Sept. 1, 2012
Greeley, Colo. - The University of Oklahoma volleyball team claimed its second win of the 2012 Hampton Inn and Suites Northern Colorado Classic Saturday afternoon when it swept past North Dakota State in three (25-18, 37-35, 25-21) to stand 2-1 on the weekend, and 5-1 on the year.
The Sooners were led by two freshmen in middle blocker Kierra Holst, who put together an impressive performance that saw her register a team-high 16 kills with just two errors off of 28 swings for a .500 hitting percentage, and setter Julia Doyle who logged the third double-double of her young six-game career with 43 assists and 10 digs.
In each of her double-doubles, Doyle has contributed 43 or more assists to have three, 40-plus assist performances to her name.
Both of their performances helped Oklahoma meet, and surpass, two program records as the Sooners matched an OU-best 55 kills and inked a new record with 53 team assists recorded in just three sets.
Junior middle blocker Sallie McLaurin led OU defensively with two solo blocks and four block assists, and also contributed 13 kills off of 21 swings for a .429 hitting percentage.
Libero Maria Fernanda surpassed another career feat in just a matter of three matches.
In OU's first match of The Classic against Air Force, she totaled 16 digs to take sole possession of the seventh-place spot in the Big 12 career-leaders list at 1,719. In order to claim the sixth-place seat, she needed to total just 36 digs, and with her 15-dig performance this afternoon against the Bison, along with a 21-dig performance last night against Northern Colorado, she managed to tie Kansas State's Lauren Matheson (2007-10) with 1,755 career digs.
The Sooners grabbed the first set victory at the 8-8 marker after suffering a two-point deficit in the match's opening minutes. From that point, OU notched four consecutive points off of a Morgan Reynolds kill, a triple block, and a pair of service aces, to take a lead it would hold until set point. A 3-0 run closed out the first set at 18-25 to give the Sooners a 1-0 advantage heading into the second set.
In a grueling second stanza, which saw OU play to 37 points and battle through 22 score ties the Sooners totaled nearly half of their kills (25/55) and take a 2-0 lead heading into the third and final set. Oklahoma put together a 6-0 scoring run to open the second set, and put them in a strong position to claim set point until NDSU battled back to even it out at 12-12. From there, it was a back-and-forth battle which saw 19 of the 20 ties and eight separate lead changes. Back-to-back kills from Holst secured the second set for the Crimson and Cream at 37-35.
In the third and final set, three Sooner players totaled four kills each with the help of Tara Dunn, Reynolds and Holst to give OU its third sweep of the season. North Dakota State battled throughout the stanza, trailing by no more than four points at one moment in the set. Despite the Bison's efforts, the Sooners persevered and secured the victory with one last successful attack from McLaurin.
Oklahoma travels northwest to Fort Collins, Colo., for its first ranked match-up of the season when it faces No. 24 Colorado State tomorrow afternoon at 3 p.m. CT. The match marks an arduous weekend schedule that sees the Sooners face four opponents in three days.
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