ORU Sweeps Bison for Fourth Straight Win
ORU (7-1) took the match by scores of 25-22, 29-27 and 25-19.
Pope’s 17 kills were just two off of a season-high and came on the strength of a .333 hitting percentage. McKenna Qualls added 10 kills on the day, while Jessica Pancratz chipped eight kills while hitting at a .533 clip.
Silva wasn’t the only defensive star, as fellow senior Luara Rosa notched 11 digs. Laura Taylor again guided the offense, with 39 assists.
Emily Miron led NDSU (0-7) with 13 kills, while Ariel Listebarger added 15 digs.
ORU hit .315 as a team and held the Bison to a .248 hitting percentage. The Golden Eagles recorded four blocks, with Caroline Arnould coming up with two solo efforts.
The victory snaps a two-match ORU losing streak against North Dakota State. The teams last met in the 2011 Summit League Championship Match.
Sheera Sirola’s team fell behind in the opening set, 12-6, before scoring five straight points, including two Qualls aces, to tighten the proceedings. The freshman smashed a kill to break a 19-all tie and finally hand ORU the lead, while a Bison attack error on set point ended the frame with ORU winning, 25-22.
ORU scored the first point of the 2nd set but immediately fell behind and trailed most of the way. The Bison earned a set point at 24-23 on a Jenni Fassbender kill, but Pancratz responded with consecutive kills of her own. Later Qualls fought off a set point at 26-25, and Pope racked up kills on the final two points of the set to give ORU the 29-27 win.
The Golden Eagles took the lead for good at 17-16 in the 3rd set, and Qualls followed that up with her third and final service ace of the night. Another ORU newcomer helped bring the victory home, as Arnould earned a match point with a solo block and made good on the opportunity with a kill to clinch the match with a 25-19 set victory.
The victory is the seventh in a row for ORU in tournament play, as they went 3-0 at both the Texas Southern and UTEP tournaments on the first two weekends of the year.
Sirola’s squad will play their final scheduled doubleheader of the season on Saturday to complete play at the Georgia Southern Tournament. ORU will face High Point at 10 am ET before suiting up later that night against the host Eagles, with first serve booked for 7 pm ET.