Sept. 14, 2012
ROCHESTER, Mich. - Meghan Bray recorded a season-high 29 kills with 21 digs and Taylor Humm added 14 kills and a team-high 23 digs as the Oakland volleyball team (8-4) went five sets with Fort Wayne (9-3) and came out with a victory Friday night inside the Athletics Center O'rena. OU won with set scores of 25-18, 22-25, 25-18, 13-25 and 15-13.
"It was a very exciting match as Fort Wayne is a very strong team and gave us fits offensively all night," said head coach Rob Beam. "I think the difference in the match was a strong individual effort by Meghan Bray in the fifth set and a better effort in the serve and pass game by us throughout the entire match. Fort Wayne is one of the standard bearers in our league as it was a nice, emotional win."
Alli Kirk recorded 14 digs and Jillian Kulka added 11, while Amanda Baker combined for five blocks and five kills. Ciara Schultz led the team with 28 assists while adding four blocks and Alissa Valentine added 19 assists. The victory extends Oakland's winning streak to five matches and pushes its record to 4-0 in five-set matches.
In the deciding set, Oakland jumped out to a 5-2 lead behind four Bray kills as OU extended its lead to as many as four points. The Mastodons fought back to make it a one-point match at 13-12 and 14-13, but Humm earned the final kill of the match as the Golden Grizzlies won the set 15-13 and won match.
The opening set was dominated by OU as they went on an eight-point run to take a 16-7 lead and used the momentum from eight kills by Bray to win 25-18. Both teams battled early in the second set but Fort Wayne grabbed a 16-11 lead behind a strong defensive effort as they forced seven Oakland hitting errors in the set. OU fought to tie that set at 21-21 but IPFW would win four out of the next five points on four kills to even the match at 1-1 with a 25-22 set win.
The Golden Grizzlies came out hot in the third set grabbing a 15-7 lead as Humm recorded three kills during a five-point streak. Oakland used the momentum from a strong backline performance as Kulka had seven digs in the set to win 25-17 and take a one-game lead in the match. Fort Wayne forced the match to a deciding fifth set as they earned 15 kills and a .469 hitting percentage to cruise to a 25-13 set win.
Oakland will be in action on Monday in the Athletics Center O'rena as they host Summit League foe Western Illinois at 7 p.m.