Difficult Stretch Continues at Sam Houston State
ORU (17-5, 9-3 Southland Conference) was swept by Northwestern State on Tuesday in three very tight sets, 25-22, 26-24 and 28-26. Sadie Schaffner led ORU with 11 kills and Bruna Silva notched 20 digs, but the Golden Eagles struggled as a team both offensively and defensively. They hit just .176 and recorded only four total blocks.
Schaffner’s double-digit offensive performance was her second in as many matches, and she led the ORU offense for the first time since injuring her foot on September 6 against Texas Southern.
Sam Houston State (14-7, 11-1 SLC) is coming off of an impressive week, one which saw them beat Stephen F. Austin on Thursday , 3-0, and Northwestern State on Saturday, 3-1. Both of the victories were on the road. The Bearkats are 6-2 at home this season and are on a five-match winning streak.
Thursday's match features two of the top three attacking players in the Southland Conference. SHSU junior outside hitter Deveney Wells-Gibson, the reigning Southland Conference Offensive Player of the Year, leads both the league and her team with 4.47 kills per set. ORU's Sara Pope, meanwhile, ranks 3rd in the conference at 3.69 kills per set.
Sam Houston State holds an 8-5 advantage over the Golden Eagles, including two regular season victories last year. But ORU upset the Bearkats in the SLC Tournament semifinals, 3-0, after holding SHSU to a .111 hitting percentage. Schaffner led current ORU players with seven kills.
ORU's road trip concludes on Saturday, when they face Lamar. Match time in Beaumont, Texas is booked for 2 pm CT.