November 18, 2010
The Oklahoma Baptist University’s volleyball team finished its season with a loss in the Sooner Athletic Conference Tournament against Oklahoma City University Friday at home. The Lady Bison fought hard, but fell to the Lady Stars in the fifth set, 28-30, 21-25, 25-29, 25-13 and 13-15.
After losing the first two sets, the SAC regular season champion Lady Bison roared back in the third and fourth sets. But the Lady Bison didn’t overcome the Lady Stars in the fifth set. It was the last season game for the Lady Bison.
Rupia Inck led the team with 25 kills. Tarah Derden followed with a dozen kills and Skyler Strahm had 11 kills for the Lady Bison. But the ace attacker Kristin Pressley’s absence was fatal. Pressley got sick before the game and could not play for this match. On defense, libero Cami Weimer hustled with 34 digs. Setter Sabra Clark had 47 assists and 16 digs. Inck added 23 digs as well.
The Lady Bison beat the Lady Stars in each of the major points: kills 62-58, aces 4-3, blocks 20-8, digs 117-114 and assists 53-52, but the result wasn’t their favorite.
The OBU home fans expected an upset win when their heroines won the third and fourth sets down 0-2. The Lady Bison took an early 7-4 lead from the Lady Stars’ errors.
The Lady Bison continued to capitalize on the Lady Stars’ mistakes and took a 12-9 lead. The home fans and the players seemed confident in a comeback win.
However, the Lady Bison opened the champagne too early. The Lady Stars scored five points in a row and put the Lady Bison at the edge of the match point. Strahm’s kill gave one point for the Lady Bison, 13-14. But the SAC MVP Xiaoting Ma’s last point broke the Lady Bison’s heart. The game was over, resulting in a win for the Lady Stars.
“I don’t think we played very hard as a team at the beginning,” Head Coach Anna Howle siad. “That really hurts against the team like that. I think we are a better team. We could have started with our driving desire at the beginning. It is unfortunate, but it is how we showed up and that happens sometimes.
"Without the key player for the season, it was hard," Howle said. "This loss hurts a little bit, actually a lot. But we deserve to be there. Our players did a good job and fought hard at the end.”
The Lady Bison finished the season as the SAC regular season champions with a record of 26-10. The match was the last college career for seniors Suyan Leipelt and Emily Vanderburg.
The SAC honored seven Lady Bison on the All-Conference Team. The SAC named Head Coach Howle as Coach of the Year. Howle led the team to their first SAC regular season champion.
The SAC also honored Weimer as Libero of the Year and Inck for Freshman of the Year. The Second-Team All-SAC team included Derden, Strahm and Hamilton earning honorable mention status.