NORMAN, Okla. The Oklahoma volleyball team fell in three games against Colorado at the Lloyd Noble Center, Friday afternoon. On Senior Day, it was Sooner freshman Joanna Schmitt who turned in a career performance. Schmitt became the sixth player in OU history to record 500 kills and 300 digs in the same season. The Big 12 Freshman of the Year finalist collected her 16th double-double of the season with 18 kills and 10 digs.
Seniors Christina Maynes led the graduating trio with 17 kills while hitting at a .400 clip. Co-captains Yvette Villanueva and Kelly McCarter tallied 11 digs and 18 assists, respectively.
Schmitt recorded 505 kills and 324 digs this season. Her kill total and kill per game average (4.32) are the third best marks recorded by a freshman in Big 12 history. She also had 1,380 total attempts this season, which is the second best total posted by a freshman in Big 12 history. Schmitt led all Big 12 freshman in kills, kills per game, double-doubles and total attempts, while ranking second in digs per game (2.77). Schmitt is one of five finalist for the Big 12 Freshman of the Year, which will be announced Sunday afternoon.
Schmitt left her mark all over the OU record books as well. Her season kill total is the sixth best in OU history, while her total attempts ranks fifth. She owns the rally-scoring era records for single season kills, kills per game, digs and total attacks.
As for the match, OU came all the way back from a 22-16 deficit to narrow the Buffaloes lead to 28-27 in game one. A couple kills by sophomore Jennifer Adams and Maynes put the Sooners on the verge of tying the match. After a CU side out, sophomore Sheena Werling put-away a kill and staved off game point for a score of 29-28. A kill from Colorado outside hitter Allie Griffin sealed the match on the next possession, 30-28. Schmitt who needed 13 kills to reach 500 for the season was well on her way with six first session put-aways.
The second game was tight the entire way. Schmitt’s 500th kill of the season narrowed the Sooner deficit to 28-26. Kill number 501 made it 29-28 but the Sooners would get no closer and lose again by the score of 30-28. Maynes had 10 kills in the second game, while Schmitt tallied eight. The Sooners hit .400 in game two, their highest single game hitting percentage of the conference season and their best mark since Sept. 13 against Liberty.
In the third and decisive game the Sooners jumped out to early leads of 6-2, 7-3 and 10-7. OU would hold its three-point advantage until 20-17 when the Buffaloes put together a remarkable rally. CU scored 11 straight points behind the serving of middle blocker Monique Gerlach to swing the game in their favor 27-20. Colorado went on to end the match and the Sooners season 30-22.
Werling had one of her best matches of the season with 14 kills and just one error while hitting at a .433 clip and collecting three block assists. Freshman setter Rachel Jackson teamed with McCarter to record 32 and 18 assists, respectively. Sophomore Jennifer Adams had five kills and was equaled defensively by fellow sophomore Jennifer Mosso who had five block assists. Schmitt also turned in a team-high three aces and three block assists.
Oklahoma finishes the 2003 campaign with an overall record of 11-21, which includes a 3-17 conference mark. Colorado awaits a NCAA Tournament bid with a 21-9 record, including a 13-7 Big 12 finish.
OU loses three seniors this season and returns 10 players with starting experience in 2004. Juniors Keri Coats and Stephanie Tengram will carry the senior load in 2004.