The Oklahoma volleyball team closes the 2003 season at the Lloyd Noble Center, where they battle Colorado, Friday at 1 p.m. Christina Maynes, Yvette Villaneuva and Kelly McCarter will dawn crimson for final time in their careers and will be honored prior to the match.
Oklahoma enters the match two days removed from a crushing five game loss at Iowa State. The Sooners enter with an 11-20 overall record and 3-16 mark in Big 12 play. Colorado is the Sooners final chance to double their win total (6) from last season. Colorado has won seven of its last nine matches and enters with a record of 20-9 overall and 12-7 in conference.
OU loses three seniors who carried important roles this season. Christina Maynes will be the toughest to replace offensively. Maynes has averaged 3.08 kills per game while hitting .192 and collecting 2.57 digs per game since the start of conference play. Maynes is the fist Sooners to reach 600 kills and 600 digs during the rally scoring era and graduates with the OU career records in each category.
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On the defensive end, OU head coach Kalani Mahi will have to replace libero Yvette Villanueva. The co-captain who transferred to OU prior to her junior season is third on the squad with 2.24 digs per game. Her progression at the position has been so significant that opposing teams game plan to serve and attack away from her.
Kelly McCarter’s was only at OU for a season but held a vital leadership role within the squad. The co-captain averaged 4.73 assists per game and 0.66 blocks per game. While sharing the setting duties with freshman Rachel Jackson, McCarter helped mentor the rookie during the transition to college volleyball.
Sooners fans should also keep an eye on Joanna Schmitt who is 13 kills shy of recording 500 during her freshman campaign. She will become the first freshman in OU history to record 500 kills. With 17 kills against Iowa State, Schmitt upped her season dig total to 314. If she gets the necessary kills she'll become just the sixth player in OU history to record a 500-300 (kill-dig) season. Schmitt is one of five finalist for the Big 12 Freshman of the Year and is also the Sooners strongest candidate for an all-conference nod.
The Big 12 awards will be announced Sunday afternoon.