With the win, the Lady Demons (14-10 overall, 10-2 SLC) grab hold of third place in the league standings. The Golden Eagles (17-5, 9-3) drop just their fifth match overall and their third of the conference season.
“I was impressed with how we were able to slow some players down, especially those who have the potential to be all-conference players,” said fourth year co-head coach Hugh Hernesman. “I’m real impressed with our resiliency, our determination, and how we bounced back after a tough and disappointing loss for us on Saturday. I think our maturity and our team chemistry is starting to become more and more apparent now.”
Seventeen ties and lead changes made for an extremely competitive third set from both teams. The Lady Demons put up an early 4-1 lead before ORU went on a 5-0 run to take a 6-4 mark. The remainder of the game consisted of NSU tying the game eight of the 17 times to take a short lead and a final tie at 26-all. Vanessa Coleman’s eighth and final kill of the night and an attack error from ORU’s Sadie Schaffner marked the win for the Lady Demons.
NSU recorded a game-high 18-10 lead in the first set to insure a game-one victory. The Golden Eagles laid on four in a row, but could not catch up as the Lady Demons went on a three-point run to take a 22-15 lead. NSU slowly chipped away at the board for a 25-22 final.
Set two started off tight with three ties and lead changes resulting in favor of NSU. ORU put together two three-point runs compared to NSU’s one, but were unable to overcome the Lady Demons as they won 26-24.
Elrod picked up her eighth double-double of the season with 11 kills and 10 digs as O’Connell knocked down 10 kills and one dig. Coleman registered a .438 attack percentage and three blocks to lead the squad in both categories.
Stacey DiFrancesco’s two service aces were a team-high and aided in the six overall, compared to ORU’s three. DiFrancesco recorded seven kills and nine digs as well.
Setters Natalie Jaeger and Emily Johnson delivered 19 assists each, while libero Keelie Arneson dug up 17 Golden Eagle attacks.
“Vanessa’s blocks came right at the end and were definitely crucial,” said Hernesman. “She had a big kill in transition towards the end and I thought that was huge. She’s playing really good volleyball right now.”
The Lady Demons hit the road for a four-game stretch, taking on Abilene Christian on Thursday and Incarnate Word on Saturday.
The last home game of the season will take place on Nov. 12 as NSU hosts Central Arkansas at 7 p.m. at Prather Coliseum.