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Thu, Oct. 12, 2017 - [Volleyball]

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Mid-America Christian University volleyball team is starting to find their groove in the final portion of the 2017 regular season. On Thursday, senior Laural Church led the way for MACU, as the Lady Evangels completed a tri-match sweep of Central Baptist College and Randall University.

Church opened the day by notching 10 kills and seven blocks as MACU (7-11) swept away Central Baptist (8-12) 25-20, 25-12, 25-12; and in the night-cap, MACU battled their way past Randall (16-10) in another three set sweep, 25-17, 25-17, 25-21.

MACU opened an early 5-3 lead over CBC but the Mustangs rallied to take a 10-7 lead midway through the first set. From there, MACU took control, thanks in large part to Church and Breeana Fritschow, who piled up the kills and blocks early. The Lady Evangels forced eight CBC attack errors in the first frame, and pelted 13 kills in the set, as the Lady Evangels took the set victory 25-20.

In the final two sets, the MACU offense was performing like a well-oiled machine. MACU hit better than .380 in each set, making only six errors in their final 55 swings of the match, while their defense held Central Baptist to only 15 kills and forced 16 errors in the two frames. MACU opened the second stanza with an 8-0 run following CBC taking the first two points, and in the third, MACU sprinted to a 7-0 lead and never looked back. The Lady Evangels won both sets by scores of 25-12.

Church was the only player for either team in double figures in kills, and she added seven blocks in the match as well. Fritschow (8 K, 10 D) and Melissa Hoppal (19 A, 8 D) narrowly missed out on double-doubles, Ryann Hale had 13 assists, and Gabrielle Poling picked up 10 digs.

After taking a break as Randall beat CBC, MACU picked up right where they left off in the first match. Church and Mary Siefert combined on a block on the match's first point, and the Lady Evangels used that to get the crowd into the match right away. With MACU leading 14-13 late in the set, the Lady Evangels put the hammer down, scoring 11 of the set's final 15 points to take the set win 25-17.

Early in the second set, MACU built an early 8-5 lead in the second set, but Randall battled back to tie the set at 15. Once more, though, the Lady Evangels seized the momentum and finished the set on a long run, this time it was a 10-2 spurt, and MACU took the second stanza 25-17 to take a 2-0 lead in the match.

MACU sprinted out to a 7-2 lead in the third set, but Randall battled back. A 7-1 run closed the gap to 14-13, and the margin remained close for the next several points. With MACU up 18-17 late, though, again it was the Lady Evangels who asserted control of the set, pulling away to a 25-21 win to complete the sweep.

Fritschow led the Lady Evangels with 14 kills in the match, though Church had eight and Erika Brown had seven as well. Church attacked the ball at a sizzling .538 clip, and even that was out-done by Fritschow who tore the cover off the ball to the tune of .634. Hoppal had 24 assists and Hale added 15, while Tarann Riley had 15 digs and Poling added 10 more. MACU attacked the ball at a percentage in excess of .340 in each of the three sets.

The Lady Evangels will be back in action at home on Friday night, as they will welcome Haskell Indian Nations University (7-13) to the Gaulke Activity Center at 7 p.m.