Oct. 30, 2010
NORMAN, Okla. – The University of Oklahoma volleyball team rallied from a 2-1 deficit to defeat the Baylor Bears in five sets Saturday afternoon at McCasland Field House (25-18, 16-25, 18-25, 25-19, 15-8). The Sooners (17-6, 9-3 Big 12) got their fourth straight fifth-set home win over the Bears (12-11, 5-7 Big 12).
“I’m really proud of our team for coming back in the fourth and fifth sets,” said Oklahoma head coach Santiago Restrepo. “Every time we play Baylor at home, it’s a battle. We were able to slow them down in the fifth set and that was key in the win.”
Sallie McLaurin led the way for the Sooners, dropping 14 kills, a season-high three service aces and six total blocks, including one block solo. McLaurin hit .370 and had a match-high 20.5 points. Brianne Barker recorded her 14th double-double of the year with 52 assists and 11 digs. Barker’s 52 assists were her most in a conference match this season and the most since her career-high 57 at Arkansas on Sept. 7.
Suzy Boulavsky had 16 kills, hitting .302 and adding three block assists. Caitlin Higgins added 10 kills and 11 digs for her sixth double-double of the year. Maria Fernanda’s 23 digs were her most since Sept. 22. Eden Williams added 11 digs and two service aces. As a team, the Sooners had eight service aces, the most in a five-set match in the 25-point rally scoring era.
Cortney Warren and Francie Ekwerekwu provided a much-needed spark in the later sets. Each had seven kills with Ekwerekwu recording a block solo and Warren assisting on a block.
Oklahoma hit .244 as a team, its fourth straight match hitting .200 or better. OU out-dug the nation’s best defensive team, tallying 64 digs to the Bears’ 60. The Sooners also added 67 kills, while the Bears only managed 58.
Baylor took a 4-3 lead in the first set and extended the advantage to 10-5 before the Sooners rallied back to tie the set at 11-all. Oklahoma went on a 4-0 run to jump out 15-11 and forced the Bears to call both timeouts. OU led from there, winning the set 25-18. OU hit .457 in the set, committing just one unforced error. McLaurin led the way with five kills and Barker added 10 assists.
The two teams traded rallies to start the second and Baylor went ahead 7-6 and led by six midway through the period. OU was unable to mount a rally and dropped the frame 25-16. The Sooners committed seven errors, five unforced and the Bears hit .312 to even the match at 1-1 heading into the intermission. Boulavsky had five kills in the set for OU.
The Bears led 1-0 in the third set and never trailed in the set to take a 2-1 match lead with a 25-18 win. Oklahoma responded in the fourth set, going ahead 7-6 and winning the set 25-19 to force a fifth set. The Sooners hit .268 in the set, connecting for 18 kills and four blocks. OU carried the momentum into the fifth, leading 8-3 at the switch. The Sooners went on to win 15-8 to take the match. OU hit .533 in the set, committing just two attack errors in 15 attempts.
Oklahoma returns to action Wednesday evening. The Sooners travel to College Station, Texas to face Texas A&M in an 8 p.m. CT contest from Reed Arena. The match airs nationally on ESPNU.