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Mon, Aug. 28, 2017 - [Volleyball]

HAWKINS, Texas – For the first two matches of the season, the Mid-America Christian University volleyball team was without senior captain Laurel Church, who missed the first day of the season with an injury. She returned to the fold on Monday night at Jarvis Christian College in a big way.

Church put up a double-double in the first action of her senior season, and the Lady Evangels (1-2) picked up their first win of the season, downing the Bulldogs of Jarvis Christian (0-9) in four sets, 14-25, 25-13, 25-17, 27-25.

MACU led the first set 10-9 midway through when the Bulldogs mounted an 8-0 run to take control, and Jarvis surprised the Lady Evangels by taking the first set 25-14. That result, however, provided MACU with nothing but motivation.

The Lady Evangels sprinted out to a 5-2 lead in the second set, and Church served MACU on a 6-0 run midway through the set to open some distance between the teams and give the Lady Evangels a 14-6 lead. The Bulldogs were unable to recover in the stanza, as MACU kept JCC to an attack percentage of -.143 (3 K-7 E-28 Att) in the set, leveling the match at 1-1 with a 25-13 set win.

Da'Jah Thompson stepped to the forefront in the third set, as she belted five kills in the frame, and seven different MACU players had kills in the set as MACU took the win 25-17 to move to within a single set of their first win of the season. Thompson followed that up with three more kills in a four point span midway through the fourth set, as Gabrielle Poling served a 7-0 run that helped MACU open a 14-8 lead. JCC put together one final rally, squaring the set at 24 and again at 25, but sophomore Dianne Walter put down kills on the match's final two points, giving the Lady Evangels the 27-25 win in the set, and the 3-1 win in the match.

Church posted a double-double in the match with 13 kills and 10 digs, and she added three blocks and two service aces as well. Thompson narrowly missed a double double, as she notched 17 scoring swings and eight digs, and Melissa Hoppal had five kills, and seven digs to go along with her 36 assists. Poling posted 25 digs in the match, and Adanna York also reached double figures in digs, as she notched 10 in the match.

MACU will be back in action on Tuesday evening, when they make the short trip to Marshall, Texas to take on the Wiley College Wildcats (1-3). First Serve is slated for 6 p.m.