Nov. 9, 2000
NORMAN, Okla. - The Texas Tech Red Raiders ride into Norman on Saturday to take on the Oklahoma Sooners in volleyball action. The contest, which concludes the Sooners' brief two-match homestand, is scheduled for 7 p.m. in the OU Fieldhouse and will be the second meeting of the year between the two teams. TTU won a three-game sweep over OU earlier in the season in Lubbock, Texas.
OU was unable to mount a threatening offensive attack against an impenetrable Texas Tech defense as the Sooners were swept by the then 24th-ranked Red Raiders, 15-9, 15-6 and 15-7, in Lubbock, Texas, back in early October. TTU caused problems for the OU at the net as the Sooners were unable to score around 15 Red Raider blocks. OU established its own presence at the net with a total of eight blocks, including 10 block assists. Senior middle blocker Cathy Cook led Oklahoma in kills with eight, followed by senior outside hitter Maria Holmgren with six.
Texas Tech owns a 26-11 lead in the all-time series against Oklahoma. The Red Raiders have won the last five contests, dating back to 1998. The 1997 season was the last time OU pulled off a victory over TTU as the Sooners swept the season series. The Red Raiders also own a commanding 10-5 advantage over the Sooners on OU's home court.
Oklahoma ended its nine-match losing streak against Iowa State on Saturday and lost a tough fought 3-1 match to Baylor in its most recent match. Against the Bears, Cook led the team in kills for the 19th time this year as she continues to lead the squad with a 4.55 kills per game average and a .349 hitting percentage. Over the last four matches, Cook has been unstoppable averaging a .452 hitting percentage, while committing only six errors. On the defensive end, fellow senior middle blocker Holly McMillan leads the team in blocks, averaging close to a block per game at 0.89, and senior setter Carolyn Kittell is the team leader in digs with a 2.49 average. As a team, Oklahoma ranked third in the Big 12 Conference in service aces per game with a 1.74 average (as of Nov. 2).
Since defeating Oklahoma at the beginning of October, Texas Tech has gone 5-5 over its last 10 matches. Two of the five losses were five-game set backs and the Red Raiders were hampered by a 1-3 road record over that stretch. TTU rebounded slightly after scoring a convincing sweep of Kansas on Wednesday night at home. As of Nov. 6, TTU was the top serving team in the Big 12 Conference with a 1.84 service aces per game average and the team also ranks as one of the best defensive teams in the league with a 18.80 digs per game average. As of Nov. 6, senior outside hitter Colleen Smith led the Red Raiders offensively with a 4.67 kills per game average, good for fourth best in the Big 12. Senior middle blocker Janelle Jones led all starters with a .308 hitting percentage, as of Nov. 6.