Golden Eagles Rally Past Upset-Minded Coyotes in Five Sets

Golden Eagles Rally Past Upset-Minded Coyotes in Five Sets

The Basics
Summit League Championship Semifinals
Score:
No. 3 South Dakota 2 – No. 2 Oral Roberts 3
Records: USD (17-11) – ORU (15-12)
Location: Hamilton Gymnasium (Denver, Colo.)

DENVER, Colo. – The No. 2-seed Oral Roberts volleyball team rallied back from a 2-0 deficit to take down No. 3 South Dakota in five sets (19-25, 20-25, 25-22, 25-23, 15-9) Saturday night in The Summit League Championship semifinals at Hamilton Gymnasium.

Laura Milos showcased why she was named 2017 Summit League Player of the Year and completely took over the match for the Golden Eagles when the team needed a spark. The senior exploded for a match-high 32 kills, tying her highest effort of the season, helping push ORU into Sunday afternoon's conference championship game against top-seeded Denver.

After dropping the first two sets, the Golden Eagles were forced to battle for every point and used a 4-0 run in the third set to break open a lead on the Coyotes to get one set back. ORU ramped up the intensity in set four jumping in front, 5-1, and had to use a late two-point swing to break a 19-19 tie before evening the match on a USD service error. Milos delivered 10 kills on 21 swings in the pivotal fourth set.

ORU capitalized on its momentum down the stretch and dominated the fifth set, posting a .526 hitting percentage with 11 kills on 19 attempts, to earn a spot in the championship match for the first time since 2012 as a member of the Southland Conference and 2011 when in The Summit League.

Inside the Box Score

  • It was Milos' fourth match of the year recording 30 or more kills and second time in three meetings with the Coyotes. With her sixth kill of the opening set, the Porec, Croatia, native became the fifth player in the NCAA this season to record 500 kills. The senior is the second player ever in program history to tally 500 or more kills in all four seasons of competition joining Ori Zuzic (2003-06).
  • It was a team effort defensively for a season-high 79 digs by the Golden Eagles. Katarina Mikulic came through with her best performance totaling a career-high 19 digs to pace the squad. Milos added 18 digs for a double-double and Tori Roe chipped in 16.
  • Megan Doran helped turn the tide for ORU with one solo block and six block assists as the Golden Eagles held a wide, 12-5 margin in total blocks. Morgan Blomquist aided with five block assists.
  • Blomquist picked the perfect day for a career performance as the freshman totaled 11 kills. Senior Shelby Cox equaled the effort with 11 kills on a season-high 32 swings.
  • Lucija Bojanjac paced the Golden Eagles with 32 set assists, while Bria Bergman added 19.
  • ORU won its first match of the season when playing a fifth set after falling in its first three chances. The Golden Eagles last played a fifth set Sept. 16 at home against Wyoming.

Up Next
ORU now faces tournament host and No. 1 seed Denver Sunday afternoon in The Summit League Championship final with the conference's automatic bid into the NCAA Championship on the line. The match is slated to begin at 3 p.m. (CT) with live video coverage on ESPN3.

For the latest information on ORU Volleyball, follow the Golden Eagles on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, or go to www.ORUAthletics.com.  Fans can also receive updates on the team by downloading two mobile apps, ORU Golden Eagles Live and ORU Front Row, available on the App Store and Google Play.

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