Islanders Visit ORU in Saturday Showdown
ORU (11-13, 7-6 Southland Conference) will have to rebound quickly after falling in five grueling sets to Sam Houston State on Thursday night. The Golden Eagles won two of the first three sets and earned three match points in the decisive fifth set before finally falling to the Bearkats, 21-19, in the finale.
Junior Laura Taylor was ORU’s star on Thursday, collecting 11 kills, 14 digs and 47 set assists for her first career triple-double. The ORU setter did not commit an attack error in 21 attempts and hit .524 on the evening.
Libero Bruna Silva also had a fine night in the defeat, tallying 32 digs. Senior Sheina Fernandes had a season-best 18 kills in the loss, while freshman Kylie Johnson set a new personal best with 22 digs.
The loss snapped ORU’s five-match home winning streak and three-match overall winning streak.
The loss keeps ORU at 6th place in the SLC standings. However, the Golden Eagles did clinch a spot in next month’s SLC Tournament by virtue of losses sustained by Lamar and McNeese State on Thursday.
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (16-8, 8-4 SLC) fell in four sets to Central Arkansas on Thursday night. Brinna Brink hit .400 and led the AMCC with 20 kills in the loss.
The Islanders feature a balanced attack that ranks 2nd in the Southland Conference in both kills and assists. Brink entered the week ranked 7th in the league with 3.03 kills per set, while senior Shannon Hullum ranked 8th with 2.99 kills per set.
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi swept ORU on September 15. Joana Gruber led ORU with eight kills in the loss, while Tyger Holt had 13 kills and hit .765 to pace the Islanders.
The September 15 meeting is the only time ORU has squared off with A&M-Corpus Christi.
The Golden Eagles open their final regular season road trip of 2012 on Thursday, November 1, when they take on McNeese State. Match time in Lake Charles, La., is booked for 7 pm CT.