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The Shawnee News-Star
  • Lady Bison cruise into tournament

  • Oklahoma Baptist cut through Carroll College like a team on a mission, 3-0, Wednesday to secure a spot in the NAIA Tournament bracket.
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  • Oklahoma Baptist cut through Carroll College like a team on a mission, 3-0, Wednesday to secure a spot in the NAIA Tournament bracket.
     
    The 10th-ranked Lady Bison will complete Pool C action Thursday with a 3:15 p.m. match against third-ranked Columbia College.
     
    “We knew if we played well we could win, but I was pleasantly surprised by how well we did,” said OBU coach Anna Howle. “We were really aggressive and did a lot of smart things. We’re trying to prove we’re one of the top teams.”
     
    Sabra Clark, who was the tournament assist leader through the first day of action, averaged 13 Wednesday, racking up 39.
     
    Kristin Pressley led the team with 14 kills, followed by Skyler Strahm with 13 and Tarah Derden with 11. Clark and Patricia Moura had three aces apiece. OBU had a solid .252 attack percentage.
     
    Defensively, Gabby Samuels led with 23 digs, followed by Carey Strong with 15 and Pressley with 13. OBU had four blocks on the day with Strahm, Derden and Pressley getting one apiece.
     
    The record win total is now up to 34 matches this season.
    OBU scored 16 of the first 20 points in the opening set as Derden and Pressley had three kills and Clark three aces each to set an impressive tone. Carroll got no closer than 10 from there.
     
    The second set looked like a complete Carroll turnaround as the Saints took a quick 5-1 lead and had a 15-9 edge at one point. Then Howle called for a timeout
    “We talked about adjustments,” Howle said. “They had adjusted to what we were doing and we needed to adjust to their adjustments. They moved the defense back and we talked about how we needed to hit against that.”
     
    An 11-1 Bison rally followed the timeout and included four kills by Strahm, two kills apiece by Clark and Pressley and an ace by Moura. It gave OBU a 20-16 lead.
     
    “Patricia’s aggressive serving really helped us set some things up,” Howle said.
     
    Carroll cut the lead down to 20-18, but OBU finished on a 5-1 run, including three Pressley kills.
     
    The third set was a continuation of the Lady Bison momentum as OBU scored the first four points and built a 9-2 advantage with Moura producing three kills.
     
    CC got no closer than five points from there and the Lady Bison took the final six points to end with the biggest lead of the set.
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    While both OBU and Columbia will be moving to the bracket play on Friday, Thursday’s game is no time to relax. The top four remaining teams in the tournament, as selected by the tournament committee, get first round byes while the remaining eight battle for a spot in the quarterfinals. “We think we’re a tough matchup for Columbia, but if we don’t get the bye I think we’re tough enough to work through the extra game,” Howle said.
     
    Note: Report provided by Ray Fink, OBU sports information director.
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