Golden Eagles Return to Winning Ways, Ground Southwestern Christian, 3-0

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BETHANY, Okla. (September 23, 2014) -- Junior outside hitter Audrey Dearien crushed eight kills in the third set en route to a 16-termination effort, leading the Golden Eagles (11-5, 2-1 SAC) to a 3-0 sweep over Southwestern Christian (Okla.) tonight at Pickens-Springer Gymnasium.

The 25-20, 25-12, 25-18, sweep marked the seventh time John Brown has earned a straight-sets victory this season.

Dearien’s match-high 16 kills came at the cost of zero errors, finishing with a single-game career-high .615 hitting percentage, and added four service aces. Sophomore Shayna Daniels and freshman Alyssa Arnold split time running the JBU offense as Daniels collected a match-high 16 assists while Arnold chipped in with 12. Senior defensive specialist Becca Young earned her 10th double-digit dig effort of the season, ending the tilt with a match-high 12.

"I'm pleased with the result and how our team played tonight," admitted head coach Ken Carver. "Our serve receive was back to being what we expect from ourselves and as a result we were able to run our offense at the tempo we desire. We focused on cutting down our errors from the service line tonight while still being aggressive too. In the end, tonight gave our team another win in conference and hopefully a little momentum heading into Friday's match against Wayland Baptist. We're looking forward to playing our first home conference match on Friday and would love to see the JBU campus community out in full force to cheer our team on and create a loud and challenging environment for Wayland to play in."

John Brown used five Dearien kills in the first set to capture a 25-20 victory, holding SCU to a mere .000 hitting percentage while boasting a .364 percentage of its own. Juniors Libby Blasingame and Melissa Bakke each added a pair of terminations in the set while sophomore middle hitter Molli Pugh earned two of her own. After 11 ties kept both teams close, Blasingame’s first kill of the set from Arnold broke the deadlock for good, 19-18. Blasingame would add a second down the stretch as JBU used three errors by the host to close the set.

Junior Tiffany Hunnicutt used a four-termination second set to help John Brown pad its lead while Young landed eight of her 12 digs in the second stanza. Two Dearien kills and a trio of Eagle miscues bolstered the visitors’ lead to 11-4. Hunnicutt’s first kill of the set pushed the lead all the way to 10, 18-8, before adding three more to send the Golden Eagles to a 25-12 lopsided victory.

Dearien took over in the third set early and often. Three kills kept JBU in contention until she stepped behind the service line with the score at 10-9 in favor of Southwestern Christian. Three consecutive service aces returned the lead to JBU, 12-10, a lead that wouldn’t be relinquished. SCU continued its comeback bid at 16-15, but a 6-0 rally by John Brown that featured terminations from Dearien, Hunnicutt and a pair from Blasingame. For good measure, Dearien closed out the match with the final three Golden Eagle kills for a 25-18 win.

Tory Sharp’s seven kills paced the Southwestern Christian (5-9, 0-3 SAC) offense while Courtney Traylor contributed 13 assists. Nicole Norris and Sharp each tallied 10 digs in the loss.

SCU’s -.071 hitting percentage marked the lowest attack efficiency John Brown has limited its opponent to this season. JBU also held advantages in kills (37-17), assists (32-15), aces (6-3) and blocks (5.0-4.0).

The volleyball team will return to the court this Friday (Sept. 26) when it hosts No. 22 Wayland Baptist (Texas) at Bill George Arena. Match time is set for 7 p.m.

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