ALVA, Okla.- Northwestern Oklahoma State Rangers had a spectacular evening in Percefull Fieldhouse. They faced off against inner-state rivals Southwestern Oklahoma State in a huge conference rematch. Before the match Thursday evening both teams were tied for second place in the Great American Conference standings.
However, the Rangers took the rematch seriously as they dominated on the defensive end and took the match in a sweep [25-20, 26-24, 25-12]. The Rangers earned 11 blocks to the Bulldog’s two as well as they out-dug the Southwestern 64-53.
Northwestern continues their home win streak at home with a record of 9-0. The Black-and-Red now stand alone at second and still must face the number one team, Oklahoma Baptist for their final match of the year at home and could possibly share the number one spot as they head into the conference tournament.
Senior Kiauna Clark showed off during the match with 16 kills and zero errors through all three sets. She earned herself a .552 hit percentage and had five total blocks. Kaydee Honeycutt tallied 11 kills in the match with 18 digs. Alexi Beach added her own touch to the game with 9 total blocks which led the team. Kaitlyn Robinson led the team with 30 of the team’s 34 assists. Sydnee Miller dug 21 attacks out of Northwestern’s 64 total digs.
Northwestern came out hot in the first set as they pulled to an early 7-2 lead. The Bulldogs hung around through the middle half of the set and to everyone’s surprise tied the match 17-17 out of nowhere. It was a battle from then on with four of the five total ties happening after the afore mentioned score. A five-point run led by Clark snatched the Rangers a set one win 25-20.
The next set was an out-right battle with 15 ties and 15 lead changes. The Bulldogs take an early lead, but the Rangers came back and tied the match 10-10. From that point on a flurry of points from both teams created a tight battle. Kills from Clark and Beach put an end to the set and secured the win 26-24.
The third set was all about the Rangers as they took the lead and never let go. Clark carried the team with eight kills, four that came in the final nine points of the match. That 9-3 point run from the Black-and-Red squashed any Bulldog hope of taking the third set. One final kill from Clark gave the Rangers the final set with an astounding score of 25-12.
The Rangers have faced adversity and came out on top as the win Thursday evening is one of the biggest in program history. Not only was the match a huge rivalry win, but the volleyball program reached their first 21 game winning record in history, as well as their first 11 game winning record since the team joined the GAC. Their 2019 season record now sits at 21-9, 11-3 in conference.
When asked about the win and its impact on the team as they head into their last week of conference play Head Coach Fred Aubuchon had this to say, “Exciting is probably the simplest answer that comes to mind. I’m very proud of how we played tonight. Our team is in a rhythm right now and I’m just doing my best to stay out of their way as they continue to improve and perform in these tough conference matches.”
The Black-and-Red are scheduled for their final GAC away match against East Central in Ada, Okla. The first serve is set for 6:30 p.m.