Golden Eagles Down Oklahoma City, Fall to No. 10 Oklahoma Baptist

SHAWNEE, Okla. (November 9, 2012) — John Brown defeated Oklahoma City, 3-1 (17-25, 25-19, 25-20, 25-22), in the Sooner Athletic Conference tournament quarterfinals before bowing to host and No. 10 in the nation Oklahoma Baptist, 3-1 (21-25, 25-23, 16-25, 19-25), in the semifinals today in Shawnee.

The Golden Eagles did something it couldn't do twice before this season, defeat the Stars of Oklahoma City.

Despite falling in its two previous matchups to OCU (3-2, 3-0), the Golden Eagles received 13 kills from freshman Libby Blasingame and 11 kills from freshman Audrey Dearien. Despite hitting only .196 percent, the JBU defense held the Stars to a .168 percent attack, thanks to eight team blocks and forcing OCU into 27 attack errors.

Tied at 17 in the first set, John Brown allowed Oklahoma City to net the final eight points, placing the Golden Eagles in an early 1-0 hole.

The Blue and Gold would come roaring back. With a slim 22-19 advantage in game two, JBU captured the final three points, knotting the score at one.

In the third set, John Brown mounted a huge comeback after finding itself down 17-11. A 14-3 run gave JBU a 2-1 lead with an opportunity to put the match away.

The Golden Eagles made no mistake, again coming from behind. Down 20-18, JBU notched seven of the final nine points, vaulting them into the SAC semifinal round.

Becca Young's 15 digs and Kailey Bain's 29 assists paced the Golden Eagle quarterfinal victory effort.

Waiting in the fold was Oklahoma Baptist, the top-seeded team in the tournament.

John Brown came out swinging, forcing OBU into an 18-18 tie late in the first set. The Bison would come out with the victory, however, after piecing together a 5-1 run powered by two services aces to take the first set.

The Golden Eagles recovered quickly, taking the next set 25-23.

Oklahoma Baptist would prove to be too much, capturing the final two sets and never trailing in either game to advance to the SAC tournament championship match.

"The team fought so hard tonight," said head coach Stacie Johnson. "I'm so proud of them. They gave everything they had."

Dearien, the only Golden Eagle to finish in double-digit kills, was named to the All-Tournament team in the losing effort. Bain and Aubrey Adams each finished with 15 assists apiece, powering the JBU passing effort.

Five John Brown players finished with over 10 digs as Adams posted a team-high 16 while Bain grabbed 12. Dearien and Meghan Kenney each posted 11. Young turned in a 10-dig effort.

The Golden Eagles finish its season with an overall record of 22-16 and a fifth-place finish in the regular season conference standings (3-9). The 22-win season is a four-win improvement over the 2011 campaign.

"We have a very young team," admitted Johnson. "The future looks very bright."