TULSA, Okla. -

The defeat dropped ACU's season and conference records to 4-6 and 0-2, while the Golden Eagles improved to 10-2 overall and 2-0 vs. the Southland.

The match was closer than the final score indicated with the two sides exchanging the lead on five occasions. There were also 13 tie scores through the three sets.

The Wildcats led 15-13 in the first set before surrendering a game-changing 8-2 run that put the Golden Eagles ahead by four and forced them into a timeout. Coming out of that break, the Wildcats clawed their way back to within a point by scoring four of the next five points led by back-to-back kills by freshman Lexi Mercier.

Unfortunately, ORU would go on to score the game's final three points. A kill from Sara Pope - who led all players with 17.5 points - gave the Golden Eagles a three-point lead and then consecutive attack errors by the Wildcats sealed the home team's first set triumph.

ORU jumped out leads of 6-2 and 11-6 in the early goings of set two and were able to counter a 4-1 run by the Wildcats with a 9-2 rally that pushed its lead to 20-11. The Golden Eagles then strung together three straight points to move ahead by 11 at 23-12.

ACU delayed ORU's celebration by a few possessions as the Wildcats got to within eight points at 24-16 after Pope and McKenna Qualls made a few errors, but Pope ultimately made a correction at the net and delivered the game-winning point.

Game three followed a similar pattern to the first set as ORU relinquished an early lead by allowing a mid-set 6-2 run that gave its guests a short-lived 13-12 lead.

The Golden Eagles would then score the next two points on kills from Qualls and Pope and ACU tied it one final time at 14-14 on a point from sophomore Corrie Reeder.

From there, ORU scored the next four points and eight of the next 10 as its lead was pushed out to 22-16. ACU twice got back to within four points at 23-19 and 24-20, but wouldn't get any closer after Qualls struck her match-clinching 10th kill of the afternoon.

ORU hit .246 for the match led by Pope's 17 kills and the 10 from Qualls. Jessica Pancratz also had a solid game with eight kills on 11 attempts with two block assists.

ACU totaled 8.0 blocks to ORU's 4.0, getting five from Neely Borger and three assists each from Mercier and Jennie Loerch, who again led her team with 12 kills.

Reeder finished with seven kills. Setter Sarah Siemens tossed up 20 assists and Madison Hoover had the most digs for ACU with 11.

The Wildcats return to action Thursday at home vs. McNeese State at 7 p.m.

Information provided by ACU athletics department.