BEAUMONT, Texas – The Oral Roberts volleyball team held off ULM in the opening match of 2021 (25-16, 26-28, 25-15, 20-25, 15-13) before picking up another win against host Lamar (25-15, 25-19, 16-25, 25-22) for a perfect start Friday from McDonald Gym in the Katrinka Crawford Invitational.
The Golden Eagles scored the first point of the season and rode that to a 7-2 advantage behind a strong serving run from Jeslyn Spencer and back-to-back kills by freshman Trinity Freeman in her ORU debut. The lead stretched into double digits, 15-5, as the attack continued before the gold and blue closed the frame, 25-16. ULM turned an early five-point deficit into an eight-point cushion in the second set and evened the match, 28-26, despite two set points for ORU.
It was an all-around effort for the Golden Eagles in the third stanza posting a .370 hitting percentage with 11 kills and one error, while the defense forced ULM into a negative attack, to comfortably claim the set, 25-15. ORU pushed to a 12-4 lead and never looked back capping the set on a solo block by Jaxie Wakley. The Warhawks opened the fourth set with a 7-2 burst and the Golden Eagles fought to keep the score close, but could not recover as the action went to ULM, 25-20.
In the fifth set, the Warhawks carried the momentum and jumped in front, 5-1, before ORU chipped away and evened the score, 7-7, on a kill by setter Bryanne Soares. After falling behind by two, the Golden Eagles again rallied on back-to-back points by Spencer and Kaia Dunford and sprinted to the finish on a 7-3 run to close the season-opening victory, 15-13.
After an extended layoff for the afternoon, ORU picked up where it left off and controlled the opening set against the host Cardinals in the night cap jumping to a 12-7 edge thanks to a 9-3 run. Consecutive service aces from Spencer gave the Golden Eagles a 21-11 margin and the visitors closed the set, 25-15. The offense continued to impress in the second set as Wakley and Dunford tallied kills for an 8-3 advantage. The lead stayed with ORU despite Lamar pulling within three, 15-12, and the final three points of the set went to the Golden Eagles for a 25-19 set win.
A late 7-0 run from the Cardinals turned a one-point contest into a 23-15 lead and kept the match going with a 25-16 win in set three. Lamar extended the push in the fourth set claiming five of the first six points, including one on an overturned call via a challenge and ORU used that as motivation scoring the next five points for a 6-5 lead. The teams traded points in the middle of the set before the Golden Eagles tallied a block and kill for a two-point cushion, 18-16, and fought to put away the match, 25-22.
Inside the Match One Box Score
Inside the Match Two Box Score
The Golden Eagles close the weekend facing Prairie View A&M Saturday morning at 10 a.m.