Bearkats Claw ORU in Five-Set Loss
The loss snaps ORU’s five-match home winning streak. SHSU (15-9, 10-2 Southland Conference) came back from a 2-1 deficit to win by scores of 20-25, 25-21, 20-25, 25-18 and 21-19.
Each team lost three match points before SHSU’s Deveney Wells-Gibson finally came through with a match-clinching kill to give the Bearkats a 21-19 final set win.
Taylor tallied 11 kills, 14 digs and 47 set assists in the loss. She did not commit an attack error and hit .524 on 21 attempts.
Sheina Fernandes led the Golden Eagles (11-13, 7-6 SLC) with 18 kills, while Sadie Schaffner tallied a dozen kills of her own. Sheera Sirola’s team hit .150 in the loss.
Defensively, Bruna Silva finished with 32 digs and was one of five Golden Eagles to reach double-figures. Kylie Johnson added a career-high 22, and Joana Gruber matched a career best with 17. Sthephanie Mab hit double-digits for the second straight match, with 12 digs.
Kendall Cleveland led the Bearkats with 22 kills, while Wells-Gibson finished with 19. Tayler Gray had 49 set assists and 26 digs to help SHSU to victory, while Camille Alfaro added 21 digs and Wells-Gibson polished off a double-double with 21 digs of her own.
Like ORU, the Bearkats hit .150 as a team.
The Golden Eagles took control of the first set with a late 8-1 run. Gruber finished the spurt with a kill that stretched ORU’s lead to 23-18, and the home team won by a 25-20 count.
ORU could not make a 4-0 lead hold up in the second set. SHSU scored eight straight on Wells-Gibson’s serve midway through the set to take a 17-13 lead, with Cleveland racking up four kills over the stretch. The road team held the lead and won, 25-21.
ORU scored seven of the first ten points in the third set, but Sam Houston rallied back to take a 12-11 lead. The Golden Eagles reclaimed the lead at 18-17 on a Bearkat error, and they won, 25-20, with the visiting club committing a service error on set point.
Kim Black tallied a kill early in the fourth set to kick off an important 5-0 run for SHSU. They built leads of 6-1 on a Cleveland blast, and 16-10 on a Kaylee Hawkins kill. ORU never rallied, and Wells-Gibson sent the match to a fifth set with a clinching kill at 25-18.
Wells-Gibson turned back ORU’s first match point, evening the fifth set at 14-all, before Tatum Fredeen sent the visitors back and tied the final period at 15. The next match point also went to SHSU, but Fernandes responded with a kill. The Golden Eagles couldn’t cash in the next match point, with an attack error tying the score at 17-all, but Hawkins returned the favor on an SHSU match point to tie it at 18.
ORU’s final match point came at 19-18, but Cleveland tied it up and turned ORU back with her final kill of the night. She followed that with a service ace, and then Wells-Gibson supplied the final point of the match to Sam Houston.
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.