OBU volleyball returns with sweep of NWOSU

ALVA – The Oklahoma Baptist volleyball team returned to action Friday afternoon after a brief hiatus as they took on Northwestern Oklahoma State at Percefull Fieldhouse. Rallies were key as the Bison swept the Rangers 25-19, 25-23, and 25-18 to move to 2-0 on the young season.

The Bison rallied from 19-18 down in the first set for seven straight points to take the set and followed that by rallying from 23-20 down in set two for five set points. 

OBU hit .238 in the match including 45 kills to 14 errors while Northwestern hit .146 on the afternoon with 35 kills to 15 errors. The Bison held a 43-34 advantage in assists and a 52-40 advantage in blocks. OBU had six service aces on the afternoon and four blocks as a team.

Northwestern came out swinging in the first set, getting out to a hot start to take a 9-4 lead. The Bison would rally for six straight points behind kills from Malia LeatherlandAudrey Poupard and Kaylee Buell to take a 10-9 lead.

From there, it would be a back-and-forth affair between the two squads with neither team gaining more than a two point lead as Northwestern would lead 19-18 late in the second set.

OBU would then rattle off the next seven points thanks in part to kills from Poupard and Taneyah Brown as well as blocks from Leatherland, Poupard, and Brown. Brown and Poupard would close the set with back-to-back huge kills to give OBU a 1-0 lead.

Despite Northwestern starting hot offensively, OBU would hold the Rangers to .075 hitting in the first set including six errors, while OBU overcame a slow start with 12 kills to six errors and .140 hitting percentage.

It would be another quick start for the Rangers as they opened up a 3-0 lead and would push that lead to five in the early going. The Bison closed the gap to three and stayed within striking range for most of the set, but the Rangers maintained their advantage and led 23-20.

OBU responded again, this time with five straight points to rally from behind and take the second set and the 2-0 lead, stunning the Rangers and giving OBU all the momentum going into set three.

It was clear OBU had the advantage as they would go for 17 kills in set three to only three errors for a red hot .400 hitting percentage.

Northwestern performed well in the third set, hitting .250, but it was not nearly enough as OBU used a five point rally midway through the third set to open up a 21-14 lead behind the trio of Leatherland, Poupard, and Brown. Northwestern tried to rally back, but it was not enough as the Bison closed the set and the match at 25-18.

Leatherland finished with 13 kills and 13 digs to go with two block assists while Brown added 12 kills and two block assists. Poupard was excellent with eight kills while hitting .583 to go with four block assists. Avery Hellmuth had five kills and Buell had 37 assists on the afternoon.

Defensively, Diana Carranza had a strong afternoon with 17 digs while Brown and Kaelyn Ina each had five. Brown also added three service aces against the Rangers.

Northwestern was led by Kaydee Honeycutt with 13 kills while Sydnee Miller had 16 digs.

The Bison will return to action on Tuesday as they will take on East Central inside the Noble Complex. First serve is set for 7 p.m.