ORU Hammers Lady Demons on Senior Day, 3-0
ORU took the victory by winning the three sets 25-17, 27-25 and 25-19.
The Golden Eagles will enter the Southland Conference as the No. 6 seed and will face third-seeded Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Friday, November 16 at 1:30 pm CT in the quarterfinal round.
It was a pair of juniors who led ORU to victory on Senior Day, starting with a 12-kill performance from Jessica Pancratz, who hit .688 and added seven blocks (two solo) to her ledger. Libero Bruna Silva was on fire defensively, tallying 23 digs.
The senior class was also on point, playing a huge role in the triumph. Joana Gruber tallied 10 kills and nine digs, while Sheina Fernandes had eight kills. Shelby Robb added three kills and Tatum Fredeen had two in their final match at the Kenneth H. Cooper Aerobics Center.
Northwestern State (20-10, 12-6 SLC) was led by Stacey DiFrancesco, who notched 11 kills. Keelie Arneson added a team-high 11 digs.
ORU out-hit the Lady Demons, .295 to .136.
The Golden Eagles grabbed control of the opening set with a 4-0 run, helped along by a Pancratz kill, to give the home team a 13-8 lead. Later, after the Demons tried to rally, the Golden Eagles scored five straight points, capped by a Gruber kill, to stretch the lead to 23-15. The senior came through again on set point to give ORU a 25-17 win.
Northwestern State’s best chance to take a set came in the second, when they rallied from a 23-18 hole to tie the set at 23-all. The Lady Demons then fought off an ORU set point with a Caiti O’Connell kill, who then gave the visitors a set point of their own with another blast.
But ORU scored the final three points of the set, beginning with a Northwestern State service error. ORU then tallied blocks on the final two points, while Pancratz playing a part of both, to win the set by a score of 27-25.
Pancratz smacked two kills in a row midway through the third set, part of a 4-0 run that gave ORU an 18-14 lead. The visitors would not rally, with ORU taking the final set by a 25-19 count.
The winner of Friday’s match against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi will face either Nicholls State or Sam Houston State in the semifinal round on Saturday, November 17 at 11 am CT. Saturday’s championship match is scheduled for Sunday, November 18 at 2 pm CT.
Central Arkansas, the 2012 Southland Conference Volleyball Tournament hosts, will also serve as the top seed.
All seven matches of the 2012 Southland Conference Volleyball Tournament will be streamed live on the Southland Conference Digital Network, which includes Southland.org and the SLC’s mobile app.
Sunday’s title match will be televised live on the Southland Conference Television Network. For a complete list of affiliates, visit Southland.org/television.