Volleyball Continues Dominance at Home

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SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. -- Freshman Carly McKinney produced her fifth double-double of the season and the John Brown University volleyball team used another sweep to earn its third-straight win, this time over Bacone (Okla.) on Thursday (Sept. 8) night inside Bill George Arena.

Dealing with sporadic Warrior (1-7, 0-2 SAC) rallies in sets two and three, JBU (8-2, 2-0 SAC) hit over .200 percent in each set, leading to a 25-16, 25-18, 25-20 win. Especially in the first set where the Golden Eagles hit a match-best .321 percent, a 10-3 rally after the set was tied at 10 apiece bolstered the hosts to a relatively efficient victory.

McKinney paced JBU with 11 kills and 10 digs.

"Once again, I was really pleased with our team's performance," admitted head coach Ken Carver. "We had one of our best serve-receive games of our season and because of that, we were able to run a lot more plays to our middles and still continued to run an effective and efficient offense that was balanced."

Powered by the middle hitting, JBU was paced by sophomore Kennedy Shelstead's 10 kills while fellow middles in senior Molli Pugh and freshman Jessica Meyer contributed 7 terminations apiece.

"Our middle hitters and outside hitters did a really good job in putting balls away quickly and doing it with a wider variety of shots due to good set location by our setters, good court vision by our hitters and good communication out of our back row," added Carver. "I felt we did another good job of being aggressive from the service line tonight and it helped to control what Bacone was able to run consistently from their serve reception."

JBU racked up 10 services aces, paced by junior Beth Brankle's trio. Sophomore Bayli Reaganand freshman Elizabeth Williams each added a pair of aces. Brankle also anchored the back line to the tune of 11 digs.

For the second time this season, Williams dished out a match-best 21 assists while junior Alyssa Arnold added 18.

Six players with at least two attempts on the evening hit over .200 percent for the Golden Eagles.

"Overall, at this point and time of the season with a third of our matches in the record book, I feel we're about where we need to be and hoped to be," Carver noted. "We'll need to take these positive results and momentum we've earned into this weekend and the next several weeks of the season where we will be playing teams that are similar, if not better than us, right now. I feel we're ready for the increased level of competition and I'm hopeful it will help move our team to even higher levels of play moving forward."

The Golden Eagles have a busy weekend of play in Springfield, Mo. JBU takes on St. Mary (Kan.) for the second time this season, followed by a tilt with Ozarks (Mo.). The matches are scheduled for 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., respectively, on Friday (Sept. 9).

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