ORU Rallies for 3-1 Win over Stephen F. Austin
ORU took the match by scores of 26-28, 25-14, 25-15 and 25-12. The win gives ORU their first 20-win season since 2011 and the sixth 20-win campaign of the Sheera Sirola Era.
Sara Pope recorded a double-double with a team-leading 17 kills and 10 digs, one of many standout individual performances on Tuesday night. Bruna Silva added a team-high 24 digs and Laura Taylor dished 49 assists.
Pope was one of three players with double-digit kills as Nika Mostahinic tallied 13 and Jessica Pancratz came up with a dozen. ORU hit .263 as a team.
Five Golden Eagles, meanwhile, had double-digit digs, led by Silva’s 24. Sthephanie Mab set a career-high with 19 digs, Kylie Johnson notched 13, Taylor capped a double-double with 12 and Pope had 10.
Jill Ivy led the Ladyjacks (16-14, 8-9 SLC) with 14 kills, but the home team hit just .079. OJ Olson had a team-best 20 digs.
ORU fell behind in the 1st set, 9-5, before rallying to take a 15-14 lead on an SFA error. Later a solo block from Jovana Poljasevic stretched the lead to 21-17, but the Golden Eagles could not close it out. The Ladyjacks came all the way back to take the lead and they finally won the set, 28-26, when Justice Walker cranked a kill on their third set point.
The Golden Eagles came back to dominate the 2nd set. A Pope kill started a seven-point run for Sirola’s team that gave the visitors a 13-7 lead. The advantage hit 20-12 on a Taylor kill, and Pancratz had an ace at set point as ORU claimed a 25-14 win.
ORU led the entire 3rd set and won it in easy fashion. A Luara Rosa kill doubled SFA up at 8-4, and another Pancratz kill made it 17-10. The Golden Eagles were never challenged, with a Mostahinic kill giving the road team a 25-15 win.
With the momentum of the previous two sets in hand, ORU steamrolled the Ladyjacks in set number four. A 6-0 rally, capped by another Mostahinic kill, staked ORU to a 14-6 lead, and Pope scored three straight points for ORU to make the score 21-9. ORU went on to win the set, 25-12, to clinch the match.
The win, combined with an October 3 five-set victory in Tulsa, gives ORU a season sweep over Stephen F. Austin.
ORU will take the court again on Thursday, November 14 against Southeastern Louisiana in their penultimate outing of the regular season. Match time at the Kenneth H. Cooper Aerobics Center is scheduled for 7 pm CT.