Sept. 1, 2000

Beaumont, Texas - The University of Oklahoma volleyball team defeated New Mexico State, 3-1, in its season-opening match Friday at the Cardinal Classic. The tournament, hosted by Lamar University, is being played at the Montagne Center in Beaumont, Texas. The win gave first-year head coach Kalani Mahi his first win at the helm of the program.

After dropping game one to the Aggies (0-1), the Sooners (1-0) battled back to win the next three games and clinch the match. OU's outstanding team blocking effort helped them outdistance NMSU by a 13.5 to four margin, while the defense also limited the Aggies to less than a .208 hitting percentage total for the final three games. Senior middle blocker Cathy Cook dominated the floor posting a match-high .652 hitting percentage, connecting on 17 of 23 attacks. Fellow senior middle blocker Holly McMillan and freshman outside hitter Logan Pierce both tallied double-double performances as McMillan landed 11 kills and assisted in a career-high 11 blocks, while Pierce added 12 kills and 10 digs in her first collegiate match.

Several other Sooners registered career-high performances during the match. Senior setter Carolyn Kittell served up a career-high five aces while dishing out 40 assists and senior outside hitter Maria Holmgren added a career-high 13 digs.

Oklahoma will return to the court this afternoon at 4:30 for its second match of the day against Louisiana-Lafayette. The Ragin' Cajuns defeated Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, 3-0, earlier in the day in their opening game of the tournament.