John Brown wins opening matches of tourney

August 24, 2019


HUTCHINSON, Kan. – After struggling to find offensive rhythm in California last week, the John Brown University volleyball squad pieced together back-to-back matches hitting over .300 to land clean sweeps of Bethel (Kan.) and Avila (Mo.) on Friday (Aug. 23) inside the Hutcherson Sports Arena.

In the first match of the day, the Golden Eagles (4-2) rode a pair of plus .500 hitting performances from junior Jaden Williams and senior Kinzee Mayo to the 25-19, 25-19, 25-14 win. Williams terminated a career-high 11 attempts and finished .529 (11-2-17) on the match. Mayo finished the match without committing an error, launching a season-high eight kills to finish .500 (8-0-16) on the morning.

The two-pronged passing effort of John Brown produced a pair of double-digit assist marks as freshman Lauren Cloud produced a career-high 21 assists. Sophomore Carrie Ciesla added 15.

The JBU defense held the Bethel attack in check all morning, as the Threshers could only mount a .074 (22-16-81) effort. Alongside a team total of six blocks, John Brown also scooped 38 of Bethel’s 81 attack attempts, led by senior Carly McKinney’s 15. McKinney has posted double-digit digs in all six matches so far this season.

Sophomore Jenna Lowery and Cloud each served up a trio of aces as the Golden Eagles finished the morning matchup with nine to help offset 13 errors.

John Brown continued its momentum into the afternoon against Avila – but this time it was McKinney’s 10 terminations in errorless fashion that drove the Golden Eagle attack effort. Alongside hitting .500 (10-0-20) on the match, the senior scooped another 10 attempts on defense to earn her a second double-double on the season.

Senior Megan Beck’s seven terminations and .350 attacking clip (7-0-20) also helped power JBU’s best offensive output of the season to date. The Golden Eagles finished with a .356 (40-9-87) mark in the quick 64 minute contest against the Eagles.

Ciesla shouldered the majority of the passing responsibilities to finish with 18 helpers, five digs and a trio of aces.

The Avila offense never really started and was bogged down by 23 attack errors to finish the match at a .040 clip (27-23-101). Katelyn Payan was the lone exception with a match-best 12 terminations.

JBU will finish the KCAC Fall Fling with a pair of matches in back-to-back fashion on Saturday (Aug. 24). The Golden Eagles will take on Oklahoma Wesleyan at 3 p.m. before facing Sterling (Kan.) in the finale at 5 p.m.