TULSA, Okla. – Stacey DiFrancesco and Glynna Johnson set the pace for the Northwestern State volleyball team, combining for 19 kills, but their efforts fell short as the Lady Demons lost to Oral Roberts 3-0 on Saturday afternoon.
The 25-17, 27-25, 25-19 loss drops the Lady Demons (20-10 overall, 12-6 Southland Conference) to fourth in the SLC standings while ORU (15-14, 11-7) remains in sixth.
"I felt like, mentally, we were just not where we needed to be," said Lady Demon co-head coach Hugh Hernesman. "We are in a tough stretch of the schedule but everyone has their tough stretches and it does not give us a reason to be less focused."
DiFrancesco fell just short of a double-double as she recorded 11 kills and nine digs.
Johnson put up eight kills while committing just one error for a team-high hitting percentage of .467.
"Glynna really did her job today," said Hernesman. "When we can get her in the right situations and she can be aggressive she can get some good kill numbers."
Keelie Arneson and Tamara Hanna led the way defensively, digging up 11 and 10 attacks, respectively.
"I thought Tam made plays when she had opportunities," said Hernesman. "She is kind of a silent but key contributor for our rotation. She was in position when the situation dictated it and was alert to her responsibilities."
The Lady Demons came out to a great start, gaining the first point after an ORU service error. NSU held on to its' lead until a Neely service error gave the Golden Eagles their first lead at the 6-5 mark.
ORU pulled away after a DiFrancesco attack error sparked a 4-0 run to put the score at 13-8. The Lady Demons were unable to regain momentum, dropping the set 25-17.
NSU started out great again in the second set as it took an early 3-1 lead. The Lady Demons maintained their lead until a kill by ORU's Joanna Gruber led to a 7-2 run, putting the Golden Eagles up 21-17.
Northwestern State answered with a 5-0 streak of its' own to tie the set up at 23. The Lady Demons regained the lead momentarily but could not hold on as they fell 27-25.
The third set was competitive in the beginning with three ties before the five point mark. The Golden Eagles tried to pull away but the Lady Demons kept them close, tying the game up again at 14.
A kill by ORU's Kylie Johnson sparked a 4-0 streak, giving Oral Roberts an 18-14 advantage. Northwestern State was unable comeback as the Golden Eagles won 25-19.
The Lady Demons will take on fifth-seeded Stephen F. Austin next Friday at 4 p.m. in the Southland Conference Tournament hosted by Central Arkansas.