Ladyjacks Top ORU in Four Sets
The Ladyjacks (21-10, 11-7 SLC) won by scores of 14-25, 25-20, 25-22 and 29-27.
Joana Gruber paced the Golden Eagle effort with 15 kills, nine digs and seven total blocks, including one solo effort. Sheina Fernandes, Sadie Schaffner and Tatum Fredeen each added 10 kills, while Fernandes added nine total blocks (two solo).
Bruna Silva led the defensive effort for ORU, with 17 digs. The Golden Eagles hit .355 in the opening set but just .207 for the match.
Sabrina Burns led SFA with 17 kills, while Tori Bates added 13. SFA’s Madison Hanlan led all players with 22 digs.
As a team, the Ladyjacks hit .191 overall after struggling to a -.037 hitting percentage in the first set.
ORU dominated that first set, crushing 14 kills and committing just three attack errors. An early 5-0 run, propelled by four SFA errors, gave the home team a 6-2 lead. Later Laura Taylor doubled the visitors up with a kill, stretching the lead to 16-8, and ORU was in total control. A kill from Fernandes ended the set with ORU on top, 25-14.
Sheera Sirola’s team won the first four points of the second set, but the momentum would not last. Bates gave the Ladyjacks their first lead with a kill to make the score 6-5, and SFA led for the remainder of the period. Bates tallied another kill at set point to tie the match up with a 25-20 victory.
ORU again built an early lead in the third set, take a 6-2 advantage on a kill from Schaffner. But the Ladyjacks rallied again, fighting back to take a 20-19 lead on a block by Bates and Leslie Jackson. SFA outlasted the Golden Eagles, taking a 25-22 win with a solo block by Jill Ivy on the last point.
The fourth set was a thriller that went Stephen F. Austin’s way. The Golden Eagles were down one match point, at 24-23, but Gruber fought it off with a kill. Burns earned another match point for the visitors with a kill on the ensuing point, but Schaffner extinguished this threat with a kill of her own.
A Silva ace gave ORU a set point opportunity, but the Golden Eagles could not capitalize and it was again SFA who earned a match point at 27-26. Fernandes killed that one off, but ORU did not survive the next match point, as Katzy Randall finished them off with a kill to end the night. The visitors won the set, 29-27.
Silva nearly finished with her first career double-double, as she added a career-high nine assists to her 17 digs. Taylor led all players with 44 assists.
ORU closes out the regular season on Saturday, November 10, when they host Northwestern State. Match time is set for 3 pm CT, and the Golden Eagles will honor seniors Gruber, Fernandes, Fredeen, Olivia Ophus and Shelby Robb prior to their final home contest.