From OBU Sports Information

SIOUX CITY, Iowa – Oklahoma Baptist completed its best volleyball season ever with a 3-1 loss to second-ranked Texas-Brownsville in the NAIA National quarterfinals Friday.

The Lady Bison came up short, 29-27, 25-27, 25-14, 25-18. OBU finished with a school-record 35 wins and reached the NAIA Tournament final site for the first time.  OBU won three matches at the tournament and a school-record five postseason contests.

“We could have beaten Texas-Brownsville tonight. We had them on the ropes in that first set but sometimes things don’t go your way,” said Lady Bison Coach Anna Howle.

Kristin Pressley had 15 kills to lead the Lady Bison, followed by Patricia Moura with 12 and Skyler Strahm with 10. Sabra Clark had 45 assists and Tarah Derden had three aces.

OBU got 24 digs from Pressley, 17 from Carey Strong and 14 from Gabby Samuels. Strahm had three blocks and Moura added 2.5.

The Lady Bison lost a heartbreaker in the first set, taking a 24-21 lead but failing to close it out. UTB fended off four set points before taking the 29-27 win.

OBU had a 24-19 lead in the second set, but the Scorpions bounced back and took a 25-24 lead before a kill by Moura and two UTB attack errors gave the Lady Bison their only set of the match.

The Lady Bison had only small and brief leads in the last two sets.

A group of seniors leaving a high standard for future Lady Bison include Clark, Strahm, Derden, Samuels and Tori Orms – all on the floor for the final set.

“I’m very proud of them,” Howle said. “I told them their work here for four years was demonstrated and respected here. This program requires a lot of heart and soul. I want the best for them, but I push them to the limit to get it. And they gave it every step of the way. They accomplished so much here and gained a lot of respect.”

Ray Fink is the Sports Information Director at Oklahoma Baptist University.