Nov. 18, 2000
NORMAN, Okla. - The Oklahoma volleyball team hung tight with Texas through the first two games Saturday night before falling, 15-11, 15-8 and 15-3, to the Longhorns at the OU Field House in Norman, Okla. OU (7-19, 2-16 Big 12) battled with UT (10-16, 8-10 Big 12) in games one and two before hitting errors plagued the team in game three. Senior middle blocker Cathy Cook led Oklahoma with 15 kills, while senior setter Carolyn Kittell registered a perfect hitting performance landing six kills in as many attempts, without an error.
"I thought we came out and competed well in the first two games," commented Oklahoma Head Coach Kalani Mahi following the match. "We hit well through the first two games, especially game one. We exposed their weaknesses in their blocks, but they were able to pick up their serving game and take control of the match."
The Sooners came out strong in game one and registered a .346 hitting percentage to begin the match. Cook and senior outside hitter Maria Holmgren led the Sooner attack with eight kills a piece. After falling behind UT 7-2, OU climbed back into the game with a with a 5-0 spurt to knot the contest at eight. The two teams fought through one more tie and 11 sideouts before the Longhorns began to pull away with three-straight points to jump out to an 11-8 lead. A block assist by Holmgren and senior middle blocker Holly McMillan brought the Sooners back to within two, but the Longhorns pulled away again with three unanswered points and went on to win game one, 15-11.
Despite hitting well again in game two, Oklahoma put themselves in a position where they had to come from behind. Texas sprinted out to an early six point lead before Oklahoma worked its way back into the game. The Sooners scored three-straight points, aided by kills from Holmgren and Kittell, to pull within three at 11-8. However, UT silenced the OU comeback with a 4-0 run to end game two, 15-8. Cook again led the Sooners in kills during the game with six.
Texas' junior outside hitter Gipy Duarte served the Longhorns' first seven points as the Longhorns' ball control helped them to a 15-3 victory in game three. OU's poor hitting in the game cost them as they landed only five kills and recorded a match-low -.091 hitting percentage for the game.
Oklahoma travels to Columbia, Mo., next Wednesday, Nov. 22, for its final road match of the season. The Sooners will take on the Missouri Tigers at 7 p.m. in the Hearnes Center.