Mike Kirk, Part-Time Assistant for Media Relations
EDMOND – A pair of freshmen picked up the scoring load in the absence of Central Oklahoma’s top hitter to lead the No. 9-ranked Bronchos past Pittsburg State Tuesday night at Hamilton Field House.
Haley Deschenes and Allie Davis combined for 24 kills as UCO prevailed 26-24, 25-13, 25-18 for its 13th consecutive win, including the seventh straight sweep. The Bronchos, who extended their home winning streak to 21, improved to 16-1 on the year and 3-0 in Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association play.
UCO played without junior All-American Taylor Bevis, but the Bronchos didn’t miss a beat behind the clutch performances of the two rookies. Deschenes hit .355 with 14 kills and three errors in 31 attacks, while Davis hit .318 with 10 kills and three miscues in 22 attempts.
“It was a good win for us without Taylor,” head coach Edgar Miraku said. “We had to have some other players step up and that’s what happened. Haley and Allie both played well and I was proud of the way the team responded.”
Bevis, who leads the MIAA and ranks fourth nationally in kills per set (5.05), is not expected to play this weekend when UCO hosts Fort Hays State and No. 5-ranked Nebraska-Kearney.
The Bronchos had to fend off the pesky Gorillas in the first set before finally securing that win and then rolled in the final two sets.
UCO looked in control in the opening set after taking a 17-12 lead, but the Gorillas rallied to tie it at 23-all. Deschenes knocked down her seventh kill of the set to make it 24-23 before a service error tied it again.
PSU had a service error of its own to give the Bronchos back the lead and the set ended when Jordan Spence and Ericka Scholl teamed up for a block.
UCO jumped on top early in the second set and led 19-5 at one time before coasting in. Deschenes had two kills and Callie Bangasser a service ace during a 6-0 run that put the Bronchos in control early in the third set.
Spence and Malia Kaaiohelo added six kills apiece for UCO. Setter McKenzie Fyfe handed out 30 assists and Bangasser had a match-high 13 digs.