August 24, 2019
HUTCHINSON, Kan. – After dropping its first two matches of the season, the John Brown University volleyball squad, behind a pair of wins over Oklahoma Wesleyan and Sterling (Kan.) on Saturday (Aug. 24), is now riding a six-match winning streak after picking up another pair of sweeps inside the Hutchinson Sports Arena.
“I am so very proud of the performance of our players this weekend,” head coach Ken Carver said. “Coming off our performance in California, our team looked good in almost every facet of the game save one and that was our offensive consistency. In preparation for this weekend’s tournament we spent a lot of time focusing on improving our output and cutting down on the number of unforced errors.
“The two other things we spent a good deal of time on was on improving our blocking technique and embracing and enjoying pressure situations. This weekend we got to put all of those things we practiced to the test and our team passed with flying colors. Going 4-0 on the weekend and not dropping a set was a phenomenal performance by our team. We faced adversity at several points in overcoming deficits and closing out sets that were really close.”
Having to play in back-to-back matches, the Golden Eagles (6-2) limited the amount of work needed on the courts by taking care of Oklahoma Wesleyan in straight sets, 25-19, 25-11, 25-13.
The blocking effort by the John Brown front row kept OKWU (1-3) at bay all afternoon as the Golden Eagles posted a season high 15 team blocks, led by senior Jessica Schultz’s six block-assists and junior Taylor Glover’s pair of solo rejections. The effort resulted in Wesleyan hitting a -.104 (23-34-106) on the match – a season-best effort for JBU.
Senior Carly McKinney led the way with 10 terminations, adding four blocks and an ace to her stat line. Schultz added eight kills as the duo combined for over half of the John Brown kill effort as the Blue and Gold hit .207 (28-10-87) on the match.
JBU then had to turn around and immediately face Sterling (Kan.) in its last match of the two-day KCAC Fall Fling. This time, it was senior Kinzee Mayo that shouldered the majority of the attack as she posted a career-high 12 kills, hitting .391 (12-3-23) on the match. McKinney barely missed out on the double-double, adding nine terminations and 12 scoops. Schultz finished with an efficient eight kills on 13 attacks to hit .615 in the late match.
Sophomore Carrie Ciesla and freshman Lauren Cloud passed out a combined 31 helpers on John Brown’s 44 kills, with Ciesla finishing with 18, Cloud with 13. Cloud would also add a pair of aces to led the squad after eight games with 13 aces.
Sophomore Jenna Lowery scooped up a game-high 19 digs.
The Warriors (1-3) couldn’t get the offense going, despite taking a 6-0 lead in the first set, and finished the match hitting .088 (28-18-114).
“To have a team attack over .200 for the weekend while limiting our opponents to an attack of .022 speaks to our players’ ability to execute at a high level on both the offensive and defensive fronts of the game,” added Carver. “Our setters did a great job of running a balanced offense and our hitters did a much better job of taking care of the ball and making smart shots. The results we had this weekend demonstrated the progress we had hoped to make with another week of practice with our team. The season is still very young and we still have a lot of growing to do, but I love the camaraderie this team has already developed, the depth we have on our roster and the mental toughness we’ve been able to show early on. We’ll enjoy the success of this weekend and then spend the next two weeks preparing for the start of our conference season and the opportunity we have to play in front of our home fans for our next four games.”
John Brown will now rest for two weeks before enjoying its home opener on Friday (Sept. 6) against Oklahoma City. First serve inside Bill George Arena is slated for 7 p.m.