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Sirola's Crew Hosts League-Leading Sugar Bears

Courtesy: ORU Media Relations
          Release: 10/22/2012
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TULSA, Okla. - Oral Roberts University opens their most difficult and important home stand of the season on Tuesday, October 23, when they host Southland Conference leader Central Arkansas. Match time at the Kenneth H. Cooper Aerobics Center is booked for 7 pm CT, and live video is available free of charge at ORUGoldenEagles.com.

ORU (10-12, 6-5 SLC) climbed over .500 in league play on October 20 with a 3-1 victory over Nicholls State Sheina Fernandes and Sadie Schaffner tallied 11 kills each in the victory, while Bruna Silva paced the defensive effort with 20 digs. The win was ORU’s second straight road victory, and it gave the Golden Eagles a season sweep over Nicholls.

At 6-5 in conference matches, Sheera Sirola's team is 6th in the SLC heading into this week’s play. The Golden Eagles could move as high as 3rd in the SLC table with a trio of victories this week.

Silva continues to perform as the top defensive specialist in the Southland Conference. Through nine weeks of play, the junior leads the SLC with 5.11 digs per set.

The junior isn’t the only ORU player near the top of the leaderboard, however. Jessica Pancratz ranks 2nd in the league with 1.30 blocks per set, while Fernandes is 3rd in blocks, at 1.15 per set, and 5th in hitting percentage, at .331. Laura Taylor is ranked 4th in the league in assists with exactly 10.00 per set.

The Sugar Bears have proven to be the class of the conference, with a 22-2 overall record and a 10-1 SLC record through nine weeks. Central Arkansas swept Nicholls State on October 18 and knocked off Southeastern Louisiana two days later, 3-1.

Right side Jessica Hays leads the Southland Conference with 4.04 kills per set, while middle blocker Alicia Dittrich leads the league with a .404 hitting percentage. Senior Taylor Hammonds ranks 2nd in the league with a .399 hitting percentage.

UCA rallied from the 2-0 hole to knock off ORU in five sets on October 13. Schaffner had a career-high 19 kills in the loss.

ORU is now 4-2 all-time against the Sugar Bears.

UCA Head Coach David McFatrich is in his second year as a collegiate head coach with a record of 40-15, while ORU’s Sirola is 180-122 in her tenth year at the helm of the Golden Eagles.

ORU’s home stretch continues on Thursday night, when they face Sam Houston State. First serve is scheduled for 7 pm CT.
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