OXFORD, Miss. – For two sets, the Northwestern State volleyball team looked like it would follow the script set forth in a season-opening win against Tennessee State.
Oral Roberts, however, had other ideas. After splitting the first two sets with the Golden Eagles, Northwestern State dropped the final two and suffered its first loss of the year, falling 3-1 to Oral Roberts on Saturday in the Magnolia Invitational hosted by Ole Miss.
After dropping the first set, 25-12, NSU (1-1) put together its best offensive set of the match, hitting .344 and scoring a 25-20 victory that evened things at one set each.
Lauren Agan led the way offensively with six kills in the set, while NSU’s defense limited ORU (1-1) to a .079 hitting percentage.
Oral Roberts turned things around in the third and fourth sets, holding NSU to a .000 hitting percentage in each of the final two sets en route to clinching the win with 25-13 and 25-14 decisions.
“We struggled with ball control in some specific areas, which gives us great information to work with as a coaching staff for practice next week,” first-year head coach Sean Kiracofe said. “We are still learning as a team how to make in-match adjustments and to consistently execute them.
“Set two shows how we can play when we execute those adjustments, but consistency is something that will come with time.”
NSU took control of the second set after a timeout. Trailing 12-9 before the timeout, Northwestern State responded with an 8-1 run out of the break, highlighted by a pair of Glynna Johnson kills and a tandem block by Johnson and Reagan Rogers.
NSU never trailed by less than three the rest of the set, closing it out with consecutive kills from Caiti O’Connell and Rogers.
Agan paced the NSU offense with 12 kills, while Bailey Martin’s 15 digs led the NSU defense.
Laura Milos delivered 23 kills and had a .444 hitting percentage to lead Oral Roberts.
Northwestern State concludes play in the Magnolia Invitational tonight at 7:30 when it faces host Ole Miss in a match that will be televised on SEC Network Plus.