Eastern Michigan Topples ORU in Five Sets
DENTON, Texas - A tough week concluded on a sour note for Oral Roberts University as they fell to Eastern Michigan University, 3-2, on Saturday afternoon at the Mean Green Invitational. The Golden Eagles (4-7) have now lost five matches in a row.
EMU (10-2) won by scores of 22-25, 25-21, 25-21, 13-25 and 15-12.
ORU is now 1-4 this season in five set matches.
Jessica Pancratz posted 14 kills to pace the Golden Eagles, while Sheina Fernandes, Tatum Fredeen and Kylie Johnson added 11 kills each.
Defensively, Bruna Silva set a season-high with 29 digs, while Pancratz had five blocks, including a solo effort.
Rachel Iaquaniello led EMU with 16 kills, while Sierra Reed had a team-high 19 digs.
ORU lost for the second straight match despite outhitting their opponent. The Golden Eagles swung at a .260 clip on Saturday, while EMU hit .206.
ORU grabbed control of the first set with an early 7-0 run, kicked off by a Pancratz kill, to take a 9-2 lead. EMU countered with an 8-1 rally, capped by an Iaquaniello kill, to cut the gap to 13-12, but ORU never lost the lead. A kill by Fredeen on the final point clinched the period for Sheera Sirola’s club, 25-22.
Iaquaniello served EMU to a five-point string early in the second set and then supplied a kill to give the Eagles a 7-3 lead. The Mid-American Conference club held the lead throughout the set, with another Iaquaniello kill tying the match by virtue of a 25-21 EMU win.
A Johnson service ace started the third set in ORU’s favor, and the Golden Eagles went on to take a 3-0 lead. But an ORU ball-handling error later in the set gave EMU their first lead, at 9-8, and they took control with a 7-1 run later in the period. Yet again, Iaquaniello ended the set with EMU winning by a 25-21 margin.
The Golden Eagles regained control by taking eight of ten points in the fourth set’s opening stages, with an EMU error giving Sirola’s club a 14-5 lead. ORU closed the set by taking six of the final seven points, with a Fredeen kill giving the Golden Eagles a 25-13 win.
But ORU never led in the fifth set and fell way behind as three straight errors helped EMU to a 10-4 lead. Three kills in a four-rally stretch from Johnson helped the Golden Eagles get back in contention, with the score 13-10, but a Megan Crawshaw kill ended the match in EMU’s favor, with the final set score at 15-12.
Johnson’s 11 kills are a career high, while Luara Rosa also set a career best with 16 digs. Laura Taylor led all players with 52 set assists.
Pancratz was named to the All-Tournament team, her first such honor as a collegian.
ORU looks to right the ship as they play their first-ever Southland Conference match on Thursday night at Sam Houston State. First serve in Huntsville, Texas is scheduled for 7 pm.