NORMAN, Okla. The Oklahoma volleyball team gave No. 21 Texas A&M all it could handle Saturday night at the G. Rollie White Coliseum before falling in four games (30-17, 31-29, 30-18, 34-32) in front of crowd of over 1,800. The Sooners won a single game against a ranked conference opponent for the first time since 1999, which includes the entire (OU head coach ) Kalani Mahi era.
OU pushed A&M to the wire without the services of starters Keri Coats and Sheena Werling for a full match. Coats left in the second game with an ankle injury and did not return, while Werling left in the second and returned late in the third game.
OU was led offensively by senior Christina Maynes for the second consecutive game. Maynes turned in her second consecutive double-double with 19 kills and 10 digs. Freshman Joanna Schmitt notched her 12th double-double of the season with an 18 kill, 18 dig performance. Freshman setter Rachel Jackson also recorded her second consecutive double-double with 43 assists and 12 digs.
Schmitt became the first Sooner in the rally scoring era to surpass 400 kills in a single season. The freshman from Wisconsin now has 410 kills this season, which is a OU rally scoring single season record, and is on pace to record 505 kills this season. At her current averages, Schmitt will top 500 kills and 300 digs by the end of the season, making her the sixth Sooner all-time to accomplish the feat.
In the first game the Sooners couldn’t fine any rhythm as they hit just .107 as opposed to the Aggies .400 hitting percentage. The Sooners trailed throughout and lost 30-17.
In game two the Sooners flipped the script on Texas A&M and led the majority of the session. OU was up 28-23 and inches from clinching its first single game victory over a ranked conference team since 1999 when A&M stormed back. The Aggies put together a six point rally and had OU at game point 29-28. OU responded with three consecutive scores, capped by a Maynes kill to even the match at one set a piece.
The Sooners were able to win the second game despite losing starting middle blocker Keri Coats and starting right side hitter Sheena Werling. Sophomore Jennifer Adams returned to the lineup to replace Coats, after sitting out the last six matches with an ankle injury. Werling was replaced by 5-9, third string setter Anna Monsen. Monsen was efficient in her relief work with three kills, two digs and two aces. The depleted Sooners couldn’t hold off A&M, which won the third session 30-18. OU did not help itself with a -.045 hitting percentage in the third game.
Werling returned late in the third game and surged the Sooners to a rally in the fourth game. OU led 26-24 and 28-27 late in game four before the teams began playing sideout volleyball. The match was tied at 29, 30, 31 and 32 before the Aggies sealed the victory at 34-32. Joanna Schmitt did all she could with nine kills in the final session.
Other standout performances were turned in by Yvette Villanueva and Adams. Villanueva had 14 digs and has recorded double-digit digs in three consecutive matches. Adams came off the bench to collect eight digs in three games of action. She had just two attack errors and hit .500 on the night.
OU was able to hang with A&M despite recording just four team blocks to the Aggies 13. The Aggies held a steep advantage in hitting percentage as well, .266-.131.
OU snapped a streak of over three years when it took a single game from No. 19 Washington State in the season opening Cougar Challenge. The last time the Sooners defeated a ranked opponent in conference action was against Kansas State in 1999.