From ORU Sports Information
DENTON, Texas – Oral Roberts University dropped their fourth consecutive match on Friday night, a 3-1 loss to Hofstra as part of the Mean Green Invitational. Sheina Fernandes paced the Golden Eagles with 17 kills in the defeat.
The Pride took the four-setter by scores of 25-22, 15-25, 25-21 and 25-23.
Fernandes was on fire Friday night, but the rest of the ORU offense sputtered as the team hit just .150 collectively. Bruna Silva added a team-high 13 digs.
Kelsie Willis, the reigning AVCA National Player of the Week, paced the Pride (9-2) with 15 kills, while Nikki Kinnier added 14.
The first set was remarkably well-played, with both clubs hitting over .350. The Pride roared out to a 3-0 lead on kills by Kinnier and Willis, and then stretched the lead to 19-11 on a four-point rally. The Golden Eagles charged back down the stretch, scoring seven of the set’s final ten points. But Hofstra managed to close out ORU with another Willis kill to win the set, 25-22.
The Golden Eagles dominated set two after a pair of Silva service aces helped the team to a 6-0 lead. Fernandes struck with a kill to start a 4-0 run, pushing the lead to 10-1, and a Kylie Johnson service ace made the score 20-5. Hofstra’s late rally barely put a dent in the ORU lead, with Fernandes polishing the Pride off with a kill to end the period at 25-15.
A 7-2 run early in the third set, capped by a Laura Taylor ace, gave ORU an early 12-7 bulge. But the Pride would wrestle control away from Sheera Sirola’s team by answering with a 13-1 run, ending with a Kinnier kill, to take a 20-13 lead. ORU used four Hofstra errors to fight back with a late five-point run, but it was too little, too late as Hofstra won the set, 25-21.
ORU committed attack errors on the first three points of the fourth set, but the Golden Eagled soared ahead by taking 10 of the next 11 points, including another pair of Silva aces, to take a 10-4 lead. The advantage grew to 14-7 on a Fernandes ace, but that was the high watermark for Sirola’s club.
Hofstra ended the set and clinched the match by taking 11 of the period’s final 15 points. The crushing blows came late, as Willis punctuated the victory with two late kills as the Pride took the match’s final four rallies, clinching the victory with a 25-23 triumph.
Silva matched a career high with four service aces as the Golden Eagles posted 10 as a team. But ORU was doomed to defeat after hitting just -.042 in the third set and -.031 in the fourth.
The Golden Eagles will look to rebound on Saturday when the face Eastern Michigan. First serve is scheduled for 1 pm CT.
For more information on ORU Athletics, visit www.ORUGoldenEagles.com.
Rob Walden is the Assistant Director for Media Relations at Oral Roberts University.