Oral Roberts volleyball team won the first two sets of Saturday's match against Central Arkansas, but were able to hold the lead, falling to UCA, 3-2 (20-25, 30-32, 25-17, 25-18, 15-12).
Freshman Sadie Schaffner paced the Golden Eagles with a career-high 19 kills in the loss, while Joana Gruber added 13 kills and Sheina Fernandes tallied 12. The Golden Eagles hit .247 in defeat.
Five UCA players tallied double-digit kills in the match, with Alicia Dittrich tallying a team-high 16 on just 28 attempts. Jessica Hays added 15 kills and five service aces, while Shelbee Berringer led all players with 26 digs.
ORU took control of the opening set with a crucial 4-0 run, capped a Gruber and Fernandes block, to grab a 15-12 lead. A Schaffner kill put ORU at set point, and a UCA error gave the Golden Eagles a 25-20 win.
The second set was extremely tight before reaching overtime. UCA had the first two set points, but Schaffner and Shelby Robb turned the home team away with kills. ORU had a set point at 26-25, but a Hays kill tied it back up, then Brooks and Jessica Nagy killed off ORU's next two set point opportunities.
After a Gruber kill ended a UCA set point, ORU took control, scoring consecutive points on a Laura Taylor kill and a UCA error to win, 32-30.
The Sugar Bears built an early 7-2 lead in the third set and never looked back. A Nagy kill gave the home team a 10-point lead, at 18-8, and a Dittrich kill ended the set with UCA winning, 25-17.
Sheera Sirola's team led the fourth set, 14-13, before UCA rattled off five straight points to take an 18-14 lead. Hays clinched the set at 25-18 with a kill on the final point.
A rare kill by Bruna Silva staked ORU to an 8-6 lead in the deciding set, but UCA would rally. ORU tied it up at 10-all on a Schaffner kill before the home side scored the next three points. The Golden Eagles fought off the first match point before one final kill by Hays gave UCA a 15-12 win.
The blocking effort was once again a highlight of ORU's night, with the Golden Eagles tallying a season-high 18. Fernandes and Jessica Pancratz tallied eight total blocks each, while Gruber and Schaffner each had seven.
Silva led the Golden Eagles with 22 digs, and freshman Kylie Johnson chipped in 17. Gruber polished off her second straight double-double with 11 digs.
ORU's road trip continues on Thursday, October 18, when they face Southeastern Louisiana. First serve in Hammond, La., is scheduled for 7 pm.