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Golden Eagles Face Tulsa on Tuesday Night

Courtesy: ORU Media Relations
          Release: 09/03/2013
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TULSA, Okla. - Oral Roberts University looks to continue the momentum from a 3-0 start when they face the University of Tulsa on Tuesday, September 3. First serve at TU’s Reynolds Center is scheduled for 7 pm CT.

Live statistical coverage of Tuesday’s match is available at TulsaHurricane.com.

The Golden Eagles earned their first 3-0 start since 2009 by sweeping three matches at the TSU Invitational over the weekend. ORU topped host Texas Southern in Friday’s opener, 3-0, before sweeping Prairie View A&M and Southern on Saturday.

Not surprisingly, several Golden Eagles had monster performances at last week’s event. Leading the way was newcomer Sara Pope, who was named Tournament MVP after averaging 4.62 kills per set and hitting .541 over the weekend. Pope added 1.75 digs per set in her first tournament as a Golden Eagle.

Sophomore Jovana Poljasevic was also a force in Houston, averaging 2.11 kills per set with a hitting percentage of .720. Poljasevic tallied nine kills on 10 attempts in the tournament finale against Southern.

Nika Mostahinic (2.67 K/S, .462 HIT%), Jessica Pancratz (2.00 K/S, .478 HIT%) and McKenna Qualls (2.00 K/S, .263 HIT%) also had big weekends offensively, while senior setter Laura Taylor dished 8.11 assists per set.

As a team, ORU hit .444 for the weekend and averaged 14.89 kills per set. Both marks lead the Southland Conference through one week of action.

Tulsa went 2-1 at the Dayton Invitational, falling to the host Flyers in the opening match, 3-1, before rallying to post a 3-0 victory over Missouri State and a 3-2 win over Northeastern. Kellie Culbertson and Valerie El Houssine each averaged 3.08 kills per set over the weekend, with El Houssine chipping in 4.00 digs per set.

ORU holds a 59-17 edge all-time over the Golden Hurricane, although Tulsa has won the last five meetings between the schools. TU took an epic five-set victory from Sheera Sirola’s team last season at the Aerobics Center, winning the last set by a 15-13 count. Among returning players, Luara Rosa led ORU with 11 kills in the win, while Bruna Silva notched 27 digs. Culbertson led all current Hurricane players with 12 kills.

A win against the Golden Hurricane would give ORU their first 4-0 start since 1996, when a Sirola-led club went to the NCAA Tournament.

Following their lone Tuesday match of the season, ORU returns to weekend action at the El Paso Sports Commission Invitational. The Golden Eagles face Texas Southern on Friday, September 6 at 10 am MT before taking on the hosts from UTEP later that evening. One day later, Sirola’s club completes the weekend against Southern, with first serve scheduled for noon MT.
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