Courtesy of ORU Athletics Communications
National Invitational Volleyball Championship (NIVC) First Round
Score: Oral Roberts 1 – North Texas 3
Records: ORU (15-14) – UNT (29-3)
Location: North Texas Volleyball Center (Denton, Texas)
DENTON, Texas – The Oral Roberts volleyball team's season came to a close in the opening round of the 2017 National Invitational Volleyball Championship falling in four sets to North Texas (17-25, 21-25, 25-23, 16-25) Thursday night at the North Texas Volleyball Center.
After the Mean Green used a big run to win the opening set, the Golden Eagles battled to take a four-point lead in set two before the host responded with six-straight points and gained control of the match with a 2-0 lead.
ORU was forced to play from behind and went back-and-forth in set three until Shelby Coxstarted and finished a 4-1 run to give the Golden Eagles a 20-17 edge. The senior went on to cap the set win for the navy and gold, 25-23, terminating set point following an ORU timeout.
The Golden Eagles had momentum on their side scoring five-consecutive points early in the fourth set, but the Mean Green responded with a pair of spurts to close out the first-round match.
Cox matched her season high with 14 kills as ORU was limited offensively hitting just .137 for the contest. Playing without First-Team All-Summit League selection CeCe Madison and an extremely limited Laura Milos, the Summit League Player of the Year, the Golden Eagles could not find enough firepower to extend their campaign.
Inside the Box Score
- Cox rose to the occasion and put away 14 balls as it was the first time this season a player not named Milos or Madison led the team in kills. The Round Rock, Texas, native was efficient from the opening set posting a .367 hitting percentage in her final collegiate appearance with only three errors.
- Milos was held to single-digit kills for just the second time in 29 matches this season finishing with nine, but went for seven kills in the final two sets. The senior from Porec, Croatia, closed her ORU career with 2,276 kills ranking second all-time, just 28 from tying Ori Zuzic for the school record.
- Lucija Bojanjac paced the Golden Eagle setters with 23 set assists, while Bria Bergmanadded 12 and two service aces. Bojanjac finished her four-year ORU tenure as the career assists leader with 4,215.
- Playing in front of a large contingent of family and friends, freshman Morgan Blomquistadded three block assists and Milos went for a team-high four block assists.
- Katarina Mikulic filled in playing all over the court and led the team with 14 digs adding two kills and one service ace. Tori Roe and Milos each totaled nine digs.
- ORU falls to 42-24 all-time in postseason matches and 0-1 in the NIVC.
ABOUT THE SUMMIT LEAGUE
Through 35 years of Division I athletics, The Summit League offers 19 championship sports and has a combined enrollment of nearly 100,000 at eight institutions, including three located in top 60 U.S. metro populations and two land-grant universities. Member institutions include: Denver (University of Denver), Fort Wayne (Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne), North Dakota State University, Omaha (University of Nebraska Omaha), Oral Roberts University, the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University and Western Illinois University with the University of North Dakota becoming an official member on July 1, 2018. Previously known as the Mid-Continent Conference, The Summit League rebranded in 2007 and has since produced nine NCAA Champions along with over 90 Academic All-Americans, nearly 100 All-America selections and numerous former student-athletes competing at the highest professional level. For more information about the league, visit www.thesummitleague.org website, follow The Summit League on Twitter @thesummitleague.