Strong defensive effort propels No. 18 OBU volleyball team

Oklahoma Baptist Athletics
Shawnee News-Star, USA TODAY NETWORK
Oklahoma Baptist's Avery Helmuth (14) and Taryn Weber (5) await a serve during the Bison's volleyball match against Northwestern Oklahoma State last Friday.

ALVA, Okla. – Taneyah Brown had 13 kills and a half-dozen block assists as the No. 18 Oklahoma Baptist volleyball team won 3-0 at Northwestern Oklahoma State on Friday night in Great American Conference play.

The Bison improved to 8-2 overall and 2-1 in the GAC.

  Along with Brown, Audrey Poupard had a big say in the win as she tallied six block assists and two solo blocks. Offensively, Malia Leatherland and Taryn Weber combined for 17 kills while middle blocker Avery Hellmuth contributed six kills and two block assists. Setter Kaylee Buell also handed out 37 assists, a match best.

  OBU was more than solid on the defensive end, totaling a season-high 18.0 blocks. Friday night’s effort also included holding the hosts to a .081 attack percentage, its third lowest this fall.

  Trailing 12-9 in the first, the green and gold scored four straight which included a trio of kills from Brown, Weber and Hellmuth. Following that mini spurt, the score went back and forth until the end. Up one, 18-17, Poupard blocked a pair of Rangers attacks in the next couple sequences to push the Bison lead to 21-17. By the end, OBU won 25-19 on a Weber kill.

  Second-set competition went heavily in the Bison’s favor. There was a 6-2 start for OBU before the Rangers closed the gap to 8-7 after a Courtney Russell kill. After that point, though, Leatherland keyed a 6-1 run with three kills to boost the visitor’s lead to 14-8. NWOSU never recovered from there as the Bison extended their lead to as many as eight points (21-13).

  In the final set, OBU had another strong start. It was 10-4 as Buell, Poupard, Brown and Hellmuth all tallied points. The last of those came on an ace from Hellmuth to push the advantage to six. Northwestern Oklahoma fought to bring the deficit to three points on a couple of occasions, however, the Bison never relinquished. At the end, Brown’s 13th kill moved the scoreboard to 25-21.

  Up next for the Bison is another road date on Tuesday at Southern Nazarene. Match time is 7 p.m.