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ORU Falls to Oakland, 3-0

Courtesy: ORU Media Relations
          Release: 10/28/2011
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Olivia Ophus had 12 kills for ORU on Friday
ROCHESTER, Mich. - A 12-match winning streak came to an end for Oral Roberts University on Friday night as they were swept by Oakland University, 3-0 (25-22, 25-23, 25-22). The defeat was the first for the Golden Eagles since a 3-2 loss to South Dakota on Sept. 15, a span of 43 days.

Combined with North Dakota State’s 3-1 win over South Dakota State on Friday, the loss drops ORU into a first-place tie with NDSU at the top of the Summit League standings. Both clubs are 12-2 in League play.

ORU’s win streak was their longest since a 15-game streak in 2006. The Golden Eagles (19-5) had not lost in the month of October prior to Friday.

Jenna Lange and Brittany Holbrook led Oakland (13-10, 7-6 Summit League) with eight kills each, while Ali Kirk had a team-high 19 digs.

The Golden Grizzlies won despite hitting just .163, while ORU swung at a .194 clip.

Olivia Ophus and Tatum Fredeen led ORU with 12 kills each. Bruna Silva held the back line with 24 digs.

Oral Roberts started the match on a roll, taking a 6-1 lead after two early kills by Jessica Pancratz. But Oakland scored the next five points to tie the opening set. The game remained tight until three straight ORU errors gave the home team a 23-20 lead. They would not give the advantage up, collecting a 25-22 win on an Ashley Nevelle kill.

Unlike the opening set, ORU fell behind right from the start of the second game, and they never recovered. Two straight kills by Lange helped Oakland to a 5-1 lead, and a Holbrook blast pushed the score to 14-7. The game tightened toward the later stages, but another Lange kill gave the home side a tight 25-23 win.

Propelled by two kills from Joana Gruber, ORU won five of the first six points in the third game. But a sustained rally from Oakland paid off, as Meghan Bray tied the set at 15-15 with a kill. The Golden Grizzlies took the lead from good at 19-18 on an ORU ball handling error, and they clinched the sweep by taking the game, 25-22.

The sweep is the first one ORU has endured since the opening weekend of the season, when they fell in straight sets to both Oklahoma and SMU on Aug. 27.

ORU returns to the court on Saturday, when they face IPFW. First serve in Fort Wayne, Ind., is scheduled for 7 pm.
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