Seniors Shine as ORU Trounces McNeese State, 3-0
ORU (8-11, 4-4 SLC) won by scores of 25-12, 25-19 and 25-22.
Senior Sheina Fernandes led the Golden Eagles with 14 kills, while fellow senior Joana Gruber notched her first double-double of the season with 10 kills and 10 digs. Both players were the model of efficiency, with Gruber hitting .348 on 23 attempts and Fernandes hitting .522, also on 23 attempts.
The seniors weren’t the only key performers in ORU’s win. Junior Laura Taylor had a second straight banner game, with six kills and 40 assists, while Jessica Pancratz added six kills and a team-high five total blocks.
Freshman Sadie Schaffner also got into the action, with eight kills and three blocks.
The block was key for ORU, as they tallied 10 to McNeese’s three. The Golden Eagles also dominated the offensive statistics, hitting .380 with 50 kills. The Cowgirls (6-14, 1-6 SLC) came up with just 33 kills and a .155 hitting percentage.
Courtni Bauer led McNeese with 10 kills, and Whitney Ellisor paced the squad with 11 digs.
ORU dominated the opening set, racing out to a 6-1 lead after a Kylie Johnson kill. They extended the lead to 19-8 on a Gruber blast and clinched the victory, at 25-12, on back-to-back McNeese errors. The Golden Eagles hit a whopping .520 in the first set.
The second set was much closer, but ORU broke free thanks to a 5-0 midway through the period. Fernandes sparked the rally with a pair of kills, giving ORU a 14-11 lead. Later, Gruber smacked back-to-back aces that stretched the lead to 22-17, and another Fernandes blast capped the set with ORU winning, 25-19.
McNeese had their best opportunity to put a point on the board in the third set, when they used three straight ORU errors to take a 6-2 lead. But the Golden Eagles righted the ship, tying the set at 11-all on a Tatum Fredeen service ace. They took the lead for good, at 15-14, on a Schaffner kill, and Gruber clinched the match with one final kill to give ORU a 25-22 win.
The Golden Eagles are now 2-0 all-time against McNeese, with the wins coming in consecutive seasons.
Bruna Silva once again led the Golden Eagle defense, finishing with a team-best 11 digs. Gruber added a team-high three aces.
Armed with a two-match winning streak, ORU hits the road this weekend on a crucial three-match streak away from Tulsa. The swing starts on Saturday, October 13, when the Golden Eagles face Central Arkansas. Match time against the league leaders is scheduled for 2 pm CT.