Golden Eagles dropped in five sets by Fighting Hawks

ORU Athletics
Scott Slarks

TULSA – For the second-straight night, it took five sets to decide the outcome as the Oral Roberts volleyball team came up short against North Dakota (16-25, 25-18, 25-13, 20-25, 10-15) Monday night at the Cooper Aerobics Center.

The Golden Eagles trailed 7-2 early with two service errors and two reception errors before coming back to even the first set as Sarah Thiessen served up a 5-0 run. UND took control scoring six of the next seven points and pushed the lead to 16-10 forcing an ORU timeout and continued to press taking the opening frame, 25-16.

The visitors began set two with a 4-1 burst and held a 7-4 advantage before Sakira LaCour and Sylvia Lawson combined for a block that started a run helping ORU even the frame, 8-8. After falling behind 10-9, the Golden Eagles found their rhythm and tallied a 12-1 run on the serving of Aixa Vigil pushing to a 21-11 advantage highlighted by three-straight kills from Jeslyn Spencer. ORU held off a late rally by the Fighting Hawks to close the frame, 25-18.

An 8-0 run by the home side erased a 3-1 deficit early in the third stanza and the Golden Eagles hit an incredible .400 in the third set recording 13 kills to just one error. ORU scored five of the final six points for a decisive 25-13 set win jumping to a 2-1 lead in the match.

The closest set of the night came in the fourth as ORU built a 4-1 margin on three-consecutive attacking errors by UND. The Fighting Hawks tallied the next five points and pushed their lead to 17-10 before the Golden Eagles started chipping away late using a 4-0 run to make it 20-17, but could not get closer dropping the frame, 25-20.

After UND opened a 3-1 lead in the fifth set, ORU got two kills from Vigil and a block from Vigil and Jaxie Wakley during a 4-0 run to lead 5-3. It was the visitors that bounced back and registered five of the next seven points moving ahead, 8-7, until a Kaia Dunford kill evened the set at 8. The Fighting Hawks controlled the final points breaking the deadlock and closed the match on a 7-2 run to win, 15-10.

Vigil completed her second double-double performance in as many nights registering career highs with 21 kills and 23 digs. She is the first player with 20 or more kills and digs in the same match since Laura Milos had a 32-kill, 25-dig effort against Stephen F. Austin Sept. 9, 2016.

Spencer put together a 14-kill, 16-dig double-double totaling a career high in both categories for her first collegiate double-double.

Lawson led the ORU offense distributing the ball to a season-high 35 set assists finishing off her 14th-career double-double and added five kills.

The Golden Eagles hit the road for their next Summit League series heading to Macomb, Illinois, for two matches against Western Illinois Feb. 7-8.