Oral Roberts University fought hard but could not overcome Central Arkansas on Saturday as the Bears left the Kenneth H. Cooper Aerobics Center with a 3-1 victory. The loss drops ORU to 19-6 (11-4 Southland Conference).
Central Arkansas (23-3, 15-0 Southland Conference) took the match by scores of 25-18, 18-25, 25-17 and 25-22.
Sara Pope led the Golden Eagles with 11 kills, but ORU hit just .122 as a team. The Golden Eagle defensive effort was led by Bruna Silva, who tallied 18 digs, while Kylie Johnson notched 11.
The one area where ORU did excel was at the net, where they tallied 12 blocks. Jessica Pancratz paced the team with six individual efforts.
Central Arkansas was led by Heather Schnars, who racked up 17 kills. All-SLC setter Marissa Collins came away with 48 assists and helped the Bears hit .236.
Collins was on serve as UCA rattled off five straight points to take control of the 1st set, and a service ace gave the visitors a 12-7 lead. ORU never seriously threatened after that point, and a Paige Gantar kill gave the Bears a 25-18 win.
Oral Roberts did dominate the 2nd set after scoring five of the first six points. A block by Pancratz and McKenna Qualls stretched the edge to 15-11, and a red card shown to the UCA bench made the score 21-13. The Golden Eagles coasted to a 25-18 win.
But UCA used four straight Golden Eagle attack errors to build 5-1 lead in the 3rd set, and ORU's momentum was short-lived. Another ORU error helped the visitors double the Golden Eagles up, 16-8, and the margin remained comfortable throughout. A solo block by Jessica Nagy gave UCA a 25-17 win.
ORU led the early stages of the 4th set before Central Arkansas scored five straight, capped by a Schnars kill, to take a 13-9 lead. The Golden Eagles forced seven different ties late in the set, with the last one coming at 19-all on a Jovana Poljasevic kill, but they never could take the lead. UCA was able to stave off the ORU rally, taking a clinching 25-22 victory on a Nagy kill.
Central Arkansas has now won three straight meetings with ORU.
ORU now has just two days off before traveling to Nacogdoches, Texas, for a matchup with Stephen F. Austin that starts the final week of the regular season. First serve on Tuesday is booked for 7 pm CT.