It's senior week for Oklahoma volleyball with the season wrapping up this Friday when the Sooners face Colorado at the Lloyd Noble Center (1 p.m.). The last At The Net feature for the 2003 season is on senior Christina Maynes, who is the first Sooner to complete four years under Head Coach Kalani Mahi.
Christina Maynes has played a vital role on the Oklahoma volleyball team for four years. In fact, she is the first senior to graduate with four years under head coach Kalani Mahi. She has seen the program grow and expects the team to continue its improvement in the coming years.
Does she feel like a stepping stone to future success?
Not really, but she hopes her impact has been positive on the young Sooners squad.
"One of my goals this season was to really let the girls know that I'm there for them as a friend and not just somebody they play with," said Maynes. "In growing closer with my teammates, I hope they noticed that I always tried to stay positive and helpful."
Maynes play has shown more than anything else this year. As the old adage goes, 'She has let her play do the talking.'
The statistics are a bit deceiving because Maynes has moved around some, which is why she is just fourth on the team in kills and third in digs. The versatile athlete was asked to play defensive specialist by the coaching staff early in the season. She excelled and averaged 1.98 digs per game.
When the conference schedule rolled around, she moved back to outside hitter - her natural position -and teamed up with freshman-phenom Joanna Schmitt. Since that time Maynes has been the deadly second attacker the Sooners needed. She has averaged 3.60 kills per game (second on the team) while hitting .210 (second on the team) with a team-best 2.81 digs per game.
Schmitt and Maynes, who combine for eight plus kills per game, have easily been the most explosive tandem of the Mahi era, perhaps the best since 1997, when OU legends Patrice Arrington and Melissa Peterson rewrote the volleyball record books.
"I think we have been a really good combination for this team," said Maynes. "Joanna brings great emotion to all our matches, which gets the entire team charged up. I think I bring precision to our matches, which helps us more in longer rallies. We definitely play off each other well."
When Maynes leaves, her standout play will have left a mark in the OU record books. Maynes currently owns the OU rally-scoring career record for kills (621) and digs (596). Against Missouri, Maynes snared another record as she pounded home 30 kills. She was the first person to reach 30 since Arrington in 1997 and bested Schmitt's mark of 26 kills to claim the rally-scoring single-match record.
"It's going to be really cool to look back and know that I held a couple records," said Maynes. "I never set out with goals to have records, but it's good to see what can happen when you put in a lot of hard work."
Along with statistical accomplishments, Maynes has participated in many memorable matches. One that stands out above the rest is this year's match at Baylor, when she recorded 19 kills and 15 digs, for her first double-double of the season.
"I felt like I was in complete control when we played at Baylor," said Maynes. "I know I've had more kills in a match before, but that match I felt like I made all the plays."
Throughout Maynes' career she has tested herself both mentally and physically, while at the same time she has experienced a multitude of great things on and off the court at OU.
During her freshman season she met then Sooner wrestler Bo Maynes through Fellowship of Christian Athletes. In August 2002 the two were engaged and in May of 2003 the couple was married. Maynes cherishes the second pair of eyes and ears that her husband offers. He's experienced the trials that are part of being a student-athlete and understands the ups and down every player faces.
"We both have had similar trials as athletes and I have always admired how he has handled difficult situations," said Maynes. "He has really helped my mental outlook."
The Choctaw native knows the volleyball program is on the rise at OU and likes the talent of the team she will be leaving in four matches.
"The girls on this team are going to do some special things in the near future," said Maynes. "I hope that I helped instill a good work ethic in them. If they continue to work hard they'll be able to accomplish anything."
With the last few matches of her career approaching quickly, Maynes eyes one final goal.
"I want to leave with the satisfaction that comes from knowing I played the best ball I could," stated Maynes. "I want to leave knowing this team stayed together and stayed focused from first match until the last."