A return home was the spark Oral Roberts University needed, as the Golden Eagles swept Lamar, 3-0 (-18, 28-26, -20), on Thursday night. ORU (7-11, 3-4 Southland Conference) has now won three straight home matches.
Joana Gruber led a balanced ORU attack with 10 kills, but five of her teammates tallied at least six kills on the night. Jessica Pancratz added eight, Sadie Schaffner tallied seven, and Laura Taylor, Kylie Johnson and Sheina Fernandes collected six each as ORU hit .286 on the night.
Taylor led the Golden Eagles with 32 set assists, while Pancratz tallied two solo blocks and five blocks total.
Defensively, Bruna Silva led ORU with 12 digs, and Johnson chipped in nine.
Lamar (9-11, 2-5 SLC) hit just .158 on the evening. Christina Hobbs led all players with 11 kills, while Megan Schwartz tallied a match-high 14 digs.
Sheera Sirola's team took control of the opening set with a 9-1 run midway through the period. Pancratz tallied the opening kill of the spurt and Gruber added a pair to stake ORU to a 14-9 lead. It was the senior who added the final point with another kill on the final point to give ORU a 25-18 victory.
The Golden Eagles built a huge second set lead and nearly saw it slip away. ORU led, 23-16, after a Fernandes service ace capped a 5-0 run. But Lamar scored seven straight points to take a 25-24 lead. A Pancratz kill fought off a Lamar set point, and ORU dodged another bullet when a service error by Lamar's Hobbs evened the score at 26-all. ORU seized the opportunity and powered through the next two points, with a Silva service ace giving ORU a 28-26 win.
An 8-0 run early in the third set helped ORU build a 19-7 lead before Lamar again tried to rally. The Cardinals scored 11 of the next 13 points to slice the deficit to 21-17 before Pancratz took control. The junior smashed kills on two of the match's final five points, ensuring an ORU victory by way of a 25-20 final set triumph.
Pancratz was one of several Golden Eagles to turn in an efficient night of attacking. The middle blocker committed just one attack error in 14 attempts and hit .500 on the night, while Fernandes played error-free volleyball on 13 attempts and hit .462. Taylor also committed just a single attack error on 12 attempts and hit .417, while Gruber's ten kills came on a spectacular .362 attack percentage.
The Golden Eagles stay home over the weekend and welcome McNeese State to the Aerobics Center on Saturday afternoon. Match time is set for 3 pm CT.