Oklahoma Baptist was successful for the first time at the NAIA Volleyball Championship Tuesday, holding off Madonna University, 3-1, in Pool C action.
Tenth-ranked OBU won the first two sets 25-23, 25-18, before falling 25-22 in the third set and holding on for a 26-24 match-clinching third set. Madonna, now 34-8, is ranked 15th in the NAIA. The teams met on a neutral court earlier in the season with the Lady Bison eking out a 3-2 win.
“Madonna is a very good team and they played us tough,” said Lady Bison coach Anna Howle. “Sometimes you can make a few plays and get yourself going and they made some really good plays, but we answered. Today was about who makes adjustments quickest and we made adjustments.”
Kristin Pressley led the Lady Bison with 19 kills and 29 digs, but the All-American was well-complemented.
Patricia Moura had 11 kills, Tarah Derden added 10 and Carey Strong, Sabra Clark and Skyler Strahm added eight apiece.
Clark had 50 assists and Pressley had two assists.
“That was something we focused on during that long break — getting some of our other hitters going,” Howle said. “I thought Carey played really well and Patricia played really well throughout the whole match.
“Sabra was really aggressive against them last time we played and it worked out well. She played a smart game today.”
On the defensive side, OBU got 29 digs from Pressley, 18 from Samuels, 16 apiece by Strong and Kaitlyn Lucy and 13 by Clark. Strahm led with three blocks while Pressley and Derden had 2.5 each.
“Our goal defensively is to be better than everybody else,” said Howle. “Kristin did a good job leading us. Kaityln Lucy played great today and we really needed that from her. Gabby played well, too.”
The win further expanded OBU’s record for single-season wins to 33 matches and the Lady Bison are now 33-4. OBU plays Carroll College at 3:15 p.m. Wednesday. An OBU victory, combined with a Columbia College win over Madonna, would put OBU into the bracket before Pool C concludes Thursday.
Third-ranked Columbia beat Carroll in three sets Tuesday.
“Carroll is a lot like Madonna, but they have a few different looks,” said Howle. “It will be another defensive battle.”
Note: Report provided by Ray Fink, OBU sports information director.