ORU Splits Two Matches at GSU Tournament
STATESBORO, Ga. - Oral Roberts University split a pair of matches on the final day of the Georgia Southern Volleyball Tournament, downing High Point in their morning match, 3-1, before falling to the host Eagles in the evening, 3-1.
McKenna Qualls and Bruna Silva each earned All-Tournament nods.
With the split, ORU is now 8-2 heading into Southland Conference play, which starts next week in Tulsa.
ORU 3, HIGH POINT 1
Qualls was on fire in the morning match, setting career highs with 16 kills and 18 digs. Overall, ORU took the extremely tight contest by scores of 30-28, 26-24, 23-25 and 25-21.
The freshman from Edmond was one of three Golden Eagles to finish with a double-double in the win. Luara Rosa tallied 13 kills and 16 digs, while Laura Taylor added 13 digs and 48 assists.
Defensively, Silva led the way with 22 digs, while Jessica Pancratz added seven blocks, including a pair of solo efforts.
High Point (4-6) was led by Kristin Heldt, who paced all players with 21 kills. Annemarie Chin chipped in 32 digs.
ORU outhit the Panthers, .234, to .211, and finished with 10 blocks to High Point’s five.
Neither team led by more than three points in the 1st set, and both teams had multiple set points that they could not capitalize on. Rosa held off the first High Point opportunity with a kill at 25-24, and a Katie Vincent block stopped ORU at 26-25. Pancratz killed off an HPU opportunity at 27-26, and Heldt responded with a kill to turn away ORU at 28-27. Finally, at 29-28, Rosa slid a kill inside the chalk to give ORU the 30-28 victory.
ORU fell behind, 11-6, early in the 2nd set but rallied to even the score at 14-all on a Qualls kill. The set was incredibly close the rest of the way, with ORU earning the first set point on a Jovana Poljasevic kill that made the score 24-23. The Golden Eagles missed that chance but came back to clinch the set three points later, with a Pancratz block securing a 26-24 victory.
The Panthers won the first five points of the 3rd set, setting the stage for their lone triumph of the match. ORU actually fought off High Point’s first four set points before Chelsea Davis finally ended the set with a kill to give HPU a 25-23 win.
After falling behind early in the 4th set, ORU mounted a run of four straight points, sparked by a kill and an ace by Rosa, to take a 9-6 lead. After High Point came back to tie it up, Poljasevic gave ORU to lead for good with a kill to make the score 14-13. Minutes later, it was Rosa who clichéd the victory with her final kill of the day, handing ORU a 25-21 win.
ORU had plenty of attacking stars in their morning win. Sara Pope finished with 11 kills and Pancratz had nine to go with a career-best three service aces.
GEORGIA SOUTHERN 3, ORU 1
Georgia Southern defended their home court in the tournament finale, winning by scores of 25-23, 14-25, 25-22 and 25-19.
Pope led the Golden Eagles with 14 kills, while Silva had 20 digs and Pancratz chipped in another seven blocks.
GSU (9-2) was led by Jamie DeRatt, who tallied 15 kills, while Crysten Curry dominated the net to the tune of 10 blocks (three solo).
The loss was ORU’s first ever against a Southern Conference opponent.
The Golden Eagles trailed for much of a tight 1st set, with Georgia Southern taking a 18-15 advantage on a block by Curry and Katie Bange. But ORU rallied, scoring three straight at one point to take a 22-21 lead on a Rosa kill. The set would belong to Georgia Southern, however, with Curry and DeRatt teaming on a block at set point to give the home team a 25-23 win.
The 2nd set was dominated by ORU. A 5-0 run, capped by a Rosa service ace, gave ORU a 9-5 lead and complete control of the period. Later the Golden Eagles scored seven straight, including a kill and an ace by Qualls, to build the lead to 16-7. Eventually it was the freshman who tied up the match, spiking a kill to give ORU the 25-14 victory and even the contest at 1-1.
ORU struggled out of the gate in the 3rd set, falling behind by a count of 13-7, but they came all the way back to tie it up at 14-all on a Taylor service ace. GSU retook the lead before the Golden Eagles tied it again at 22-all, but they never could overcome the home team. The Eagles scored the final three points of the set, with Bange tallying a kill to clinch the set at 25-22.
Georgia Southern took an 11-6 lead in the 4th set before ORU rallied to tie it at 12-all on a Qualls ace. But that would be the high point for the Golden Eagles, as GSU scored the next four points and never let up. A DeRatt kill at match point clinched the match for GSU with a 25-19 win.
ORU returns to the court on Thursday night for their first home match of the season. The Golden Eagles host new Southland Conference member Incarnate Word, with first serve scheduled for 7 pm CT at the Kenneth H. Cooper Aerobics Center.