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HUNTSVILLE, Texas - The start of Southland Conference play did not bring the change of fortune Oral Roberts University was looking for, as the Golden Eagles were swept by Sam Houston State on Thursday night at Johnson Coliseum. ORU (4-8) has lost six straight matches.

The Bearkats (5-7) won by scores of 25-17, 25-21 and 25-18.

As a team, ORU hit at a season-low .043 clip. Tatum Fredeen had a team-high nine kills, while Bruna Silva led the Golden Eagles with 16 digs.

Kendall Clevleand had 16 kills to pace the Bearkats, who kit .321 as a team. Deveney Wells-Gibson added 11 kills and ten digs, while Kim Black racked up nine blocks, including a pair of solo efforts.

ORU got off to a great start in the opening set, taking an early 7-4 lead. But that cushion would be the high point of the set for the Golden Eagles. Wells-Gibson tied the set at 8-all with a kill, and Haley Neisler gave the home team the lead on the next point.

But what put the Golden Eagles away was a 7-1 run midway through the set, highlighted by three Cleveland kills, to give SHSU a 19-12 lead. They would win the opening period, 25-17.

SHSU sprinted out to an early second set advantage as back-to-back Cleveland kills gave the Bearkats an 8-3 lead. The Golden Eagles tied the set at 14-all, but the home team responded with three straight points to reclaim control. SHSU went on the win the set, 25-21, with a Kim Black kill giving the home team a 2-0 lead.

Cleveland smacked a pair of kills to bookend a 5-0 SHSU early in the third set, giving the home team a 6-2 lead. The Bearkats added a 7-2 run later in the set, with a Wells-Gibson blast making the lead 17-8. ORU never truly threatened SHSU’s perch in the third set, and the Bearkats clinched the sweep with a 25-18.

With the victory, SHSU evens the all-time series between the two schools at 4-4.

The Golden Eagles return to the court on Saturday, when they face Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at 1 pm CT.

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