MONTICELLO, Ark. – Paced by Malia Leatherland’s 13 kills, Oklahoma Baptist delivered a gritty performance before its offense proved too much to handle for Arkansas-Monticello.
The 3-0 straight-set win sent the Bison home with a perfect mark in the Natural State during the regular season.
With her first attack of the match, Leatherland became the fifth Bison to reach 1,000 career kills. The junior from Broken Arrow required 3,059 career attack attempts in 327 sets to reach the milestone. She joins Nicole Fleitman as the only Bison to accomplish the feat in OBU’s Division II era.
A tightly-contested first frame set the tone for Saturday’s contest. Battling late into the set, Malia Leatherland pushed OBU to set point up 26-25. Spotting an opening, Rylen Moore dumped it over the net to claim a 1-0 lead in the match.
The Bison and Blossoms again found themselves in a slugfest in the second set. After a slow start that saw OBU trailing 8-0 to start the set, a pair of kills by Taneyah Brown got the Bison offense going. Leatherland edged OBU in front, 17-16, and Daniel brought the frame to set point up 25-24. Though UAM forced the set into extra points yet again, a kill by Rachel Richie and block by Daniel and Brecken Roquemore put OBU up 2-0 on the hosts.
After fighting through two sets, Oklahoma Baptist’s offense rolled in the third set to a dominating 25-9 win to complete the sweep. The Bison hit .400 in the final frame, racking up 14 kills against just two errors while forcing five attacking errors by UAM.
The Bison (19-4 overall, 8-1 Great American Conference ) will celebrate homecoming next week, kicking off the weekend with a 6 p.m. matchup against Harding on Friday, Oct. 25 from inside Mabee Arena at the Noble Complex.