Volleyball ends skid, sweeps season series with SAGU

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WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Freshman Carly McKinney notched her fifth-consecutive double-double and long rallies in the second and fourth sets helped the John Brown University volleyball team take a 3-1 (25-19, 25-20, 20-25, 25-20) win over Southwestern A.G. (Texas) on Saturday (Oct. 22) afternoon inside the Shaffer Center.

Combining for a team-high 13 kills and adding 19 digs in the win, McKinney was joined by double-digit kill performances from senior Molli Pugh (12) and freshman Megan Beck (11). Beck added five blocks to her performance while freshman Jessica Meyer added eight kills and three blocks in the victory.

The Golden Eagles (16-11, 7-7 SAC) put together a strong hitting performance, notching a .282 percent (54-10-156) attack clip, powered by its top four offensive players which, combined, hit at .350 percent. The host Lions (15-13, 7-7 SAC) hit at a .207 percent efficiency, but committed 22 errors, fueled by seven JBU team rejections.

With the first set tied at 10 apiece, a pair of Beck kills jump-started a 6-2 rally that SAGU wouldn't come near until forcing a 19-18 score. Leading 21-19, another timely Beck kill, followed by a pair of Lion miscues was capped off with one of junior Beth Brankle's three aces on the day to wrap up the first set.

After SAGU nabbed the third set to force set four, back-to-back terminations from Beck and Pugh hoisted John Brown to a 5-2 lead. Later in the set, up just 11-10, the Golden Eagles rallied on a 7-1 run, ended with another Brankle ace, to take a commanding 18-11 lead. The closest the hosts would come was four, 24-20, until Meyer's spike ended the match.

Junior Alyssa Arnold notched her second-straight double-double, passing out 26 assists and picking up 10 digs. Brankle picked up a match-best 26 scoops and added a trio of aces.

Summer Skillern launched a match-high 18 kills for the Lions, who had its modest two-match winning streak snapped. Kali Shaw also added 17 terminations in the losing effort.

The Golden Eagles return to Bill George Arena on Tuesday (Oct. 25) to welcome Mid-America Christian (Okla.) in its regular season home finale at 7 p.m.

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