NORMAN, Okla. The Oklahoma volleyball team was unable to win an ugly five game battle at Iowa State on Wednesday night. The match at the Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa, featured two struggling offenses with the Sooners coming out on the short end of the stick.
Freshman Joanna Schmitt recorded her 15th double-double of the season (tops among Big 12 freshman) with 19 kills and 17 digs. Senior Christina Maynes and sophomore Sheena Werling also turned in double-doubles for the Sooners. Maynes had a match-high 26 kills to go along with 12 digs, while Werling collected 12 kills and 12 digs.
Schmitt, who is one of five players up for Big 12 Freshman of the Year, currently has 487 kills and 314 digs this season. She is 13 kills shy of a 500-300 season, which would make her just the sixth player in OU history to accomplish the feat. Both of her current kill (No. 7) and dig (No. 10) totals rank in the top-10 in Oklahoma history.
The first game was a defensive battle, won by the Sooners who posted better totals in kills, attacks, assists and digs. Setters Rachel Jackson and Kelly McCarter posted nine assists apiece as the Sooners collected 18 assists to the Cyclones eight in the first session. The game was tight throughout with ISU taking a late 28-27 advantage. Jennifer Adams and Maynes teamed up to block Cyclone Ashley McWee and knot the game at 28-28. Schmitt gave OU 29 points with a kill and polished off the first game as she joined with Adams to record a game-winning block. Schmitt and Maynes led early with six kills apiece, while Adams assisted on all three of the Sooners blocks in the first frame.
OU’s offense went off track in the second game as they could only muster a hitting percentage of .030 (10-9-23). Iowa State hit .200 and won the second game easily 30-23. Seven of the Sooners 10 second session kills came from Maynes, who had 13 kills after two sessions.
Game three was again tight troughout with the Sooners coming out on top thanks to a couple extended rallies. OU jumped out to a 8-2 lead behind the serving of Sheena Werling. A pair of three-kill flurries by Maynes and Schmitt gave the Sooners the third session victory by a score of 30-26.
OU was unable to duplicate its game three success in game four as they fell behind 20-8. Maynes and Schmitt would finish the fourth game with 24 and 18 kill apiece, but their offense efforts did little as ISU won handily, 30-21.
OU head coach Kalani Mahi called a time out with Sooners down 8-6 in the fifth and decisive game. The Sooners rallied thanks to kills from Maynes and Werling to take the lead 9-8, at which point the Cyclones called a time out. The time out ended the scoring for OU as the Cyclones ran-off seven consecutive points to win the game, 15-9, and the match. OU gave the Cyclones seven points off of errors in the fifth game, while the Cyclones had just three errors.
OU traveled to Ames with a short-squad of nine players, all of which saw extensive time. Freshman Kelli Albers earned her first career start as a Sooner. Albers, who replaced the recently injured Anna Monsen (ribs), had one kill, two assists, three digs and two block assists. Starters Monsen, Keri Coats (ankle), Laura Tomes (ACL) and Jennifer Mosso (ankle) were sidelined with injuries.
Nearly all of OU’s offense came from the trio of Maynes, Werling and Schmitt. The triad had 57 of the Sooners 60 kills on the night but they also accounted for 36 of the Sooners 42 attack errors.
Freshman Rachel Jackson turned in her 11th double-double of the season with 43 assists and 12 digs. Senior libero Yvette Villanueva tallied 15 digs, her highest total in the last six matches.
The loss drops the Sooners to 11-20 on the season and 3-16 in Big 12 play. OU finishes the season with Senior Day at the Lloyd Noble Center, Friday, at 1 p.m. Seniors Kelly McCarter, Christina Maynes and Yvette Villanueva will be honored prior to the first serve. Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for children.