Golden Eagles Win Thriller Over IUPUI, 3-1
Jessica Pancratz led the Golden Eagles with 12 kills, but it was balance that once again paved the way to victory for ORU. Joana Gruber and Tatum Fredeen smashed 11 kills each, while Olivia Ophus and Elizabeth McVicker each had nine.
As a team, ORU hit .196 to IUPUI’s 169. Both teams finished with 59 kills in an incredibly close contest.
Defense again came through for ORU. Libero Bruna Silva led the team with 27 digs, while Sthephanie Mab had a career-high 16. Gruber had 14 for the double-double, while Laura Taylor had ten digs to go with 44 set assists.
At the net, McVicker collected nine blocks (two solo) to lead all players.
The Jaguars (11-13, 6-7 Summit League) posted some impressive statistics of their own on Saturday. Moriah Fair led all players with 21 kills, and Kelsey Hoefer added 16. Defensively, Shari Barnhardt led all players with 34 digs.
Much like Thursday night against Western Illinois, Oral Roberts got off to a slow start and dropped the opening set. A service ace by Kalyse Reimbold put IUPUI ahead, 3-1, and the Jaguars never trailed. A reimbold kill stretched the advantage to 20-17, and an ORU error ended the game with IUPUI on top, 25-20.
The second set was the first of three straight overtime thrillers won by ORU. The Golden Eagles again fell behind early before taking an 11-10 lead on an IUPUI error. After trading the lead off several times, the home team reached set point, at 25-24, on a kill by Pancratz. After IUPUI won the next point, Pancratz again smoked a kill to force a set point, and an error on Reimbold gave ORU a 27-25 win.
Two straight kills by Gruber gave ORU a 6-1 lead in the third set, but the win would not come easily for ORU. The Jaguars surged ahead and looked to be in command when a Bethany Fogler kill stretched their lead to 19-14. ORU stormed back, retaking the lead at 24-23 on an Ophus service aces, but they wouldn’t finish the game off until a fair attack error gave them another 27-25 win.
A kill by Hoefer gave IUPUI a 16-13 lead midway through the fourth game, but the Golden Eagles scored the next five points, including two kills by Ophus, to take an 18-16 advantage. IUPUI came back to tie the set at 24-24, but a block by McVicker and Shelby Robb, their second combined effort of the game, forced a match point, and an IUPUI error clinched the home team win at 26-24.
ORU has now won four straight matches over IUPUI. Sheera Sirola’s club continues to lead the Summit League by just one match after North Dakota State swept Oakland, 3-0, earlier on Saturday.
Oral Roberts makes another road trip next weekend, beginning with a Friday match against Oakland. First serve in Rochester, Mich., is scheduled for 7 pm.