Golden Eagles Falter Twice at Labor Day Classic

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BELLEVUE, Neb. (August 30, 2013) -- Facing its second and third-consecutive team that received votes in the NAIA's preseason poll, the Golden Eagles fell in straight sets to Doane (Neb.), before falling by a 3-1 final to Dordt (Iowa) in the first day of the Bellevue (Neb.) Labor Day Classic.

John Brown (2-3) didn't play well in the first set, falling quickly to the Tigers, 25-12. A different team showed up, however in the second set, as the Golden Eagles featured a six-point advantage down the stretch. A late run fueled by JBU errors cost the Golden Eagles the second set as Doane nabbed a 29-27 win for winning the third set easily, 25-10.

For the first time this season, John Brown finished with a negative hitting percentage (-.027) as the Blue and Gold committed 23 errors while only landing 20 kills. Sophomore outside hitter Audrey Dearien paced John Brown with 11 kills while no other Golden Eagle finished with more than five.

Freshman setter Shayna Daniels turned in a strong performance setting up her teammates as she landed a team-high 13 assists to accompany her service ace and four digs. Senior defensive specialist Staci Williamson finished with 14 kills, a team-high, but John Brown again recorded too many miscues, allowing a strong team like Doane to post 12 service aces.

The Tigers (2-3) out-blocked the Golden Eagles, 6-5, and recorded more kills (35-20), aces (12-3) and digs (59-52).

Teammates Ashley Axmann and Abby Sorensen led Doane with 12 kills apiece. Karissa Blank finished with a match-high 17 digs.

In the second match of the day, the Golden Eagles faced Dordt (4-2) and played much better, but the outcome was still the same. The Defenders marched to a 3-1 (22-25, 19-25, 25-17, 21-25) win as the Golden Eagles fell in its third-consecutive game.

Dearien again led the way for John Brown, notching a match-high 11 kills in addition to nine digs and six blocks. Also reaching double-digit kills was sophomore outside hitter Melissa Bakke, who finished with 10.

Senior setter Kailey Bain led the passing attack for John Brown, ending the match with 18 assists. Williamson again set the bar, chipping in with 25 digs on the back line.

The Golden Eagles hit .170 percent on the match, and only breached the .200 percent mark in its third-set victory. In the three sets it lost, Dordt eclipsed the .200 percent plateau.

Despite losing three straight, the Golden Eagles have a chance to rebound on Saturday (Aug. 31) as it faces William Woods (Mo.) and Briar Cliff (Iowa) on day two of the Labor Day Classic. WWU finished the first day 0-2 while the Chargers swept both matches, finishing 2-0.

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