KEARNEY, Neb. – Oklahoma Baptist closed out the Loper Pre-Season Invite with a split on Saturday. The Bison first pushed No.11-ranked Nebraska-Kearney to five sets, 3-2 (25-19, 25-17, 7-25, 14-25, 13-15), before earning their second four-set win of the weekend against Findlay, 3-1 (25-15, 25-22, 22-25, 25-18).
“We played so tough,” exclaimed OBU head coach Anna Howle. “They made some huge adjustments in the third and fourth sets, but we battled back. I told the girls we proved that we can be that team, now. But now we need to take away the ‘can’ and be the great team we know we can be.”
Nebraska-Kearney 3, Oklahoma Baptist 2
A strong opening saw the Bison take a 2-0 lead on No. 11-ranked Nebraska-Kearney. The Bison paired an efficient offense that recorded 31 kills at a .329 clip over the two frames with a stifling defense that held the Lopers to just 21 kills and a .084 hitting percentage.
Unfortunately for OBU, the offense ran cold in the third frame before UNK managed to tie the match up in the fourth. Battling down the stretch in the pivotal fifth set, OBU scored three-straight points, including a pair of kills from Malia Leatherland, after the turn to make it 11-9. Hayley Daniel laid down a kill off the dish from Kelsi Chavez to make it 13-all after another Lopers rally, but UNK would go on to score the final two points to escape OBU.
Oklahoma Baptist 3, Findlay 1
Just like in the first match of the day, the Bison started hot and raced out to a 2-0 lead on Findlay. Though OBU did get narrowly edged out in the third set, the Bison rallied back to put away the Oilers in the fourth.
The Bison picked up a quick 4-1 lead off kills from Taneyah Brown and Leatherland. Findlay responded with a three-point run of their own, though kills by Brecken Roquemore and Daniel gave OBU another cushion, 9-6, early on. The lead would grow as big as 17-11 following a kill from Leatherland off a Rylen Moore assist, and a kill by Daniel sealed the set, and match, soon after.
Oklahoma Baptist, now 2-2, will head to Edmond on Wednesday, Sept. 11 for a 7 p.m. tilt against Central Oklahoma.