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ORU Faces Oakland, IPFW in Road Contests

Courtesy: ORU Media Relations
          Release: 10/28/2011
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TULSA, Okla. - Oral Roberts University returns to the court this weekend with a pair of Summit League road matches. On Friday, the Golden Eagles face Oakland, and a day later they take on IPFW. Both matches start at 7 pm.

ORU (19-4, 12-1 Summit League) has won 12 straight matches and 19 of their last 20 to vault to the top of the Summit League standings. The Golden Eagles lead North Dakota State by one match in the race for the regular season league title.

Last week, ORU scored a pair of 3-1 victories in Tulsa, over Western Illinois (21-25, 25-22, 25-20, 25-18) and IUPUI (20-25, 27-25, 27-25, 26-24). Bruna Silva had a team-high 50 combined digs in the two wins, while Olivia Ophus had 24 combined kills to lead the squad.

The Golden Eagles are ranked 61st in the latest NCAA Division I RPI rankings, up nine spots from last week. With nine road wins, ORU is tied with North Dakota for the most victories in hostile territory in the nation.

Oakland (12-10, 6-6 Summit League) fell to North Dakota, 3-0 (14-25, 21-25, 15-25), on Oct. 22. The loss dropped the Golden Grizzlies to .500 in Summit League play. Junior Meghan Bray leads the squad and is fourth in the Summit League with 3.55 kills per set.

ORU dropped the Golden Grizzlies, 3-1 (25-20, 22-25, 25-19, 25-17), on Oct. 1 in Tulsa. Ophus had a team-best 13 kills in the victory, which moved ORU to 23-4 in the all-time series between the two schools.

IPFW (16-7, 9-3 Summit League) still has a chance to pass both ORU and North Dakota State in the battle for the Summit League title but will likely need a win on Saturday to stay in the hunt. The Mastodons overcame a two-set deficit to top South Dakota State on Oct. 22, 3-2 (21-25, 23-25, 25-21, 27-25, 19-17). Juniors Megan Steenhuysen and Tessa McGill swept the Summit League’s Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week awards for their efforts in the victory.

The Mastodons fell to ORU, however, in five sets on Sept. 29 (18-25, 20-25, 25-19, 25-21, 15-8). Ophus led the Golden Eagles with 13 kills in the win, while Silva chipped in 25 digs.

ORU is 7-4 all-time against IPFW. The Mastodons swept the season series between the teams in 2009 and 2010.

Following the road trip, ORU returns to Tulsa for their final home matches of the 2011 season. North Dakota State invades the Cooper Aerobics Center on Nov. 3 in a match that could decide the Summit League regular season championship, and South Dakota State takes on the Golden Eagles two days later. Both matches start at 7 pm.\

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