Nov. 8, 2000
NORMAN, Okla. - After picking up a 17-15 win in game one, the Oklahoma volleyball team lost the last three games to Baylor, 15-1, 15-13 and 15-6, Wednesday night at the OU Fieldhouse in Norman, Okla. The match resembled a rollercoaster for the Sooners (7-16, 2-13 Big 12) as they out-performed the Bears (14-11, 7-9 Big 12) in games one and three, while struggling in games two and four. For the game, OU recorded a higher hitting percentage (.255 to .245) and out-blocked BU 13-4. OU senior middle blocker Cathy Cook recorded one of her best overall performances of the season as she landed a team-high 22 kills, tied a career-high three block solos and matched a season-high six block assists.
"It was great to come out and win the first game and have a shot at winning the match from that point on. The team played well and stuck to a solid game plan," said Oklahoma Head Coach Kalani Mahi following the match. "However, Baylor fought hard and put themselves in a position to win. The difference in games two and four was our inability to serve and pass."
A key factor in the Sooners' success throughout the match was their dominating presence at the net. With 13 team blocks, Oklahoma fell a half block short of equalling their season-high in the category. The blocking success reflected a major focusing point for the team the last couple of weeks.
"We knew they had some big hitters in their lineup and we tried to alter their offensive attack by creating problems for them at the net," explained Mahi. "We've been focusing a lot on our blocking in practice the last few weeks and it has helped elevate our level of play in our recent matches."
After battling back and forth through the first 15 points of the match, Oklahoma began to pull away from Baylor with a 5-0 run to lead 12-7. The Bears countered with a 7-2 spurt to knot game one at 14 all, but OU battled with BU until the Sooners claimed the final two points on a kill by freshman outside hitter Logan Pierce and a service ace by sophomore setter Jessica Barney. Senior middle blocker Holly McMillan registered six of her 15 kills in the first game as the Sooners recorded their highest hitting percentage of the match at .333.
Baylor controlled the ball for most of the second game, holding Oklahoma to a .000 hitting percentage, before the Sooners rebounded in game three. The middle blocking duo of Cook and McMillan were once again the primary forces in the Sooner offense as both landed six kills in game three alone, while Pierce followed close behind with five. Defensively, Cook assisted in three blocks and recorded three solo blocks as well. After spotting the Bears with an early 11-5 lead, the Sooners rallied and tied the game at 13 before Baylor captured the final points.
Baylor's ability to control the ball and keep it out of Oklahoma's hands was once again the deciding factor in game four as the Bears jumped out to an 11-0 advantage and ran away with a 15-6 final game victory to clinch the match.
Oklahoma concludes its brief two-match homestand Saturday night at 7 p.m. as it hosts Texas Tech at OU Fieldhouse.