NORMAN, Okla. The Oklahoma volleyball team won the Chattanooga Invitational Championship thanks to a 3-0 (30-21, 30-18, 30-28) victory over Louisiana-Monroe Saturday afternoon. Freshman Joanna Schmitt was named the tournament MVP, while fellow rookie Laura Tomes was named to the all-tournament team. The win is the fourth consecutive for OU and bumps its record to 4-3 on the season.
"This afternoon was a good match and the most relaxed the team has been all season," said OU head coach Mahi. "We started very strong and really controlled the match."
Schmitt earned MVP honors thanks in part to her second double-double of the tournament (11 kills and 13 digs). She averaged 4.6 kills per game and 3.2 digs per game over the weekend.
For the first time this season Schmitt did not lead OU in kills against the Lady Indians, that honor went to Tomes. The freshman middle hitter collected 15 kills and tied an OU rally scoring record by hitting .619 (15K-2E-21TA) on the match. Coincidentally, her performance ties the mark of 2002 graduate Megan O'Connell who set the record with a 14 kill performance against Louisiana Monroe last season in the Ewing Grover Olds/GMC Invitational (Tulsa, Okla.).
"I am proud of the way the freshmen and newcomers handled themselves," said Mahi. "They did a nice job all weekend."
Sheena Werling broke her own service aces record (five), which she set against Drake yesterday, by collecting six service aces. Werling also tallied eight kills.
"Sheena had a great overall weekend," said Mahi. "She really served exceptionally in the tournament. Jen Adams also stood out, she was steady all weekend and played consistent ball in the middle."
Adams collected four service aces, one solo block and three block assists. Freshman Rachel Jackson and senior Kelly McCarter shared the setting duties and contributed 17 and 18 assists, respectively.
The busy tournament schedule began to catch up with OU in the third and final game against ULM. The Sooners were down 28-24 to the Indians when Werling stepped back to serve. Her proficient jump serve rallied the Sooners to six consecutive points and the tournament championship.
The tournament championship is the second of the Mahi era and the first since 2000 when the Sooners won the Cardinal Classic.
OU returns to the court next weekend (Sept. 12-13) with the Liberty University Invitational. The Sooners and their four match win streak will face Elon, Morehead State, East Carolina and host Liberty in Lynchburg, Va.
Staci Boerema, Drake
Kristen Peck, Lipscomb
Ashley Williams, Louisiana-Monroe
Kari Krouse, Chattanooga
Laura Tomes, Oklahoma
Kristen Lickiss, Drake
Joanna Schmitt, Oklahoma (MVP)