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Golden Eagles Welcome Sam Houston State

Courtesy: ORU Media Relations
          Release: 10/24/2012
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TULSA, Okla. - Oral Roberts University continues Southland Conference play on Thursday, October 25 when they host the Bearkats of Sam Houston State University. First serve at the Kenneth H. Cooper Aerobics Center is scheduled for 7 pm CT, and live video is available at ORUGoldenEagles.com.

The Golden Eagles (11-12, 7-5 SLC) scored their biggest victory of the season on Tuesday night, a 3-2 win over SLC-leading Central Arkansas.  Tatum Fredeen hit .414 and tallied 14 kills in the victory, while Sheina Fernandes blasted 10 kills and added eight blocks.

The victory was a fine start to the most difficult week on ORU’s 2012 schedule. The Golden Eagles host the top three clubs in the SLC standings this week, continuing Thursday with the second-place Bearkats and finishing Saturday against third-place Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

The blocking effort was again strong for the Golden Eagles, who sent back 16 Central Arkansas attacks. Sadie Schaffner matched Fernandes with eight blocks, including a career-best three solo efforts, while Jessica Pancratz added five blocks.

Bruna Silva anchored a backline that held UCA to a .203 hitting percentage. The junior collected 28 digs, while Sthephanie Mab added a season-high 13 and Joana Gruber collected nine.

Sam Houston State enters Thursday’s match on a nine-game winning streak, running their record to 14-9 overall and 9-2 in Southland Conference play. The Bearkats took down Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on October 18, 3-1, in their previous match. Sophomore Deveney Wells-Gibson tallied 23 kills in the victory.

Wells-Gibson ranks 2nd in the Southland Conference with 4.10 kills per set, and in conference play she’s posted a league-leading 4.55 kills per set average. Hometown product Kim Black, a senior, leads the Southland Conference at 1.41 blocks per set, and she ranks 3rd in the league with 34 service aces.

Kendall Cleveland had 16 kills and Wells-Gibson added 11 as the Bearkats swept ORU in both schools’ SLC opener, on September 13. With the win, SHSU improved to 5-3 all-time against the Golden Eagles.

ORU’s Sheera Sirola enters the match with a career record of 181-123 in nine-plus seasons, while SHSU Head Coach Brenda Gray is in her 29th season at SHSU with a career record of 589-420.

With a victory on Thursday, ORU can clinch a spot in the eight-team Southland Conference Tournament, which begins on Nov. 16 in Conway, Ark.

The Golden Eagles wrap up their three-match home week on Saturday afternoon, when they host Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Match time is scheduled for 3 pm CT.
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