Volleyball wins on alumni night

The Oakland women’s volleyball team defeated UMKC on Alumni Night in three sets 25-18, 25-12, and 25-19.  OU, with the win, improves to 9-7 this season (4-3 Summit League).

After taking the lead early in the first set, the Golden Grizzlies never looked back.  Rob Beam, head coach said that intensity and focus were important in the team’s win.

“What we’ve been trying to get from this group is the intensity and focus to put together a sustained high level of play, both physically and mentally,” Beam said. “Tonight, we exhibited that through the course of all three sets, it’s something that our team has learned how to do.”

Junior Meghan Bray led the Grizzlies with 14 kills while adding 10 digs and 2 block assists.  She also had a .235 hitting percentage which ranked third on the team among players with more than one hitting attempt.

Bray credited her teammates for her individual success.

“We were all on par, so I was able to play at my best level because everyone was at their best level,” Bray said. “Everyone had a good game tonight.”

After Bray, the rest of the offense was balanced.  Junior Brittany Holbrook had eight kills, senior Allison Bell had seven while senior Jenna Lange and freshman Taylor Humm each had six.  Defensively, junior Alli Kirk led with 17 digs while Humm had 13.

One factor that led to OU’s victory was its front row players outplaying the UMKC front row.  Holbrook said that the defensive players during practice worked on calling shots for the front row players, referring to this as “little things” that they worked on.

“The little things obviously worked,” Holbrook said.

The Grizzlies showcased their depth as 15 different players on the roster played in the match while managing to retain their momentum.

Beam said that the players who entered the match did a “spectacular job.”

“It’s always nice when you can insert a player and the team gets better and it keeps getting better,” Beam said. “Even with that loss of continuity, when you start subbing a lot, it can affect play, but tonight, it didn’t.”

Next up for the Grizzlies tonight will be South Dakota, which is competing in its first season in the Summit League.  OU will be looking to avenge a loss to South Dakota from last season.  The match will be at the O’Rena at 7 p.m.