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ORU Prepares for Summit League Championship

Courtesy: ORU Media Relations
          Release: 11/18/2011
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TULSA, Okla. - Third-seeded Oral Roberts University makes their first Summit League Championship appearance since 2008 on Friday, when they face No. 2 seed IPFW in Fort Wayne, Ind. First serve at the Hilliard Gates Sports Center is scheduled for 7:30 pm.

The winner of Friday’s match will play the winner of the other semifinal, between top seed North Dakota and No. 4 seed Oakland, in Saturday’s championship match, scheduled for 7 pm. All matches take place in Fort Wayne after IPFW claimed last season’s League crown.

The Golden Eagles (19-9, 12-6 Summit League) are making their 12th and final appearance in the Summit League (formerly Mid-Continent Conference) Championship before moving to the Southland Conference in 2012. ORU has won the event seven times, most recently in 2006, and they’ve finished runner-up four times.

ORU has never lost in the semifinal round of the Summit’s championship event.

The Golden Eagles need to get back on track in a hurry, as they enter Friday’s tilt on a five-match losing streak. ORU’s latest setback came on Nov. 12, when they fell in five sets (25-17, 23-25, 26-28, 25-23, 15-8) to Southern Utah. Olivia Ophus tallied 13 kills to lead ORU in the loss.

Libero Bruna Silva posted 34 digs in the match, giving her 641 digs for the season. That total is the third-highest single-season mark in ORU history, behind only Cris Alves, who tallied 674 in 2006 and Becky Dreher, who finished 2004 with 821 digs.

IPFW (21-8, 14-4 Summit League) ended the regular season on a three-match winning streak, including a 3-1 (25-19, 25-20, 15-25, 25-19) win over IUPUI on Nov. 12. The Mastodons went 1-1 against ORU in the regular season, with both teams holding serve on their home courts.

ORU also split their season series against both North Dakota State (24-8, 16-2 Summit League) and Oakland (18-10, 12-6 Summit League), although both teams, like IPFW, have beaten ORU on their current five-match skid. Sheera Sirola’s team earned the No. 3 seed over Oakland by virtue of their Oct. 8 victory over North Dakota State. The Bison swept Oakland during the regular season.

The winner of the Summit League Championship earns a spot in the 2011 NCAA Division I Volleyball Championship. ORU’s last trip to the tournament came in 2006.


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