ORU Loses Late Lead, Falls to Buffalo in Five Sets
Buffalo won by scores of 23-25, 25-21, 25-20, 20-25, and 15-13.
Liz Scott led the Bulls (2-1) with 25 kills, while Dana Musil added 15 blasts to go with a team-best 19 digs. Buffalo outhit the Golden Eagles, .199 to .164.
Tatum Fredeen paced ORU (2-1) with 18 kills and posted a .406 hitting percentage, while freshman Sadie Schaffner posted 12 kills, a high mark for her young ORU career.
Defensively, Bruna Silva led all players with 24 digs, while Jessica Pancratz added eight blocks, including a solo effort.
ORU came out sluggishly, as a kill by Tahleia Bishop gave the home side an 8-1 lead with a first set kill. But the Golden Eagles rallied, and a Pancratz kill capped a 4-0 run to tie the set at 14-all. ORU took their first lead on a kill by Sheina Fernandes to make the score 18-17, and they took the set, 25-23, on another Pancratz kill that capped the huge comeback.
The Golden Eagles fell behind in the second set, 3-0, before a rash of Buffalo errors keyed a 5-1 ORU run that gave the visitors an 11-8 lead. ORU continued to build their lead, with a Joana Gruber kill stretching the advantage to 19-13.
But Musil answered with back-to-back kills that started a set-closing 12-2 run for the home team. ORU fell apart down the stretch, committing attack errors on the set’s final three points to fall, 25-21.
Buffalo scored the first two points of the pivotal third set, getting kills from Musil and Scott. The Bulls held a slim lead throughout before a Gruber kill capped a miniature run that tied the set at 19.
But the hosts closed the set on a 6-1 run, including two ORU errors on the final two points, to take the lead with a 25-20 victory.
The fourth set started with ORU in command, as Pancratz registered a kill on the first two points and Fredeen smacked a blast that stretched the lead to 10-4. The Bulls would pull even at 18-all on an ORU attack error, but Schaffner won the momentum back for the Golden Eagles with a kill that gave ORU a 22-20 lead. That sparked a set-closing 4-0 run, and an Olivia Opus service ace gave ORU a 25-20 win and forced a decisive fifth set.
Schaffner struck again on the first exchange of the fifth set, smoking a kill to give ORU an important early lead. The freshman came through with two more late kills as part of a 4-0 run that gave the Golden Eagles a 13-7 lead and put the visitors on the brink of victory.
But Buffalo responded with six straight points, capped by a Scott kill, to tie the set at 13-all and force an ORU timeout. The break didn’t stall ORU’s descent. Musil racked up a kill on the first point after the stoppage, and an ORU attack error gave Buffalo a 15-13 fifth set win, giving the home team a stunning victory.
Silva and Fernandes took All-Tournament honors for the Golden Eagles.
ORU returns to the court on Thursday, when they face Missouri State as part of the adidas Invitational in Springfield, Mo.