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JBU volleyball goes 4-0 at tourney

by JBU Sports Information | September 13, 2023 at 4:00 a.m.
Photo courtesy of John Brown University John Brown defensive specialist Brittney Ware awaits a ball during JBU's match against Ottawa on Aug. 26.

SALINA, Kan. -- Senior Savanna Riney smacked a career-high 25 kills and hit .314 to energize a Golden Eagle offense that helped the John Brown University volleyball team to a four-set (25-23, 18-25, 25-21, 25-17) win over tournament host Kansas Wesleyan on Friday (Sept. 8) night at the Kansas Wesleyan Coyote Classic inside Mabee Arena.

In the first match of the day, Riney's offensive output again led John Brown to a 3-1 win (24-26, 25-15, 25-18, 25-20) over Culver-Stockton (Mo.).

Against the Wildcats (1-7) in the opening outing, JBU held CSC to a mere .070 (35-26-129) attacking clip, and the Golden Eagle blocking game resurfaced to produce 10 team blocks, tying a season high. Junior Erin Mullins posted five rejections, while Riney and junior Taylor Golmen each contributed four apiece.

Mullins notched 10 kills on 18 swings (.389) to join Riney in double-digit terminations, while senior Morgan Fincham passed out 24 helpers and junior Julie Milligan ate up 19 digs in the back row. Fincham completed the double-double with 10 scoops.

The Golden Eagles attacked at a .194 (52-24-144) clip and took advantage of 10 Culver-Stockton serving errors on the afternoon.

In the primetime matchup, Riney's 25 kills proved too much in a matchup of heavy hitters. Kansas Wesleyan's Rylee Serpan also boasted 20 kills but was limited to just one termination in the fourth and clinching set.

Junior Emma DeSanti took control of the passing game and dished out a career-high 31 assists, but Fincham also assisted on 18, allowing the fifth year to surpass the 2,000 career assists mark. Fincham is just the ninth player in program history to meet the benchmark.

DeSanti added five kills, a block and eight digs in the win.

Golmen and Riney again teamed up to power the blocking effort of JBU, posting five and four, respectively. Golmen finished the night with 10 kills on 23 swings (.391), while freshman Cora Roweton added nine terminations.

John Brown hit .220 (61-26-159) and held the Coyote (6-7) offense under .200 (47-16-157).

The Golden Eagles improved to 10-5 overall with sweeps of Bethany (Kan.) and Haskell Indian Nations on Saturday in the Classic.

John Brown 3, Southwestern Christian 0

BETHANY, Okla. -- The John Brown University volleyball team avoided a single attacking error in the third set and limited the Eagles to a vapid .073 attacking clip as the Golden Eagles produced its first straight-sets win in league play in a sweep (25-18, 28-26, 25-14) of Southwestern Christian (Okla.) on Thursday (Sept. 7) night inside Pickens-Springer Gymnasium.

Senior Savanna Riney not only led the JBU attack with 10 kills on 25 swings (.385), but she became the 14th player in program history to cross the 1,000 terminations mark. Riney is the first Golden Eagle to accomplish this feat since Jessica Schultz '19.

The John Brown (6-5, 3-1 Sooner Athletic) middles absolutely dominated, as the trio of sophomore Ella Yarborough, junior Taylor Golmen and junior Erin Mullins combined for 20 kills on 39 attempts while committing just three errors (.436). Yarborough contributed eight kills without an error, and Golmen added six, again errorless.

JBU hit a season high at .296 (44-12-108). Opposite the well-rounded Golden Eagle attack that featured five players with at least five terminations, Southwestern Christian (2-5, 0-2) struggled to find any rhythm. The hosts hit .073 (27-20-96) and erred on 20 of its 96 swings.

Senior Morgan Fincham (13 assists) and junior Emma DeSanti (12) split the setting duties, while junior Julie Milligan patrolled the back row to the tune of 15 scoops.

Dasia Ingram produced nine kills in the loss for Southwestern Christian. Faith DeSouza passed out 14 assists, while Treasure Mozon chipped in with 14 digs.

Oklahoma City 3, JBU 1

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The John Brown University volleyball team suffered a four-set loss at Oklahoma City (23-25, 17-25, 25-21, 23-25) on Wednesday (Sept. 6) evening inside Abe Lemons Arena, dropping its first Sooner Athletic match of the 2023 campaign.

Senior Savanna Riney led the Golden Eagles (5-5, 2-1 Sooner Athletic) in kills with 13, but no other Golden Eagle was able to breach the double-digit termination mark as JBU hit just .127 (49-27-173) on the night. Junior Erin Mullins contributed a team-high four blocks, while junior Julie Milligan notched a career-high 30 digs in the loss. Senior Morgan Fincham produced a double-double, dishing out 22 assists while adding 15 digs on defense.

Oklahoma City's Ruby Kelley's 18 terminations led all attackers on the night, while Michela De Stefano added 12 kills and hit .345 on the night. Natalie Adams produced 41 assists on 47 Oklahoma City kills as the hosts finished at a .139 clip (47-24-166). Riley Winkler and Kaitlyn Dunlap each scooped up 22 in the back row in the win for the Stars.

Up next

The Golden Eagles are back in action at home Friday, Sept. 15, against Texas Wesleyan before hosting Southwestern Assemblies of God (Texas) on Saturday.

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