Volleyball Win Streak Halted at Five

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ATCHISON, Kan. -- The John Brown University volleyball team battled to early leads in a pair of contests in day two of the Bendictine (Kan.) Invitational, but suffered setbacks against Lindenwood – Belleville (Ill.) and St. Mary (Kan.) on Saturday (Aug. 27), ending JBU's perfect record.

After taking the first set in both matches, the Golden Eagles (5-2) suffered a pair of three-set losses in a row, taking a 3-1 loss to Belleville (25-10, 24-26, 21-25, 23-25) and a 3-2 defeat to St. Mary (25-15, 25-15, 18-25, 23-25, 15-17).

"This weekend provided us with more competition as well as opportunities to grow as a team," noted head coach Ken Carver. "While we would have loved to get all three wins this weekend, the losses will help us to grow and mature into a better team."

After finishing yesterday's win over host Benedictine with a strong attack percentage, JBU dipped to .117 and .166 percent, respectively, both in the same matches in which it hit over .200 early in set one.

"Our results this weekend came down to two things, our ball control and unforced errors," Carver added. "When we passed how we are capable of passing, Alyssa (Arnold) and Elizabeth (Williams) did a great job of distributing the ball to our hitters, and we were very effective offensive in those sets.

"When we didn't serve-receive well, we were forced to over rely on our pin attackers and they struggled to get balls down against a well-formed block. In those instances we need to learn to see the blocker earlier and adjust our arm swing and be mindful of how we're contacting the ball."

On the day, John Brown allowed 22 service aces, too many for Carver's liking.

" We gave up too many aces and a number of those were due to not communicating and not moving our feet to the ball. While we saw a good measure of success from the service line, we committed far too many serving errors than we'd like too as well.

"The silver lining from our losses is almost everything we didn't do completely right we can correct and look to reduce the number of unforced errors. We'll learn from these experiences and look to be a better team when we step back on the court on Monday."

Freshman Carly McKinney posted a double-double in game one with 13 kills and 18 digs while sophomore Kennedy Shelstead stepped up in game two with a team-best 10 kills and three blocks. Junior Beth Brankle led both games on the back line with 27 and 32 digs, respectively, while Arnold (40 assists) and Williams (33 assists) passed well throughout the pair of matches.

Brankle also served well, posting seven aces on the day.

The Golden Eagles will finally return home to Bill George Arena for its home opener on Wednesday (Aug. 31), when it hosts Williams Baptist (Ark.) at 6 p.m.

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