Opening Night Comeback Comes Up Short
NORMAN – The University of Oklahoma volleyball team opened its NIKE Invitational in front of 1,072 at McCasland Field House with a dramatic 3-2 defeat to Seton Hall on Friday night. The Sooners staged a comeback after dropping the first two sets of their season opener and forcing a fifth before ultimately falling to the Pirates in five.
Seton Hall won the first two sets by identical scores of 25-23. Each set win was aided by a late 4-0, giving the Pirates leads of 22-20 in the first and 22-19 in the second. Oklahoma, which started three freshmen and a total of four newcomers, fought back to win the third and fourth by scores of 25-21 and 25-17.
“We are young, but we are growing and getting better,” commented 14th-year head coach Santiago Restrepo. “The energy was excellent. We didn’t come out with the win, but the things I saw were great.”
In the deciding set, SHU hit an even .500 with 10 kills and took the match behind a 15-11 win.
OU junior Morgan Miller (Magnolia, Texas), a transfer from Louisville, filled up the box score in her Sooner debut with the first triple-double at Oklahoma since Brianne Barker against No. 22 Tulsa in the 2010 NCAA First Round in Norman. Miller reached the feat in the fourth set with her 10th kill of the night. She finished with 12 kills, 17 assists and 15 digs to go with five block assists.
Seton Hall middle blocker Abby Thelen led all players with 18 kills. Outside hitters Dominique Mason and Sharay Barnes joined her in double figures with kill totals of 14 and 10, respectively.
For Oklahoma, junior outside hitter Alyssa Enneking (League City, Texas) led the offense with 13 kills despite not making her first appearance of the match until late in the second set. She added eight digs and two block assists.
Junior setter Audrey Alford (Norman, Okla.) was tops in assists for the match with 23. She recorded a double-double, following up the seven she notched in 2016, by adding 11 digs. Sophia Coffey led SHU with 22 assists, while Maggie Cvelbar chipped in with 20.
The Sooners round out the weekend with a pair of matches Saturday beginning with a 12:30 p.m. first serve against Northwestern State. Oklahoma then takes on former Big 12 foe Colorado in the nightcap at 7 p.m. Both matches will air on FOX Sports Oklahoma and can be heard locally on Sportstalk 1400 AM/99.3 FM.