Sooners Drop Heartbreaker To No. 21 Jayhawks

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
OCTOBER 10, 2012

(14-6, 3-2)
  1 2 3 4 5 F
Oklahoma 16 25 25 21 10 2
No. 21 Kansas 25 21 13 25 15 3

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(17-2, 5-0)
 Team Statistics
 Individual Leaders
 Stat  Oklahoma
 Kills McLaurin (18) Carmichael (18)
 Hitting % Reynolds (.267) Carmichael (.273)
 Assists Doyle (45) McNorton (54)
 Digs Fernanda (26) Riley (43)
 Blocks Two With 3 Jarmoc (3.5)
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NORMAN, Okla. -- The University of Oklahoma volleyball team dropped a heartbreaking five-set match to No. 21 Kansas, Wednesday night at McCasland Field House (3-2; 16-25, 25-21, 25-13, 21-25, 10-15).

The Sooners  dropped to 14-6 on the year and 3-2 in Big 12 action, and faltered at home for just the second time this season, while the Jayhawks (17-2) won their sixth-straight match and seventh of its last nine on the road to remain just one of two Big 12 teams, alongside Texas, with an undefeated record in Conference action.

"We were up and down tonight," explained head coach Santiago Restrepo. "We didn't play well in crunch time, and against a team like that you have to play well when it counts."

"It is disappointing. It is a missed opportunity," remarked Restrepo.

The No. 21 Jayhawks squad marked the fifth ranked opponent on the year for the Sooners - who have previously taken the court against previously ranked No. 24 Colorado State, No. 1 Nebraska, No. 19 Kentucky, No. 11 Kansas State and No. 9 Texas. With the loss, Oklahoma is now 2-4 on the year against teams found in the top-25 with wins over Kentucky and Kansas State.

"I keep talking about the opportunities that this team has in this league. There are only so many times that you get the opportunity to play against ranked opponents, so when it does come your way, you need to take full advantage of the opportunity and we didn't tonight," said Restrepo. "We let it slip away."

Freshman setter Julia Doyle had a career night after she recorded the seventh double-double of her freshman campaign and third in as many matches when she matched a personal-best 45 assists and notched 13 digs on the night.

A key server for the Sooners, Doyle matched an individual match-record for the second-time this season in addition to her double-double performance after she recorded four service aces against the Jayhawks. She becomes just the fourth Sooner in program history - and second this season - after sophomore outside hitter Tara Dunn accomplished the same feat against West Virginia on Sept. 29 to accomplish the feat.
Defensively, the Sooners were led by a pair of middle blockers in junior Sallie McLaurin and sophomore Grace Whitley. The duo each recorded one block solo and four block assists to notch five total blocks on the night. It marked the first time of Whitley's career that she has ever led the Sooners in the category, and 60th for McLaurin.

The backcourt was held down by senior libero, Maria Fernanda, who had the best output of her senior campaign after she recorded 26 digs in the Sooners efforts against the Jayhawks. With the total Fernanda inches closer to the top-five spot in the Big 12 record books with 1,988 career digs. To date she needs just 10 more digs to take sole possession of the No.5 ranking.

Another key contributor in the Sooners back court was junior outside hitter Keila Rodriguez, in the midst of a breakout junior season, who continued to boost her numbers with a personal-best 22 digs on the night.

The Jayhawks claimed the opening set 25-16, but were held off by a come-back Sooner squad that claimed the next two stanzas, 25-21 and 25-13, respectively.

The second set was back-and-forth until the Crimson and Cream broke free at the 15-15 marker. An 8-2 run brought the score to 23-17 before Oklahoma held off a late Kansas run to take the second set, 25-21.The Sooners rolled the momentum from the second into the third. The Sooners took the third set with a 12-point advantage - the largest lead held by either team on the night.

Kansas jumped out to a 3-0 lead to begin the fourth set until Oklahoma evened the score at 10-10, and eventual lead at the 12-10 marker. The Jayhawks rallied to tie it up 18-18, and pull together a 7-3 run to even the match at two wins a piece with a 25-21 set victory.

Again, the Jayhawks pulled ahead with an early lead in the fifth and final set, with an 8-1 advantage before the Sooners climbed back within five at 10-5. Unable to close the gap, Oklahoma fell 15-10 in the final set.

Oklahoma concludes its two-match homestand when it hosts Baylor Friday night at McCasland Field House. First serve is set for 7 p.m.

For up-to-the-minute updates, follow Oklahoma volleyball on Twitter at @SoonersVB (



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