From ORU Sports Information
TULSA, Okla. – Head Coach Sheera Sirola earned her 175th career victory as the Golden Eagles topped Southeastern Louisiana on Thursday night, 3-1. The Golden Eagles (5-9, 1-2 Southland Conference) won by scores of 25-20, 28-30, 25-13 and 25-17.
Sirola was already the all-time wins leader in ORU and Summit League history and with Thursday’s win she became the first coach in ORU history to top the 175-win plateau. The victory was also her 100th against conference opponents, with the first 99 coming during ORU’s Summit League tenure.
Senior Sheina Fernandes starred in the milestone victory, collecting 16 kills at a .483 hitting percentage. She added nine blocks, a career best, including three solo efforts. Defensively, Bruna Silva notched a season high with 32 digs.
The Golden Eagles hit .283 for the match, including a .500 hitting percentage in the third set and a .429 clip in the fourth. ORU committed just two attack errors in the match’s final two sets.
SLU (5-6, 1-2 SLC) hit just .129 on the evening. The Lady Lions were led by 13 kills from Courtney Donald, while libero Megan McMillin added 19 digs.
Down 15-14 in the opening set, ORU took control with a five-point rally, headlined by a Jessica Pancratz kill and a Joana Gruber service ace. ORU took five of the set’s final seven points, capped by a Fernandes rocket, to win the opening period by a 25-20 count.
The second set was the longest of the night, with both clubs squandering multiple set points. SLU fought off two Golden Eagle set points with kills by Donald and Tamra Grayson, and ORU shut down three of the visitors’ set points with two kills from Pancratz and another by Rosa. But errors on the final two points doomed the Golden Eagles, and they fell, 30-28.
Sirola’s team busted the third set open thanks to a 7-0 run with Silva serving. Rosa and Kylie Johnson each blasted two kills over the run and Silva added an ace to stretch the cushion to 18-8. ORU won five of the final six points, with a Tatum Fredeen kill serving as the clincher, to win the set by a score of 25-13.
Johnson tallied two points as part of an early 6-0 to spot the Golden Eagles with a 6-3 lead in set four. A 5-0 stretch midway through the period, highlighted by a kill and an ace by Laura Taylor, made the score 14-7, and ORU was never again challenged on their way to victory. Another Fredeen kill ended the match with ORU taking the final set, 25-17.
The win snaps ORU’s seven match losing streak, dating back to September 1.
Standout performances abounded on Sirola’s milestone night. Rosa tallied 11 kills, while Fredeen and Johnson collected nine each. The freshman nearly tallied her first career double-double, and she also added nine digs.
Taylor’s 52 set assists matched a season-high, and she too came close to a double-double by adding nine assists. In her first match of the season, Sthephanie Mab returned from injury to contribute nine digs, including several crucial plays in the final set.
ORU continues their SLC home stretch on Saturday, when they host Nicholls State at 3 pm CT.
For more information on ORU Athletics, visit www.ORUGoldenEagles.com.
Rob Walden is the Assistant Director of Media Relations at Oral Roberts University.