ORU Hosts Lady Lions to Open Final Home Stand
Oral Roberts (20-6, 12-4 Southland Conference) earned one of their biggest victories of the season on Tuesday night, a 3-1 triumph over Stephen F. Austin in Nacogdoches, Texas. ORU lost the first set but rallied for the win on the strength of 17 kills from Sara Pope and 24 digs from Bruna Silva. Pope added 10 digs to finish with a double-double, while Laura Taylor also reached double-double status with 12 digs and 49 assists.
Great efforts were not hard to find for Oral Roberts on Tuesday night. Sthephanie Mab set a career high with 19 digs, while Nika Mostahinic and Jessica Pancratz finished with 13 and 12 kills, respectively.
Pancratz also had six blocks in the win, passing 1995 alumnus Ksenija Kugler for 5th place on ORU’s career list. The Tulsa native now has 345 blocks in her career.
The win gives ORU their first 20-win season since 2011 and the sixth 20-win season of the Sheera Sirola Era.
ORU is now 12-4 in Southland Conference play, good for sole possession of 4th place in the league standings. The Golden Eagles are still in contention for the 3rd seed in the Southland Tournament, currently occupied by Sam Houston State (13-3), but they lead Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (11-5) by just one match and could fall as low as 5th. ORU does hold the tiebreaker over both teams after beating both in regular season matches.
The league’s top eight teams will qualify for the single-elimination Southland Conference Tournament, which begins November 22 in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Southeastern Louisiana (11-18, 4-12 Southland Conference) has been eliminated from conference tournament contention. SLU had won four consecutive matches before this past weekend, when they were beaten by Stephen F. Austin, 3-0, on November 7 and Northwestern State, 3-2, on November 9.
Tiffany Thomas is SLU’s top offensive producer, averaging 2.85 kills per set, while Rachael Bunn has the third-best hitting percentage in the Southland Conference, at .328.
ORU is 3-0 all-time against Southeastern Louisiana, including a 3-0 victory coming earlier this year on September 28 in Hammond, La. Luara Rosa had a fine effort in the win, with 11 kills and seven digs.
Following Thursday’s match, ORU will host New Orleans on Saturday, November 16 in their 2013 regular season finale. The Golden Eagles will honor seniors Mab, Pancratz, Rosa, Silva and Taylor prior to the match, which begins at 12:30 pm.