Volleyball Snags Rare Home Contest From Oral Roberts

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
SEPTEMBER 17, 2003

Box Score | Season Stats

TULSA, Okla. The Oklahoma volleyball team defeated Oral Roberts (3-1) Tuesday evening, for the first time since 1995 and continue to build momentum with the Big 12 season around the corner. Oklahoma improves to 8-4 with the 31-29, 22-30, 31-29, 30-18 victory, while the Golden Eagles drop to 4-8.   OU was just the fourth team to best the Golden Eagles (91-4) in the last 95 contests held at the Cooper Aerobics Center on the Tulsa campus.  The fact was not lost OU head coach Kalani Mahi.

"This is a tough and loud place to play," said Mahi.  "This was very important win for this team and the program.  The way we battled back and took the match after being on the brink of defeat is a great sign. We played well and learned a lot of things tonight, that will help us for the Big 12 season."

Oklahoma was led by freshman Joanna Schmitt who had an OU rally scoring record 23 kills and 15 digs. The double-double was the third consecutive for Schmitt and the second consecutive for fellow freshman Rachel Jackson who had 29 assists and 10 digs. Sheena Werling had 10 kills in the final two games and finished with 14 to go along with 11 digs, while freshman Laura Tomes reached double-digits in kills as well with 10. Consistent Keri Coats had eight kills, one error, one solo block and six block assists.

In the first game the Sooners jumped out to a quick 4-1 lead, which they would push to 14-7 and force ORU into a time out. OU returned the favor, calling a timeout when ORU cut the lead to 17-13 and the strategy paid off as OU ran off four consecutive points and led 21-13 thanks to a couple more big swings from Schmitt. ORU steadily battled back tying it at 27, when Tomes answered with her first kill of the match for the crucial point and 28-27 lead. The Sooners closed the match with back-to-back blocks. Schmitt dominated in game one with eight kills and no errors on fifteen attempts.

Schmitt led off the second game with another kill as the Sooners ran out to a 8-2 advantage thanks to five early kills. ORU would battle back to tie the game at 16-16 and take the lead at 20-19. After taking the lead ORU went on a 11-3 run closing the match at 30-22. Schmitt had a total of 12 kills and eight digs following the second session.

The Sooners would get equal point production from defense (five blocks) and offense (five kills) as they took a 23-18 lead in game three. OU couldn't hold its big lead as ORU battled all the way back for the 29-28 game-point advantage. The young Sooners responded with three consecutive points, highlighted by a vital kill off the arm of Coats. Villanueva was huge on defense in game three with 10 digs, while the team had a match-high 22.

The trend continued as OU took the early lead in game four, only to relinquish it and be down 12-9. With the score tied at 15-15 Schmitt put away four consecutive kills and gave OU a 19-15 lead. The Sooners extended the lead to 23-17 and polished off the match with a 7-1 run.

OU collected 15 total blocks and was led by Jennifer Adams with seven block assists and Tomes with five block assists plus one solo block. The match was the fourth for OU with 15 or more total blocks, a number they never reached in 2002.

OU had seven players with five or more digs, led by senior co-captain Yvette Villanueva.

The Sooners open the Big 12 schedule with Missouri in Columbia, Saturday at 5 p.m. The match was originally schedule for 7 p.m. and was moved up this week.



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