The Oral Roberts volleyball team powered past Nicholls State on Saturday, 3-1 (-18, -18, 14-25, -13), to secure their second straight victory. The win moves ORU (10-12, 6-5 Southland Conference) over .500 in SLC play for the first time this season.
A mix of youth and experience led the Golden Eagles on Saturday, as freshman Sadie Schaffner and senior Sheina Fernandes tallied 11 kills each to lead ORU. Senior Shelby Robb played the best game of her career in the win, tallying a personal-best seven kills at a .412 clip.
Bruna Silva had 20 digs to lead the defensive charge, while Laura Taylor collected her sixth double-double of the season with 14 digs and 36 assists.
As a team, ORU tallied 49 kills and hit .192, while Nicholls had 41 kills and hit .127.
The Colonels were led by Jessica Addicks and Jennifer Brandt with 11 kills each, while Nancy Taylor had a team-best 17 digs.
ORU spotted the home team a 3-0 lead in the opening set but came back to take a 5-4 lead on back-to-back Nicholls errors. A combined block by Jessica Pancratz and Joana Gruber made the lead 15-10, and ORU went on to win the set by a 25-18 count.
The road team dominated the second set right away, taking an 11-5 lead on a Fernandes kill. Later, another Fernandes blast capped a 4-0 run that stretched the lead to 15-7. Schaffner clinched the set with a kill of her own, giving ORU a 25-18 win.
Nicholls experienced their only success in the third set, using a 6-0 run to take a 16-7 lead. ORU never rallied, and a kill from Addicks gave the Colonels a 25-14 win.
The loss was an inconsequential setback for Sheera Sirola's team, as they dominated the fourth set. A Kylie Johnson kill capped a five-point run to give ORU an 8-3 lead, but the Colonels managed to stay within striking distance until late in the set. That's when a Robb kill jumpstarted a match-closing 9-1 run, leading to a 25-13 ORU win. ORU hit .394 in the final set.
Pancratz led ORU with seven block assists, while Johnson matched a career high with three service aces.
ORU heads home this week to play three home contests in a five-day stretch. The home series kicks off on Tuesday, October 23 with a return trip from Central Arkansas. Match time is booked for 7 pm CT at the Kenneth H. Cooper Aerobics Center.