Leads evaporate in volleyball's sweep to City

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SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. -- Sophomore Kennedy Shelstead and freshman Carly McKinney each had six kills, but No. 13 Oklahoma City used a trio of comeback efforts to steal a sweep (15-25, 22-25, 19-25) of the John Brown University volleyball team inside Bill George Arena on Wednesday (Oct. 5) night.

The Golden Eagles (14-8, 5-4 SAC) allowed leads of 13-9, 13-6 and 13-12 to evaporate via retaliatory City (18-3, 9-0) rallies. John Brown could only manage to breach the .100 percent hitting clip in one set, the second, but even then its .407 percent mark was not enough to overcome OCU's 8-3 rally to end the set.

I thought we did a good job of coming out focused and getting off to a good start in all three sets tonight against a very athletic and physical team," admitted head coach Ken Carver. "We just ended up losing our focus and some of our edge in the middle part of all three sets and that's when OCU was able to go off on runs of points longer than we would have liked. Our first ball contact, while better this time around, was still not at the consistency level we needed to run our offense tonight.

"We didn't make a lot of attacking errors necessarily, but a lot of balls ended up being 'in play' or were hit right at defenders and OCU's back row defense is one of the best in the conference. When we were able to run our tempo, we had a lot of success, especially in the second set. That number alone shows the potential we had, but weren't able to capitalize on tonight. OCU is a very talented and efficient team in what they do and they make very few errors and if they do they correct very quickly. Knowing that, we knew we had to be near the top of our game and do that consistently tonight and we were just not able to do it."

McKinney hit .294 (6-1-17) to lead the JBU hitters, while adding a team-best 10 digs. Shelstead hit .167 (6-3-18) and added a pair of solo blocks. The freshman duo of Megan Beck and Jessica Meyer again showed signs of dominance in the middle with Beck posted a pair of block-assists while Meyer notched two solo blocks and two block-assists.

Setters Elizabeth Williams and Alyssa Arnold each had nine assists. As a team, the Golden Eagles only assisted on 18 of its 26 kills (69 percent).

The loss drops John Brown one game back of Texas Wesleyan in the Sooner Athletic standings while City pulls ahead a half game over Wayland for the top slot.

The Golden Eagles return to action on Saturday (Oct. 8) inside Bill George Arena against St. Greogory's (Okla.). First serve is slated for 11 a.m.



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