Huge Second-Set Victory Vaults Golden Eagles to 3-1 Win

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OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (September 19, 2014) -- Junior outside hitter Audrey Dearien notched a match-high 15 kills and the Golden Eagles (10-4, 1-0 SAC) used a 25-4 second-set victory to land a 3-1 (25-23, 25-4, 12-25, 25-20) win over Mid-America Christian (Okla.) tonight at the Gaulke Activity Center.

John Brown attacked at a .586 percent in the second set, setting a season high. The Golden Eagles have now won four matches in a row and will face Oklahoma City (8-3, 1-0 SAC) tomorrow at 1 p.m. in Oklahoma City.

Dearien’s 15-kill effort was the eight time she reached double-digits and the third-consecutive. She also contributed eight digs and a block assist in the win. Sophomore middle hitter Molli Pugh posted a season-high 11 kills that accompanied four digs while junior outside hitter Tiffany Hunnicutt also added 10 terminations and a block assist.

John Brown used a 50-33 margin in kills, facilitated by 26 assists and six aces from sophomore setter Shayna Daniels, marking the fifth time this season reaching the 20-assist plateau. Freshman setter Alyssa Arnold also reached the 20-helper plateau.

The first set began with a quick 5-0 run, jump-started by three consecutive Daniels service aces. Mid-America Christian responded with a 10-5 run of its own, tying the score at 10 apiece. Five ties ensued through the middle of the first stanza until Pugh’s kill from senior Courtney Marshall at 20-20 returned the lead to the visitors. Three Evangel errors made way for a Daniels kill at 24-23, allowing John Brown to wrap up the first set.

The second set was dominant volleyball by JBU, highlighted by a 7-0 run in the middle of the set. A pair of Hunnicutt kills jump-started the set until five Dearien terminations continued the Golden Eagle dominance, 13-3. That began a brilliant 7-0 run that saw kills from four separate players, two MACU errors and a pair of Dearien service aces. Holding a 20-4 lead, Arnold tossed out four consecutive assists, leading to two Daniels kills and one apiece from Pugh and junior Melissa Bakke.

The Golden Eagles (.586 percent) out-hit the hosts (-.154 percent) in the stanza.

The third set was a bit of reversal of fortunes as MACU jumped out to a 12-7 lead, courtesy of four service aces in the rally. With Shannon Niemeier serving, the Evangels rallied to a 5-0 run, featuring four JBU errors. Finally Niemeier committed a service error, ending the rally, but MACU had already built a 17-7 advantage. Mid-America used an 8-5 set-capturing rally to pull within one in the match, 2-1.

Three John Brown errors helped MACU to a 7-4 fourth-set advantage. A pair of Pugh kills and an Arnold ace capped off a 7-4 JBU run which tied the set at 11-11. Down 14-12, the Golden Eagles received back-to-back kills from Bakke and Daniels before the Evangels committed consecutive errors, handing JBU to lead back, 16-14, a lead the visitors wouldn’t relinquish. Daniels’ sixth and final ace at 17-15 jump-started Dearien as she contributed a trio of terminations down the stretch as the lead grew to five, 23-18, and finally, 25-20.

Niemeier finished with 15 kills for the Evangels (2-11, 0-3 SAC) while recording nine digs. Hannah Luedtke contributed 26 assists and five service aces in the loss.

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