assists from sophomore setter Shayna Daniels to take down Ozarks, 3-1, before sweeping past Wiley, 3-0.

While the Golden Eagles (.202) and Bobcats (.200) nearly hit the same, JBU hit overwhelmingly better in sets one, three and four. Dearien posted a team-high 12 kills while Bakke chimed in with 11 of her own. Daniels’ 24 assists proved to be a match-high and John Brown served over 11 aces. Off the bench, Arnold and senior Becca Young led the Golden Eagles with 15 and 14 digs, respectively, as Hunnicutt managed one solo block and three helpers in the victory. The Golden Eagles posted scores of 25-23, 19-25, 25-20, 25-17.

It was a bit of a different story against Wiley (5-11), a squad JBU had seen two times prior to this afternoon’s matchup. Daniels’ posted a season-high 27 assists and, combined with Arnold’s 13, the Golden Eagles assisted on each of its 42 kills, leading to a .300 attacking percentage (42-9-110). Dearien notched another double-digit kill performance, her seventh of the season, as JBU rolled past Wiley 25-21, 25-12, 25-23.

Knotted at three apiece in the third set, a pair of Tiffany Hunnicutt kills sent John Brown on a 6-1 run which was capped off by another Dearien throw down. This time, Wiley would begin to claw back to the tune of an 8-1 run, taking a 12-10 lead. The visitors held the lead until Dearien and Hunnicutt turned in back-to-back kills, breaking a 16-16 deadlock. Again tied at 21, Melissa Bakke returned the lead to the Golden Eagles and two Wildcat errors forced a 24-23 JBU lead. In unusual fashion, Dearien sent the ball over to Bakke, who ended the match forcefully with her final kill of the afternoon.

The Evangels (2-10, 0-2 SAC) are coming off a 3-0 sweep to the hands of Texas Wesleyan on Tuesday (Sept. 16). Playing in her first match this season, Shannon Niemeier had a team-high six kills for the Lady Evangels (2-10, 0-2 SAC). Hannah Luedtke had a team-best nine assists and also tied for team-high honors with 10 digs. Camera Broadnax also had 10 digs for MACU.

TWU’s Meghan Finley and Shelby Stinnett each led everyone with nine kills, while the Lady Rams got a combined 37 assists from Lauren Hamaker (19) and Kristina Gafford (18). Abigail Zipoy had a team-best 14 digs and Stinnett contributed 12 digs.

Athena Kotch paces the MACU offense with 55 kills, averaging 1.83 terminations per set. Melissa Hoppal doesn’t trail by much with 50 kills and a 1.56 average per set. Luedtke runs the Evangel offense to the tune of 195 assists, averaging 5.74 helpers per set. On defense, Camera Broadnax has notched 122 digs while Lauren McKinney’s 11 solo blocks and 14 assisted blocks leads Mid-America Christian in rejections.

Slated to begin at 7 p.m., the match will feature live video and stats, courtesy of Mid-America Christian University.

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