Oklahoma Baptist downs Henderson State in GAC volleyball final

Henderson State's Larkin Luke (11) serves against Southern Arkansas Thursday at Bank OZK Arena. (The Sentinel-Record/Krishnan Collins)

Oklahoma Baptist won a marathon first set and the last two games against Henderson State Saturday for the Great American Conference volleyball championship.

The Bisons, seeded second, prevailed 31-29, 20-25, 25-18 and 25-10 at Bank OZK Arena. Oklahoma Baptist swept the Arkadelphia schools in bookend matches in Hot Springs, downing Ouachita Baptist in the quarterfinals Thursday.

Henderson State, seeded fourth, scored the tournament's biggest upset in the semifinals Friday against top seed Harding. Oklahoma Baptist advanced with a 3-0 win over Southwestern Oklahoma State.

Four Oklahoma Baptist players had double-figure kill goals in the final, Jill Leslie with 19, Avery Hellmuth with 13. D'Erricka Frierson 12 and Jenna West 10. Hellmuth had a .448 hitting percentage and Leslie followed at .368.

Lauren Safrit led with 16 digs, West and Emily Boyer adding 12 each. Christine Uzoh had 17 kills and hit .268 for HSU, whose Jagoda Szybinska hit .500 with 11 kills. Violeta Mendoza Quintana, dominant against Harding, totaled 10 kills and 25 digs but hit only .051 for the Lady Reddies, outhit .242 to .204.