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Volleyball Live On O-Zone
November 03, 2003

The Weekly Slate

Texas Tech
Wednesday, Nov. 5 
Howard McCasland Field House 7 p.m.

MATCH LINKS
Live StatsLive VideoOU Season StatsTexas Tech Season Stats

At No. 22 Texas A&M
Saturday, Nov. 8
G. Rollie White Coliseum
College Station, Texas 7 p.m.

The Lowdown
The Oklahoma (10-14, 2-10) volleyball team faces Texas Tech (10-12, 2-11) at the Howard McCasland Field House on Wednesday night.  Doors open at 6 p.m., with first serve set for 7 p.m.   The first 200 fans in attendance will receive free OU volleyball team pictures.  Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for children.  It's also "Website Wednesday".  Log on to Soonersports.com and receive a pop-up coupon for $3 off an adult-general admission ticket.

OU faces a Texas Tech squad that is coming off a five game victory over Baylor.  Ironically, the Sooners downed the Bears in five games on Wednesday at the McCasland Field House.

Tech has struggled this season under first year head coach Nancy Todd.  Despite Tech’s struggles, junior outside hitter Kelly Johnson has continued to assault the Big 12 offensively.  Johnson has a hefty lead over everyone in the Big 12 in kills per game with a 5.57 average. No other conference player is averaging more than five kills per game.  Johnson was a First Team All-Big 12 performer in 2002 and is well on her way this season.

In Tech’s other match last week, it stole a game from Nebraska.   Nebraska won the match but the Lady Raiders picked up a single game victory against the Huskers for the first time since 2000.

The Lady Raiders received an emotional and physical boost with the return of senior middle blocker Angela Mooney last week.   Mooney, the only senior on the young squad, averages 2.53 kills per game while hitting at a .239 clip. 

Texas Tech leads the all-time series 32-11 and has swept the Sooners in the last 11 meetings, dating back to 1998.

As for the Sooners
The Sooners put together a great all-around performance against Baylor on Wed, Oct. 29 but couldn’t repeat the winning effort in a three game loss at No. 11 Nebraska, Sat., Nov. 1.  OU picked up its fourth consecutive win against Baylor after going the distance with the Bears for the second straight time.

Against Baylor the offense was led by sophomore Sheena Werling, who tallied 19 kills while hitting .405.  Werling turned in an exceptional all-around performance with two aces, eight digs and a career-best five block assists.  Werling continues to excel out of position, as she fills in at right side hitter for the depleted Sooners.

Senior Christina Maynes notched her second double-double of the season with an 18 kill, 16 dig performance against Baylor.  Fellow left sider Joanna Schmitt turned in her 10th double-double of the season with 24 kills and 13 digs.  Keri Coats continue her smooth transition to middle blocker with nine kills, two aces, four digs and four block assists.  Coats hit at a .350 clip and had just two errors on the night.  Setters Rachel Jackson and Kelly McCarter led OU to a rally scoring team record 69 assists.  Jackson turned in 45 assists, while McCarter had 19 helpers.

Filling In, Stepping Up
OU head coach Kalani Mahi acknowledged at the beginning of the season that this team was the deepest he’d ever had at OU.  Mahi did point to middle blocker as one area the Sooners could not afford any major injuries.

With the loss of Tomes for the season and Adams for an extended period of time, OU has shifted Coats and sophomore Jennifer Mosso into the middle. 

Coats, who hasn’t played middle since high school, has been exceptional since switching positions to middle blocker.  Coats was averaging 2.14 kills per game while hitting .300 and collecting 1.14 blocks per game at middle blocker prior to the Nebraska match.  Coats had one of her worst outings as a Sooner while hitting -.181 and collecting just two kills at Nebraska on Saturday.

Sophomore Sheena Werling has hit the ground running since replacing Coats at right side hitter.  Werling is averaging 3.18 kills per game and hitting .297 since the move.  The five match hot streak has upped her season hitting percentage from .173 to .198. 

Coach Mahi has moved senior Christina Maynes back to outside hitter, after playing 11 matches at defensive specialist.  In nine contests since returning to the outside, Maynes has averaged 3.13 kills per game.

The team numbers haven’t fallen off drastically since the lineup change either.  Below is a comparison of the season numbers before Adams and Tomes went down and the team totals since:

                            Before                After
KPG                    13.49                  13.59
Hitting %           .188                    .171
Assists               12.01                  12.59
Aces                    1.59                    1.35
Digs                     13.53                 12.59
Blocks                 2.49                    2.06

Schmitt Breaks Kills Record
Early in the second game against Baylor, Joanna Schmitt notched her eighth kill of the match and broke the rally scoring  single season record of 342 kills held by Logan Pierce.   Schmitt has 370 kills on the season and is on pace to record 493 kills this season.

Quick Hits
-  With 10 matches remaining the Sooners have  209 total blocks, which already tops the 180 posted by the Sooners in 2002.  At their current pace, OU would record 278 total blocks this season.
 
-   OU has won four consecutive matches against Baylor for the first time since 1996-97, when they swept both season series.  The Sooners lead the all-time series 19-11.

-    OU’s four match win streak against Baylor is  its longest current streak against any Big 12 opponent.

-  OU hit above. 200 eight times last season.  The Sooners have hit above .200, 12 times this season and in 12 of the last 21 contests, including both matches with Baylor.  OU has hit above .200 four times since the beginning of conference play. OU is 8-4 when it hits above .200 and 2-2 when they reach the mark in conference this season.
  
Walk-On Starter
The biggest surprise of the season for OU is the emergence of walk-on freshman Rachel Jackson.  She leads OU with 8.41 assists per game and  has broken the five game assists record three times.   Jackson broke the record for the third time with 56 at Baylor, Oct. 1.  The freshman from Texas set the previous marks against East Carolina (52) and Morehead State (54).  She broke on to the scene against Tennessee-Chattanooga when coach Mahi pulled senior Kelly McCarter and put in Jackson who tallied 40 (13.3) assists in three games of action.

Record Turn Out
The Oklahoma volleyball team enjoyed a crowd of 3,162 for their match against No. 22 Texas A&M.  The crowd spurned the Sooners on as they battled the Aggies tooth and nail. OU has never had a crowd larger than 2,000 turn out for a match.  The crowd ranked in the top-10 for the week and was the 46th best turnout in the NCAA this season.

Adams Nearing Return
Sophomore Jennifer Adams, sidelined since Oct. 11, is making significant strides in her rehab from a sprained ankle.  Adams could return to OU lineup in the next two weeks.

Double-Trouble
Joanna Schmitt has gone to the well for double-doubles on 10 occasions this season.   Schmitt’s total ranks as the 10th best mark in the Big 12 and the top number among Big 12 rookies.  Below is list of the top individuals in the conference:

1. Schwartz, Baylor                         13
2. Carr, Colorado                             12
 Brittany Dalager, Iowa State        12
4. Rome, Kansas                             11
 Johnson, Tech                               11
 Munsch, A&M                              11
 L. Jones, A&M                              11
 Danru, Mizzou                                11
 Saleaumua, Nebraska                    11
10. Joanna Schmitt,  OU                 10
11. Skypala, A&M                           9
 Correa, Kansas                                9

Rookie Of The Year
Outside hitter Joanna Schmitt is a  favorite for Big 12 Freshman of the Year.  Schmitt leads all freshman in  kills per game (4.30) and is second in digs per game (2.60).  She is ranked No. 4 in the Big 12 in kills per game and is third since the beginning of conference play (4.51 KPG).

Assaulting the Record Book
In 24 career matches Joanna Schmitt has led OU in total attacks 23 times, kills 21 times and digs seven times.  She is on pace to break a number of records.  With eight matches remaining she already owns the OU rally scoring kills record with a current total of 370.  Schmitt is on pace to record 493 kills this season, the eighth best single-season total in OU volleyball history, regardless of scoring system.  The favorite target of OU’s setters is on pace to take 1,354 swings this year, a mark that would rank fifth in OU history.  At her current pace Schmitt will easily top 400 kills and 300 digs.  Only six players in OU history have turned in 400 kills and 300 digs in a single season, while only five Sooners have ever recorded a 500-300 season.  Her projected digs total of 300 is another OU rally scoring record and would place her just outside the top 10 on OU’s all-time list.   Schmitt only needed 19 matches to pass 2002 kills leader Megan O’Connell (289) and is already third on the OU rally scoring career kills list.

Maynes First To 500-500 Mark
OU senior Christina Maynes moved into first place on the OU career rally scoring digs list with 15 digs in a double-double effort at Baylor (10/1). She passed 2002 graduate Denise Griffin who had 461 and stands alone at the top with 546.  Maynes  took over sole possession on the OU career rally scoring kills list after recording 15 kills during Cougar Challenge play.  She now has 545 kills in her career.  She is the only Sooner in rally scoring history (since 2001) to reach 500 in either category.



 

 

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