JBU volleyball off to 6-0 start
The Golden Eagles swept Williams Baptist and Southern Arkansas in Walnut Ridge.
WALNUT RIDGE — Paced by a complete team effort, the John Brown University volleyball team continued its undefeated season another day by taking a pair of wins over Williams Baptist and NCAA Division II Southern Arkansas in triangular action, hosted by WBC on Tuesday afternoon at the Southerland-Mabee Arena.
John Brown (6-0) hit efficiently in the first contest against the host Eagles, posting a .365 hitting percentage (4510-96), powered by a .480 mark (12-0-25) in the third and deciding frame. Thanks to 19 assists from sophomore Elizabeth Williams and 13 from senior Alyssa Arnold, the Golden Eagles posted 12 kills and went errorless in the third set, finishing off a 25-17, 25-11, 25-23 victory over WBC.
The visitors dominated the net, posting eight blocks, led by sophomore Lindsey Davis’ trio of rejections. Junior Bayli Reagan and sophomore Carly McKinney each added a pair in the victory.
Sophomore Jessica Meyer turned in seven kills, while Reagan and Davis added six terminations apiece. Reagan added two assists while senior Beth Brankle posted a matchbest 13 digs as JBU easily captured the first two sets.
The third set featured a thunderous comeback for the hosts, posting a late 7-0 run to transform a 16-10 deficit into a onepoint lead. McKinney stopped the run with a kill as the teams traded points until WBC managed a 23-21 advantage.
Sophomore Megan Beck and McKinney connected for consecutive kills and, after a WBC error, John Brown closed out the contest with a stuffing from the tandem of Davis and McKinney, finishing off the Golden Eagles’ third sweep in five matches.
With not much downtime, JBU returned to the court about a half hour later to take on Southern Arkansas. While the play was closer, the results finished the same as the first match as JBU ran away with a 25-22, 26-24, 25-23 sweep over the Muleriders.
Both teams did not hit particularly well, but the JBU defense limited SAU to a .162 attacking percentage (34-18-99) via 15 rejections, paced by senior Bailei Brown and Meyer’s quartet of rejections. Davis added three while McKinney posted a pair as JBU finished the contest in dramatic fashion.
Sporting a 10-4 lead early in the first, Southern Arkansas slowly clawed its way back into contention, including pulling within two points on several occasions. Kills from Brown, Davis and Beck down the stretch kept the Muleriders at bay as JBU advanced to the second stanza.
While Southern Arkansas enjoyed a lead for the entirety of the second set, including a 23-19 advantage late, the Golden Eagles responded just when they needed to. Back-to-back blocks from Davis and Brown capped a quick 4-0 to knot the score at 23 apiece, and while SAU scored the next point, a Davis kill and consecutive Arnold aces finished the impressive comeback performance for JBU.
The Golden Eagles never trailed in the final set, but Southern Arkansas nipped constantly at the JBU heels, pulling within one or two points nine times until JBU held a 2322 lead late. An SAU service error coupled with a termination from Reagan finished John Brown’s 2-0 day in triangular action.
Meyer paced JBU with seven kills, an ace and four blocks while Reagan added six terminations and five digs. Davis was John Brown’s most efficient attacker, hitting .417 (6-1-12) en route to six digs.
The Golden Eagles return to action at 7 p.m. Thursday when it opens Sooner Athletic action against Bacone (Okla.) in Muskogee, Okla.
John Brown sophomores Lindsay Davis, left, and Megan Beck attempt a block against Williams Baptist College on Tuesday in Walnut Ridge. The Golden Eagles swept Williams Baptist and Southern Arkansas to move to 6-0 on the season. JBU is scheduled to play at Bacone (Okla.) on Thursday to open Sooner Athletic Conference play.