Volleyball edges WBU
The John Brown University volleyball team hit .259 in the final set and received a pair of big-time blocks from junior Bayli Reagan and sophomore Jessica Meyer and the Golden Eagles hung on for a 3-2 win (25-14, 16-25, 2521, 17-25, 15-11) over Wayland Baptist (Texas) on Friday night inside Bill George Arena.
The John Brown (17-5, 6-2 Sooner Athletic Conference) blocking game came up often and in crucial times, powered by five blocks from sophomore Lindsey Davis, four from sophomore Carly McKinney and a trio from Meyer. The momentum swing wildly throughout the contest, as reflected in the JBU attacking effort. Three sets featured a .171 attack percentage or lower, while in the first set John Brown hit .571 and .259 in the fifth and deciding set. Ultimately, the Golden Eagles hit .189 (56-24-169) while the Pioneers (12-8, 4-4) hit .174 (5828-172).
“Everyone in the gym tonight got to experience the highs and lows that come with our sport,” admitted head coach Ken Carver. “Both teams had moments of executing at high levels offensively and both teams had moments where there were far too many unforced errors. Thankfully, our team was able to come around and focus when the match was on the line in the fifth set and finished off the match on a very strong note and very good defensive execution.” Down 6-2 in the fifth, a key Bailei Brown kill started the comeback effort that eventually saw JBU tie the match at 6, 7, 8 and 9 apiece. Finally, a thunderous kill from Meyer in the middle handed the lead over to John Brown for good, but not until a key string of rallies that featured solo blocks from Reagan and Meyer that bookended another key cross-court kill from Reagan.
While Wayland delayed match point twice, finally Meyer ended it with her 12th termination of the night.
Reagan and McKinney paced the JBU offense with 16 kills apiece while Meyer added 12 in the win. Senior Alyssa Arnold passed out 47 assists, served up a trio of aces, and dug a team-best 22 balls while senior Beth Brankle added 21 scoops on the back line. Megan Sharratt paced Wayland with 17 kills while Mallorie Ellis landed 14 kills and posted 14 digs. Amber Daniel added a dozen kills and 11 digs, Jordan Breding recorded 28 digs, Kellie Kozak three blocks, and Elisabeth Piroli 13 digs and 50 assists. The Golden Eagles returned to action Saturday morning against Oklahoma Panhandle State. Results were not available at presstime.