Kervy Robles, Sports Editor
Oklahoma Baptist Volleyball confronted two matches against Southern Arkansas and University of Arkansas Monticello with different outcomes.
Thursday night, the Lady Bison exhibited its best characteristics to beat SAU in a frenetic match.
“One of the aspects of our game [against SAU] that really stood out was blocking. I think we have the strongest block in the conference which makes our job in the backrow a lot easier to defend most of the time,” sophomore Kynnedy Myers said.
Coach Anna Howle also emphasized some of the strengths of the Lady Bison.
“We did a great game in offensivy serving. We also had an ability to be disciplined and play together as a team,” Howle said.
Despite SAU fighting until the third set 1-1, OBU was able to control its opponent with 13 kills by senior Shekinah Sharpe and another 10 from setter Myers.
Defensively, senior Sierra Veracruz contributed 12 digs while freshman Darby Maclea tallied 10 who also registered five aces throughout the game.
“It is an incredible feeling being able to come in and do some great things for my team as a freshman,” Maclea said.
I am personally trying to stay at the top of the ace leaderboard for the GAC [Great American Conference] and help my team out with more digs.”
Finally, Nicole Fleitman, of an outstanding performance, led the offensive with 17 kills to sentence a victory in the last two sets.
“Coach [Howle] always tells us to work hard, play to our potential and not play down to other team’s level,” Fleitman said. “She personally tells me to pull the ball down and put up a solid block in every game.”
The Lady Bison dominated SAU 3-1 (25-21, 17-25, 25-19, 25-18) and faced University of Arkansas Monticello the next day.
“In the SAU game we passed consistently which kept our side in system so our hitters were able to terminate the ball,” defensive specialist Veracruz said.
“We struggled to find a rhythm in passing which did not allow [Nicole] Fleitman and [Cadyn] Laing to efficiently put the ball away because we were out of system.”
Arkansas- Monticello demonstrated character from the very beginning and took the first set with a 25-20 over the Lady Bison.
OBU set parity with a 25-22 second set, kills from Fleitman and Sharpe sent the match to a feverish third set.
Myers, Maclea and VeraCruz tried to stop Arkansas- Monticello in defense, however the visitors led the third set 25-18.
Middle hitter Cadyn Laing helped the team out with 12 kills and two blocks to win the fourth set 25-22.
The game went to a final fifth set where Arkansas-Monticello overcame 15-9 in the Noble Complex.
An honorable mention came with Myers scoring her second (11 kills and 19 digs) triple- double of the campaign.
“Coach [Howle] makes it so easy for me to want to improve in my game every week. A setter is an extended part of the coaches brain on the court, so my coach is constantly feeding into me and training me so well,” Myers said.
Even though OBU fell against Arkansas- Monticello, the Lady Bison still have great chances to win conference.
“It was so great of Southwestern Oklahoma State University to beat Arkansas Tech for OBU to keep us tied in the top. The match up with [Arkansas] Tech has been intensely promoted for next Friday night in Russellville,” Howle said.
“We are hungry to play this game. Our ultimate goal maintains to win the conference, regionals and bring the nationals championship.”
OBU volleyball posses a 7-2 GAC record and 13-9 overall.
The Lady Bison will compete Arkansas Tech University October 21st at 6 p.m. and Harding University October 22nd at 2 p.m.