NORMAN, Okla.- For the second consecutive match an injury sidelined a key contributor on the OU volleyball team and hampered the Sooners attack as they fell in three games (30-25, 30-19, 30-23) to Kansas Saturday night at the Howard McCasland Field House. The loss drops the Sooners to below .500 for the first time since Sept. 5, as OU falls to 9-10 on the season and 1-6 in the Big 12. Kansas improves to 12-6 overall and 4-3 in conference.
OU middle blocker Jennifer Adams, who is ranked No. 6 in the Big 12 in blocks, went down with a turned ankle midway through the second game. The Sooners were not the only team to suffer an injury, as Jayhawk freshman outside hitter Janaina Correa went down with an undisclosed knee injury during warm-ups.
OU hit above .200 as a team for the 10th time this season, a major improvement over 2002 when the Sooners only topped that mark eight times. Freshman Joanna Schmitt led the Sooners offense with 15 kills while hitting .158. Senior Christina Maynes turned in 11 kills and hit. 250 on the match.
The Sooners, who already had to reshuffle their lineup without the services of freshman Laura Tomes (knee injury), were forced to shuffle freshman Anna Monsen to right side hitter when Adams went down. Monsen put forth a valiant effort in game two with a couple attacks and one dig. Sophomore co-captain Sheena Werling replaced Monsen on the right side in game three and recorded three kills.
Adams was unstoppable before the injury with six kills, no errors and a .667 hitting percentage. She also tallied three block assists at middle blocker.
Senior co-captain Yvette Villanueva was pulled at libero in game two after struggling in the opener. She returned to the defensive role in game three and tallied five digs for 10 on the match. Sophomore Jennifer Mosso turned in season-highs in kills (3) and block assists (6).
Junior Keri Coats had four kills while seeing action at middle blocker for the first time as a Sooner. Freshman Rachel Jackson registered 33 assists, three digs and one block assist.
OU was doomed by extended rallies from Kansas in each of the games. Sophomore Josie Limia picked up the slack for the injured Correa with 12 kills, while Lindsay Morris collected a team-high 15 kills for Kansas. Ashley Michaels also reached double-digits with 11 kills. Jayhawk setter Andi Rozum had a match-high 40 assists.
The Sooners return to conference action when they travel to Colorado on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. tilt. OU returns home next Friday with Texas A&M inside the Howard McCasland Field House. First serve is set for 7 p.m. with OU homecoming ceremonies immediately following the match. Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for children.