The ORU volleyball team will try to break a three match losing streak when they travel across town to take on the University of Tulsa tonight at the Reynolds Center.
The Golden Eagles started with a 5-3 record, boasting wins against top seeded and nationally ranked teams Pepperdine, Milwaukee and Arkansas.
“Its always a great accomplishment when you beat a ranked team, but its just another game. We can’t get the big head,” Head Coach Sheera Sirola said about the team’s early success.
The Golden Eagles placed fifth in the Summit League Preseason Coaches Poll, but exceeded those expectations early on.
“Since we’re playing so well at the beginning of the season, expectations for the rest of the year will be raised; I see this team exceeding those expectations,” said team captain Sara Pope.
Pope is the only returning senior on the team. While earning Southland Conference Newcomer of the Year honors in 2013, Pope led the team in kills with 3.65 per set. Pope is the team captain and the clear floor leader. All eyes are on her to see if she can lead a young team to success.
“Sara has been a leader on and off the court since she got here,” Sirola said. “Once a leader, always a leader.”
The captain’s seniority was on display in the match against Arkansas when she had the game-winning kill.
“We got the win; that’s most important to me,” Pope said. “Individual accolades will come, but the team goals come first.”
Pope may be the clear-cut leader on the floor but freshman Laura Milos has been making a name for herself. After amassing 63 kills in three matches at the Pepperdine Tournament, Milos was named to the Pepperdine Asics Classic All-Tournament Team, and received Summit League Offensive Player of the week.
“Im very excited about Laura,” said Sirola. “I knew she was good when we recruited her. She’s been a great asset to the team.”
Since the victory against Arkansas, the Golden Eagles cooled off significantly losing three matches in a row.
Despite poor play recently, Sirola is encouraged heading in to the weekend matches at TU.
Freshman Lucija Bojanjac is replacing one of the best volleyball players in ORU history, Laura Taylor.
The big shoes seem to be fitting more comfortably for Bojanjac as she has continued to improve since the start of the season. During the last tourney, she amassed 46 assists and 15 digs, and leads the team with over 10 assists per game.
The match with TU will begin at 7 p.m. at the Reynolds Center. The Golden Eagles will begin league play Sept. 26 against South Dakota State.