ORU Begins Road Journey at Northwestern State
The Golden Eagles (17-4, 9-2 Southland Conference) will play three road matches in a five-day stretch this week, with each contest crucial to ORU’s SLC regular season championship hopes. Sheera Sirola's team enters the week tied with Northwestern State for 3rd place in the Southland standings, with Central Arkansas (11-0) and Sam Houston State (11-1) occupying the top two spots.
ORU has won four consecutive matches, including a 3-0 sweep of Houston Baptist on October 26 in Tulsa. McKenna Qualls led the Golden Eagles with 14 kills, while Sadie Schaffner and Sara Pope had 10 kills each. The Golden Eagles hit .380 in the victory, their 13th sweep of the season.
Bruna Silva had 16 digs in the Houston Baptist win and crossed the 2,000-dig plateau midway through the 1st set. The Brazilian is the second player in ORU history to tally 2,000 career digs and is just 240 digs behind 2004 alumnus Becky Dreher for the program’s career lead.
Silva currently ranks 2nd in the Southland Conference with 5.03 digs per set, while Pope is 2nd with 3.78 kills per set. Senior Jessica Pancratz, who tallied four kills in the HBU win, now leads the Southland with a .355 hitting percentage.
After starting the season by losing eight of nine matches, Northwestern State (13-10, 9-2 Southland Conference) has been one of the Southland’s hottest teams. The Lady Demons enter Tuesday's match off a loss, however, after falling to Sam Houston State, 3-1, on October 26. The setback was the first of the season for the Lady Demons in Natchitoches.
Junior libero Keelie Arneson leads the Southland Conference with 5.24 digs per set, while freshman Ashley Elrod leads the team and ranks 14th in the SLC with 2.97 kills per set.
Oral Roberts is 4-2 all-time against Northwestern State but fell in five sets to the Lady Demons on October 5 in Tulsa. Pope led ORU with 19 kills in the loss, while Silva had 31 digs. Northwestern State was paced by Elrod, who tallied 17 kills and 14 digs.
ORU continues their road quest on Thursday, October 31, with a showdown against Sam Houston State. Match time in Huntsville, Texas is scheduled for 7 pm CT.