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ORU Faces SLC Leader Ladyjacks on Thursday

Courtesy: ORU Media Relations
          Release: 09/25/2012
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TULSA, Okla. - Fresh off of a perfect home stand, the Oral Roberts University volleyball team returns to the court on Thursday night for a crucial Southland Conference showdown with the first place Ladyjacks of Stephen F. Austin. First serve in Nacogdoches, Texas is scheduled for 6:30 pm CT.

Live statistical coverage of Thursday’s match is available at SFAJacks.com.

The Golden Eagles (6-9, 2-2 SLC) won a pair of conference matches at home last week, a 3-1 triumph over Southeastern Louisiana on September 20 and a three-set sweep of Nicholls State on September 22.

ORU’s Brazilian connection powered the squad to both victories. Junior libero Bruna Silva collected a season-high 32 digs in the win over SLU, while senior Sheina Fernandes tallied 16 kills and a career-high nine blocks.

Two days later, in the victory over Nicholls, Fernandes blasted 11 kills and hit .667 on 15 attempts, while Silva and Luara Rosa each grabbed 14 digs to pace the defense.

Silva averaged 6.57 digs per set over the two matches, nearly a dig-and-a-half more than any other SLC player for the week. The monster outputs ran the junior’s season average to 5.24 digs per set for the season, tops in the SLC and 33rd-best in the nation.

Fernandes, meanwhile, led all SLC players with a .545 hitting percentage last week. Her season average of 1.24 blocks per set is 2nd in the league, and her .323 hitting percentage ranks 5th.

The Ladyjacks lead the Southland Conference with a 4-0 league record after sweeping McNeese State and topping Lamar in four sets last week. At 13-3 overall, Stephen F. Austin has the second-best overall record in the SLC.

Sophomore Jill Ivy tallied 19 kills in SFA’s Saturday victory over Lamar, and entering the week she ranks 5th in the SLC with 3.11 kills per set.

Defensively, Madison Hanlan ranks 5th in the SLC at 4.52 digs per set. The two-time All-SLC selection has tallied 20 or more digs in six matches this season

SFA Head Coach Debbie Humphries is 547-270 in her 25th season with the Stephen F. Austin program, and she’s taken the Lady Jacks to seven SLC championships and four NCAA Tournament appearances.

ORU’s Sheera Sirola, who leads both ORU and the Summit League in career victories, enters the week with a 176-120 career record.

Following Thursday’s match, the Golden Eagles will bus to Natchitoches, La., for a Saturday match against Northwestern State. The SLC battle is scheduled for 2 pm CT.
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