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Volleyball Pounds Host Chattanooga
September 05, 2003

NORMAN, Okla. The Oklahoma volleyball team beat host Tennessee-Chattanooga Friday evening in the Chattanooga Invitational and are now the only unbeaten team remaining in the field. OU improves to 2-3 on the season, while the Lady Mocs drop to 2-3 after the Sooners four game victory (25-30, 30-25, 30-21, 30-27). Outside hitters Joanna Schmitt and Sheena Werling both recorded double-doubles, while freshman setter Rachel Jackson came off the bench to run the Sooner offense.

"This was our best match of the season," said OU head coach Kalani Mahi. "When we pass consistently we are successful and tonight was an example of that. Joanna and Sheena were our best passers and hitters tonight."

Schmitt led OU in kills for the fifth consecutive match and recorded the second double-double of her young career. The freshman from Deerfield, Wis., pounded out 20 kills to go along with 14 digs, two aces and two block assists. Werling got in on the offensive action with 16 kills, 14 digs and one solo block.

The story of the match was the emergence of freshman setter Rachel Jackson who recorded 40 (13.3 per game) assists in three games of action. Jackson replaced senior Kelly McCarter and notched a double-double of her own with 11 digs as well. After recording eight errors in the game one loss, the Sooners, under Jackson offensive leadership, tallied just 16 errors in the final three games.

"Rachel was outstanding off the bench tonight," said Mahi. "Her strength is in her passing consistency and she was very good tonight."

Freshman middle hitter Laura Tomes picked up 13 kills, to go along with one solo block and two block assists. Junior-transfer Keri Coats and sophomore Jennifer Adams contributed eight and five kills, respectively. Adams had five block assists for the second consecutive match, while Coats collected one solo block and four block assists.

Tennessee Chattanooga sat back and ran a defense centered system against the Sooners. The Lady Mocs hoped to take advantage of mistakes on OU's part. The approach gave UTC a 86-79 advantage in digs, but was unsuccessful in the win column

"It was good to play a team that ran an opposite system as us," said Mahi. "We didn't capitalize on their approach in game one and it cost us. Once we adjusted and played a more patient brand of volleyball we were successful. Chattanooga ran the same system as San Francisco who we lost to last weekend. It was great to see the team adjust and control the match after game one."

OU doesn't have long to rest before its 9 a.m., Saturday match against Lipscomb, who is winless in the tournament. The Sooners closes the tourney at 1 p.m., Saturday against Louisiana-Monroe, who is 1-1 in the invite. OU swept ULM in the Ewing Grover Olds/GMC Invitational (Tulsa, Okla.) last season.

 

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