Nov. 14, 2012
NORMAN, Okla. -- Senior libero Maria Fernanda made yet another big career move on the season as the University of Oklahoma volleyball team fell to No. 22 Kansas in three sets (18-25, 27-29, 24-26) Wednesday evening in Lawrence, Kan., in front of 1,005 fans at the Horejsi Family Athletics Center.
Fernanda and outside hitter Keila Rodriguez each had a team-high 13 digs on the night. With her performance, Fernanda took sole possession of second place spot on the Big 12 career digs list. For the year Fernanda has totaled 471 digs, to move up six spots from eighth, where she began the year, to second with 2,119 career digs.
Against Kansas, Oklahoma continued a tough end to the regular season as it faced its second of three ranked opponents in its final four matches of the year, and faced back-to-back top-25 teams for the third time this season.
The loss drops the Sooners to 19-10 overall and 8-6 in conference play. The Jayhawks improve to 22-9 on the year and 10-4 in Big 12 action with the victory tonight.
Junior middle blocker Sallie McLaurin led OU in two separate categories after she knocked down 9 of 23 attempts to hit a team-best .348. McLaurin also tied with freshman Kierra Holst for a team-high two solo blocks on the night.
After a block by McLaurin put Oklahoma on the board in the first set, the Sooners continued to add points throughout the opening minutes, but were unable to gain momentum. The Jayhawks held a 16-10 lead before a Kansas service error and a block by Holst pulled the Sooners within four. It wasn't enough though as the Jayhawks went on to secure the first set, 25-18.
In the second set, the teams battled back and forth as the set featured 21 ties and nine lead changes. A McLaurin kill tied the score at 27-27, but back-to-back Jayhawk kills gave Kansas a 29-27 victory.
The third set was another hard fought battle between the two teams. Oklahoma took an early 3-1 lead but Kansas fought back and eventually held a 14-10 advantage. An attack error by Tara Dunn gave Kansas a 23-19 lead, but the Sooners wouldn't go down easy. A Kansas service error started a 4-1 scoring run for Oklahoma to tie it at 24-24, but the Jayhawks had some fight of their own and went on to claim the set, and match, with a 26-24 finish in the third stanza.
The Sooners play host to TCU on Wednesday, Nov. 21, in its final home match of the 2012 season. Seniors Maria Fernanda and Morgan Reynolds will be recognized before the start of the match. First serve is for 7 p.m. CT.
For up-to-the-minute updates, follow Oklahoma volleyball on Twitter at @SoonersVB.