Stars end Golden Eagles’ season
OKLAHOMA CITY — Hoping to keep its season alive and a chance to play for a berth into the NAIA National Championships, the John Brown University volleyball team fell short in a defensive struggle, falling 3-0 (25-14, 25-21, 25-10) against host Oklahoma City in the Sooner Athletic Conference Tournament semifinals on Friday night inside Abe Lemons Arena.
Oklahoma City (22-6) hit just .136 (37-22-110) while the Golden Eagles (26-7) hit an even .000 (2323-114) as 23 hitting errors and 13 City blocks kept the JBU offense from taking a set. After besting the Stars at Bill George Arena in the regular season, John Brown fell in consecutive matches, both sweeps, at Abe Lemons Arena.
In Friday’s setback, a trio of Golden Eagles led the attack with five kills each in sophomore Jessica Meyer, junior Bayli Reagan and sophomore Lindsey Davis. Sophomore Carly McKinney was limited to three kills on 23 attacks.
JBU battled through seven costly ball handling errors.
Seniors Alyssa Arnold and Beth Brankle made their last collegiate appearance, with Arnold passing out 16 assists on 23 JBU kills while Brankle held the Golden Eagle back line with a team-best 11 scoops.
City’s Marijana Bjelobrk was the match’s only double-digit attacker with 11 kills (.346) while Stefani Nell added nine terminations and 18 digs.
The Golden Eagles close the season with its highest win total in over a decade.
JBU 3, Wayland Baptist 1
The fourth-seeded John Brown University volleyball team erased late deficits in the first and fourth sets and used timely runs to defeat fifth-seeded Wayland Baptist (Texas) 3-1 in the Sooner Athletic Conference tournament quarterfinals on Tuesday night inside Bill George Arena.
The Golden Eagles finished a perfect 8-0 in Bill George Arena and with the 26-24, 25-19, 2527, 25-23 win over the Pioneers (17-12).
Seven blocks and 76 digs frustrated the WBU offense at times as the visitors hit just .190 (54-23-163) causing 23 attacking errors. The Pioneers would adjust however, as Mallorie Ellis and Megan Sharratt broke open for 17 kills apiece as Ellis completed the double-double with 12 digs.
The Golden Eagles had a response, however, as sophomore Jessica Meyer hit .556 (16-1-27), launching 16 kills and adding three blocks in the four-set victory. Joining Meyer was sophomore Carly McKinney, who captured her 14th double-double of the season, registering 16 kills of her own to accompany 13 digs and a pair of blocks.
Junior Bayli Reagan found double-digit terminations (11) and served four aces, powering JBU to 10 on the evening. Sophomore Lindsey Davis contributed nine kills and a block.
Senior Alyssa Arnold kept the JBU offense churning at a .267 clip (63-19-165) with 52 assists. Senior Beth Brankle added a team-best 19 digs as five Golden Eagles recorded double-digit scoops.