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ORU Hosts SFA, Goes for Sirola's 200th Win

Courtesy: ORU Media Relations
          Release: 10/02/2013
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TULSA, Okla. - Thursday night has milestone potential for the Oral Roberts University volleyball team as they host Southland Conference rival Stephen F. Austin inside of the Kenneth H. Cooper Aerobics Center. First serve is scheduled for 7 pm CT, with live stats and free live video available at ORUGoldenEagles.com.

With a win on Thursday night, ORU will earn the 200th victory in the head coaching career of Sheera Sirola. Already the career wins leader in program and Summit League history, Sirola guided the Golden Eagles to the 2006 NCAA Tournament and has a career record of 199-128.

The Golden Eagles (12-2, 4-0 Southland Conference) have played exceptionally well since Sirola earned her 175th victory, against Southeastern Louisiana on September 20, 2012. ORU has a 24-8 record in their last 32 matches.

Included in that stretch are two 3-0 victories from last week, as the Golden Eagles swept New Orleans on September 26 and Southeastern Louisiana on September 28. The victories kept ORU perfect in SLC play this season, with all four of their conference wins coming in three sets.

The Golden Eagles had not swept four straight conference opponents since October 25-November 8, 2003, a stretch that saw them pound former Mid-Con rivals Oakland, Centenary, UMKC and Western Illinois in Sirola’s first season as Head Coach.

Senior Jessica Pancratz paced a balanced offensive effort in the UNO victory, finishing with a team-high nine kills. The Golden Eagles held New Orleans to a .000 hitting percentage, the lowest of the season for an ORU opponent.

Sara Pope and Luara Rosa led the offense against Southeastern Louisiana, finishing with 11 kills each, while Bruna Silva recorded 16 digs and McKenna Qualls had 10.

ORU continues to lead the Southland Conference in hitting percentage (.265), opponent's hitting percentage (.155) and kills per set (13.94). Individually, Pancratz has the highest hitting percentage in the league, at .375, with Pope ranking 3rd in kills per set, at 3.57.

Stephen F. Austin is 10-6 entering Thursday’s match, with a 2-1 record in Southland Conference action. The Ladyjacks have lost two straight matches, including a 3-1 setback at Northwestern State on September 28.

Prior to the skid, SFA had won four straight matches.

Junior Jill Ivy leads the Ladyjacks with 3.13 kills per set, including an 11-kill effort in the loss to Northwestern State. Sophomore O.J. Olsen tallied an impressive 31 digs against Northwestern State, and she paces the Southland Conference with 5.11 digs per set.

SFA Head Coach Debbie Humphreys is in her 26th season heading the Ladyjacks, with a career record of 566-285.

ORU is 4-2 all time against Stephen F. Austin but was swept by the Ladyjacks last season. ORU’s last victory against SFA was a 3-0 sweep on September 21, 1984.

The teams last played on November 8, 2012, a 3-1 SFA win in Tulsa. Among current ORU players, Sadie Schaffner had a team-high 10 kills, and Laura Taylor had 44 assists.

ORU completes the weekend home stand on Saturday afternoon, when Northwestern State visits the Aerobics Center. Match time is slated for 2 pm CT.
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