Doug Self, Sports Information Director
WEATHER FORD – It took five sets, but SWOSU Volleyball was victorious on Thursday against Oklahoma Baptist by a set count of 3-2. It was the Dawgs second Great American Conference win of the week after their victory over Southeastern on Tuesday.
The Bulldogs chased Oklahoma Baptist the entire opening set, never leading at any point during the frame. Trailing 19-14, the Dawgs rallied to tie at the 23-23 mark after back-to-back DeLayni Fine kills and again at 25-25. The Bison who would answer though, scoring the set’s final two points to take the 1-0 match lead with a 27-25 first-set victory.
In set two, it was SWOSU who controlled the pace. Tied 9-9, the Bulldogs used tough defense at the net with blocks from Allison Russell and again from Kodee Avery and Jenny Tackett to help score four-straight points. After the spurt, SWOSU led the rest of the way with margins as great as five and as few as three. After a long set-point rally, Addie Aman closed the frame out with a hard kill that found open court and the Dawgs took set two 25-20.
Oklahoma Baptist dominated the third set, nearly doubling up SWOSU’s point total with a 25-13 victory. The Bulldogs were only able to string together multiple points three separate times with the largest run only being three points long.
Trailing 2-1 with their backs against the wall, SWOSU responded to hit a match-best .302 and take the fourth set 25-20. Aman and Fine came up huge, combining for 12 of a possible 16 Bulldog kills to help propel SWOSU and force a deciding final set.
Aman and Fine kept that offensive momentum into the start of the fifth, collecting the first four kills for the attack as SWOSU led 7-4 and 10-5 after OBU used up their two timeouts. The Bulldogs had the Bison at match point leading comfortably at 14-9, but three-straight Oklahoma Baptist points made things interesting. Coach Collins called for timeout, proving to settle the team down. Out of the huddle it was Fine who ended the match with a kill after a long rally.
Kaitlyn Dillon was the anchor on defense all night, posting 37 digs in the match for a career high. Aman also set her own career, tying for the team lead in kills with 16 while also picking up three blocks. Fine matched Aman with 16 with kills, while Danusia Sipa Borgeaud was the other double-digit scorer with 11 kills. Kodee Avery assisted on 53 points from her setter spot and Kailen Lancaster, Avery, and Aman all were responsible for two service aces each.
“With this being our 10th five-set match of the season, we’ve gotten pretty used to playing late into matches,” SWOSU Head Coach Josh Collins said following the match. “Oklahoma Baptist is a really, really good team. They have weapons in every position and they’re very well-coached. We played with a ton of heart and executed the game plan and then came out with confidence in the fifth set to get it done. Our practices this week have been phenomenal, we work hard and push each other at every position and I think our preparation really showed tonight.”
The Bulldogs (6-12, 3-2 GAC) are done for the week and will pick up again next Tuesday on the road against Oklahoma City for some non-conference action. Friday, SWOSU returns home to host Southern Arkansas at 6 p.m. in more GAC play and again at home on Saturday at 1 p.m. against Arkansas-Monticello.