Golden Eagles Upset by HBU, 3-1, at SLC Tournament
HBU (15-17) took the four sets by scores of 25-23, 25-20, 23-25 and 25-23.
Sara Pope led ORU with 12 kills and McKenna Qualls added 10, but the Golden Eagles were undone by 24 attack errors and hit just .160 as a team.
On the defensive end, Bruna Silva led ORU with 24 digs in her final collegiate match, and fellow senior Sthephanie Mab added 16 digs.
In her final time wearing an ORU jersey, Laura Taylor broke the school record for career assists. Taylor had 35 helpers in her final match and finished her career with a program-best 3,961 assists.
Madeline Gaffney led the Huskies to their first-ever SLC Tournament win with 15 kills, while Jessica Wooten and Haley Hoffman had 20 digs each. HBU hit .191 as a team.
ORU built a big lead in the 1st set, scoring five straight at one point to take an 11-6 lead on a Jovana Poljasevic kill. But the Huskies came back to tie the match at 12-all on a Megan McStravick kill, and they took a 23-22 lead on a Gaffney block. HBU held off the Golden Eagles and won the set, 25-23.
The underdogs used that momentum to dominate the 2nd set, building a 12-3 lead on a Caiti Wenger kill. The Golden Eagles scored five of the final seven points in the period, but it was not enough, as a Gaffney kill gave the Huskies a 25-20 win.
Oral Roberts had their most successful outing in the 3rd set. A block by Sadie Schaffner and Jessica Pancratz gave ORU a 10-8 lead, and the 3rd seed kept a close lead for much of the period. HBU committed errors on the final two points of the set and ORU capitalized for a 25-23 win.
ORU took a 6-2 lead in the 4th set, but the advantage did not last, with Houston Baptist taking a 10-9 lead on a Gaffney kill. The Golden Eagles recovered and rebuilt their advantage to 23-19 on a Schaffner kill before the wheels came off. HBU scored the final six points of the match, including errors by ORU on the final two points, to eliminate the Golden Eagles with a 25-23 win.
Friday’s loss was the final collegiate appearances for ORU seniors Mab, Pancratz, Silva, Taylor and Luara Rosa.
Houston Baptist will face second-seeded Northwestern State on Saturday in the tournament semifinals.