OCU hosts SAC volleyball tournament

Oklahoma City (November 12, 2008) — Oklahoma City University hosts the Sooner Athletic Conference volleyball tournament Thursday through Saturday with the conference tournament title and a berth in the opening round of the NAIA Championships at stake.

The tournament champion advances to the opening round of the NAIA Championships on Nov. 22. Lubbock Christian (Texas) won the regular-season SAC championship.

The championship match will be 6 p.m. Friday. Should Lubbock Christian, ranked 25th in the NAIA, fail to win the tournament, there will be a 3 p.m. match Saturday to determine the tournament champion and the winner of the national-tournament berth. All tournament matches will be at Abe Lemons Arena on the OCU campus.

Fans can follow the tournament via live stats or live video on the OCU athletics web site, ocusports.com.

Tournament host OCU (32-7) will be the third seed and take on sixth seed Southern Nazarene (18-16) at 1 p.m. Thursday. OCU features junior middle blocker Whitney Kress, the Stars’ all-time kill and block leader who averages 3.05 kills and a team-high 0.88 blocks a set. Sophomore outside hitter Xiaoting Ma leads OCU with 3.10 kills a set to go with 3.55 digs a set.

Southern Nazarene has sophomore outside hitter Morgan Loewen, who leads her team with 3.05 kills a set. Junior libero Erika Knowles chips in 4.93 digs a set.

Wayland Baptist (Texas), which is 23-7, is the fourth seed and meets fifth seed Oklahoma Baptist at 10 a.m. Thursday in the tournament’s opening match. Sophomore outside hitter Desiree Luevano paces Wayland Baptist with 2.58 kills a set, while sophomore middle blocker Jennifer Wyatt adds 2.45 kills and 0.70 blocks a set.

Oklahoma Baptist finished 24-15 in its first year playing volleyball since 1987. Freshman outside hitter Chassie Hamilton leads Oklahoma Baptist with 3.93 kills a set, while junior setter Brittany Palmer records a team-high 9.13 assists a set.

John Brown (Ark.), 20-10 on the year, has Christi Newton, a junior middle blocker who leads the SAC with 1.45 blocks a set. Sophomore middle blocker Amber Wilson adds 2.60 kills and 0.74 blocks a set. Second seed John Brown faces the OCU-Southern Nazarene winner at 7 p.m. Thursday.

Lubbock Christian (31-3) features senior outside hitter Suzanne Childress, who leads the Lady Chaps with 3.01 kills to go with 3.28 digs a set. Junior setter Rachel Stuyvescant adds 11.49 assists a set, and junior libero Courtney Yonke leads the SAC with 6.01 digs a set. No. 1 seed Lubbock Christian plays the Oklahoma Baptist-Wayland Baptist winner at 4 p.m. Thursday.

Thursday’s Matches Oklahoma Baptist vs. Wayland Baptist (Texas), 10 a.m. Oklahoma City vs. Southern Nazarene, 1 p.m. Lubbock Christian (Texas) vs. Oklahoma Baptist-Wayland Baptist winner, 4 p.m. John Brown (Ark.) vs. Oklahoma City-Southern Nazarene, winner, 7 p.m.

Friday’s Match Championship, 6 p.m.

Saturday’s Match If regular-season conference champion is not tournament champion, 3 p.m.