GameDay: Volleyball vs. Southwestern A.G.

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SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. (October 10, 2014) -- After falling to conference leader Oklahoma Baptist by a 3-1 final on Saturday (Oct. 4), the Golden Eagles (13-6, 4-2 SAC) will try to rebuild a winning streak tonight when they take on Southwestern A.G. (Texas) tonight in Waxahachie, Texas.

Against the Bison on Saturday, John Brown fought tooth and claw with No. 15 OBU, but eventually fell in four hard-fought sets, 3-1 (18-25, 25-21, 24-26, 22-25).

The Golden Eagles came into Saturday’s Sooner Athletic Conference match having won seven of their last eight matches. The Bison, however, boasted 51 consecutive victories in conference play.

In the first set, the two teams would trade points for the first half of the set. The Bison would then go on a 8-3 run for a 18-12 lead, capped off by a Kaitlyn Lucy service ace. The Golden Eagles would get as close as five, at 20-15, on a Molli Pugh kill. The Golden Eagles would get no closer, however, as the Bison would outscore JBU for the remainder of the set 5-2 to win the first set, 25-18.

The second set started just like the first with both teams trading points back and forth between each other. In this set, however, the tide of the match switched the Golden Eagles’ way. John Brown went on a 7-4 run, making the score 16-12, capped by a Audrey Dearien kill. The largest lead for JBU in the set was seven, at 21-14, on a Lacey Herbert error. Baptist would trim the Golden Eagles’ lead all the way to one, at 22-21, after a Vanessa Uhrhahn error. The Golden Eagles would win the next three points of the set to win 25-21.

The third set started with Oklahoma Baptist going on a 4-0 run. From there, the Golden Eagles would claw their way back into the set. The set yielded four ties as the teams battled neck and neck. Late in the set, the Bison would go on a 5-0 run, making the score 23-20, capped by a Denise Coroiescu kill. As the Bison came back in the second set, so did the Golden Eagles in the third set. The Golden Eagles would tie the set at 24-24 on a Caydn Laing error. The Bison would score the next two points on kills by Kate Decker and Laing, grabbing a narrow 26-24 decision.

The fourth set started off with the Golden Eagles running out to a 4-1 lead after a Coroiescu error. The Bison would take the lead in the set for good with a 8-2 run, capped by a Laing kill. JBU would get as close as two on three occasions, the last coming at 24-22, on a Decker error. The Bison would win the next point on a Libby Blasingame error and captured the fourth set 25-22 to earn its 52nd-consecutive conference match, 3-1.

For John Brown, Dearien had a match-high 17 kills and for Oklahoma Baptist, Laing had 15 kills. Shayna Daniels had 22 while OBU's Ezgi Guney had a match-high 36 helpers. Vanessa Uhrhahn and Tiffany Hunnicutt had both seven kills for the Golden Eagles. Molli Pugh paced the John Brown offense with a .308 hitting percentage, but the Bison earned the overall margin in attacking percentage, .232-.185.

SAGU (9-10, 4-3 SAC) enters the contest also having previously lost to Oklahoma Baptist. The Lions were swept, however, by scores of 25-27, 15-25, 20-25 on Oct. 7. Before that, however, SAGU had won six of its previous eight contests, including knocking off conference favorite Wayland Baptist (Texas) in Plainview, Texas, by a 3-2 margin.

The Lions play exception defense, as seen by its No. 6 ranking in the nation in digs per set (18.87) and No. 48 ranking in total digs (1,302). On offense, Faith Hardin leads the Lions with 191 kills while her counterpart, Mollie McBride, has posted a second-best 140.

Caitlin Paschall runs the SAGU offense to the tune of 457 helpers while Emmalee Smith’s 315 digs easily paces the Lion defense. Hardin’s 12 solo blocks is first on the squad and JJ Abbott’s 34 block assists leads the team in rejection helpers.

First serve is slated for 7:00 p.m.

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