Volleyball Faces Arkansas in Border Battle

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
SEPTEMBER 05, 2011
 Arkansas (5-2) at No. 17 Oklahoma (6-1)
 Tuesday, September 6 | 7 p.m. CT
 Location  Norman, Okla. | McCasland Field House
 Tickets  Tickets OU Athletics Ticket Office
 Internet  All-Access VideoLive Webcast | Stats GameTracker
 Online   Match NotesMedia Guide | Roster | Twitter
 Promotions  50-cent hot dogs and Cokes

NORMAN, Okla. - The 17th-ranked University of Oklahoma volleyball team returns home Tuesday evening for a border battle with Arkansas. First serve is set for 7 p.m. CT at McCasland Field House. GameTracker and a webcast are available at SoonerSports.com.

Oklahoma is ranked 17th in the current American Volleyball Coaches Association poll ... The Sooners dropped their first match of the year Friday evening in a 3-1 loss to Cincinnati ... Oklahoma rebounded to sweep North Texas and Sam Houston State on Saturday ... Oklahoma got its first win over a ranked opponent on Aug. 29 with a sweep of No. 15 Colorado State ... The Sooners won the Nike Invitational with a 3-0 record against SMU (3-0), Oral Roberts (3-0) and Missouri State (3-1) ... OU was selected to finish second in the Big 12 Conference this year in a vote by the league's coaches the conference office ... The Sooners tied Iowa State with 53 points. Texas garnered 63 points to finish first ... Oklahoma returns 10 letterwinners from last season's 23-11 team that finished third in the Big 12 (13-7) ... The Sooners return five position starters and libero and have five newcomers.

 Player to Watch: Grace Whitley

A product of Kansas City, Mo., Grace Whitley led Bishop Miege High School to back-to-back state titles in 2010 and 2009. She earned second team All-Eastern Kansas League as a senior and junior. She hit .393 as a senior, recording 231 kills, 24 service aces and 142 total blocks. Whitley earned first team all-state honors as a junior and was named to the All-Sun team and honorable mention all-metro.

Whitley also played club volleyball for the KC Power. The team won the 2009 national championship, an event where she earned the tournament's most valuable player honors.

Grace Whitley

Brianne Barker and Suzy Boulavsky earned all-tournament team honors at the North Texas Invitational ... Sallie McLaurin was named most valuable player of the Nike Invitational ... Barker and María Fernanda also earned all-tournament team honors ... Barker, McLaurin and Boulavsky were named to the preseason All-Big 12 team ... Carlee Roethlisberger joined the volleyball team this year after playing for the women's basketball team the last four years ... Barker was a member of the USA Volleyball A2 Women's National Team this summer. McLaurin was a member of the U.S. Women's Junior National Team. Oklahoma head coach Santiago Restrepo was the head coach for the A2 Women's Junior National Team.

Arkansas won the Deacon Invitational this past weekend in Winston-Salem, N.C. Kelli Stipanovich earned the tournament's most valuable player honors and Raymariely Santos was named to the all-tournament team. The Razorbacks swept past Charleston Southern and Wake Forest before downing Georgetown in five to take the title. Arkansas leads the all-time series, 3-1. Oklahoma took last year's meeting 3-2 in Fayetteville. The Razorbacks hold a 2-0 advantage in matches played in Norman.



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