ORU Thunders Past Houston Baptist, 3-0
ORU (17-4, 9-2 Southland Conference) took the match by scores of 25-20, 25-22 and 25-11 for their fourth consecutive victory.
McKenna Qualls returned to the starting lineup on Saturday and paced ORU with 14 kills and a .619 hitting percentage, while Sara Pope and Sadie Schaffner added 10 kills each. Laura Taylor dished the ball beautifully, finishing with 36 assists.
Defensively, Bruna Silva had 10 digs in the 1st set and 16 for the match. Schaffner and Jovana Poljasevic each had a team-high four blocks.
HBU (10-13, 5-7 Southland Conference) hit just .113 for the match, including a -.067 hitting percentage in the 3rd set. Madeline Gaffney led the Huskies with 10 kills, and Haley Hoffman had a team-high 11 digs.
ORU was very sluggish to start the afternoon and fell behind, 10-5, early in the 1st set on a kill from Gaffney. But a Sheera Sirola timeout got the Golden Eagles in check, and they finally took the lead at 15-14 on a Qualls kills. Schaffner blasted the final two kills of the set for ORU, who grabbed a 25-20 1st set victory.
A 6-0 run, capped by an Ashlee Vann kill, staked Houston Baptist to a 6-1 2nd set lead and forced Sirola into another timeout. The stoppage worked again or the home team, who snatched a 12-11 lead on another Schaffner kill. Poljasevic came up with a kill on set point, giving the Golden Eagles a 25-22 win.
The 3rd set was a walk in the park for Sirola’s team, as they scored the first four points and took a 17-7 lead on an HBU error. Timeouts from the Huskies could not slow the Golden Eagle attack, and a Qualls kill at match point provided ORU with a clinching 25-11 victory.
ORU hit .500 in the 3rd set, with 16 kills and just three errors on 26 attempts.
With the win, ORU is now tied with Northwestern State for 3rd place in the Southland standings, at 9-2. The two clubs trail Central Arkansas (11-0) and Sam Houston State (11-1) in the race for the league’s top spot.
Following Saturday's match, Oral Roberts has just two days off before heading to Natchitoches, La., to face Northwestern State in a massive Southland Conference battle. First serve on Tuesday, October 29 is scheduled for 7 pm CT.