Bronchos Serve Up Wins in Tournament

The University of Central Oklahoma split their four games in the Tarleton State Invitational in Stephenville, Texas on Friday and Saturday to set their record at 2-2 on the season.

“We had an up-and-down weekend,” said volleyball head coach Edgar Miraku. “But I think we learned a lot about what we need to do moving forward.”

The No. 16 Bronchos defeated Southwest Baptist University in three sets (25-8, 25-17, 25 -15) to record their sixth straight season-opening win.

In the first set, the Bronchos didn’t commit any attack errors and recorded a .583 attack percentage, finishing the match with 40 kills and 10 miscues in 84 attempts.

UCO’s leading scorers were All-American senior Taylor Bevis, who recorded 11 kills on a .667 attack percentage in just two sets played, sophomore Malia Kaaiohelo, who hit .538 with eight kills, and senior Karyn Chrisman, who recorded six kills.

“We came out ready to play and our offense was really working,” Miraku said. “It was a good start for us. We were able to get a lot of players some time on the court.”

Despite the first victory, UCO dropped their next two matches as they fell to Midwestern State University in five sets and Texas A&M University-Commerce in four sets.

UCO lost the first two sets against Midwestern State (25-22, 25-23), but won the next two (25-17, 25-13) to generate a fifth set. However, the Mustangs scored the final two points and upset the Bronchos 17-5 in the match.

Facing Texas A&M-Commerce, UCO won the first set 25-21, but lost the next three sets (25-18, 25-20, 25-19) after hitting .130 and committing 20 hitting errors.

“We just made too many mistakes,” Miraku said. “It sounds simple, but we just have to play better.  Teams aren’t going to give it to us.”

In their final match, the Bronchos defeated No. 18 Tarleton State University in three sets (25-23, 25-19, 25-19) as UCO posted 49 kills on 115 attempts.

Bevis, who was named to the all-tournament team, had a team high 14 kills, eight digs and three assisted blocks. Chrisman posted 10 kills on a .714 attack percentage in the match, while teammate Haley Deschenes recorded nine kills.

“I was really proud of the way our players responded after two tough losses,” Miraku said. “We came out really focused and performed at a high level throughout the match.”

UCO will travel to Shawnee to play Oklahoma Baptist University on Tuesday at 7 p.m. for their next match.

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