NORMAN, Okla. Missouri entered with a five-match losing streak and barely escaped as the Oklahoma volleyball team out-played the Tigers on the stat sheet but surrendered the win in five games (37-35, 28-30, 23-30, 30-20, 15-10). OU left side hitters Joanna Schmitt and Christina Maynes led the Sooners as they each set school records.
“We played really well tonight,” said OU head coach Kalani Mahi. “It was well played on both sides. I was proud because we came out with good energy and concentration. I am extremely proud of Christina and Joanna who took on the offensive load because of our makeshift lineup. The only area that we struggled was in service errors, beyond that I have no complaints. I am exhausted and I believe the team is, but that’s a good feeling because we left it all on the court.”
Maynes had 28 kills after four games, which was already an OU record and finished with 30 to break the rally scoring kills mark of Schmitt (26 vs. Baylor 10/1). Schmitt didn’t mind as she turned in the first 20-20 performance of the Mahi era with 24 kills and 20 digs, as well as four block assists and two aces.
It was evident it was going to be a marathon battle when the first game went into overtime, with the Sooners winning 37-35. The opener was tight throughout with Missouri carrying a slight advantage the majority of the set. OU was down 29-27 and forced extra sessions. They were down 35-34 before a three point rally sealed the game. Maynes was huge with 11 first game kills.
Down 26-21 in the second game the Sooners put together a four point rally and closed the gap 26-25. OU would get not closer and lose the game 30-28. Schmitt got busy in the second game with a team-high seven kills.
Oklahoma never got into a groove in game three and fell 30-23. Maynes had 23 kills after three games and Schmitt had her 14th double-double (sixth in the Big 12) of the season with 15 kills and 14 digs. Service errors doomed the Sooners in games two and three. OU had 11 service errors in the second and third games, while the point differential was just nine points.
OU returned the favor in the fourth game and didn’t allow Missouri to get into the game. OU won 30-20 and had just one service error. Sophomore Jennifer Adams didn’t show any ill effects from her recent ankle injury as she had nine kills and five block assists after the fourth game. Schmitt nearly put a hole in the court with four rousing kills in the fourth session.
A service error at 2-1 proved to be an omen for OU as they couldn’t top the Tigers in losing 15-10 in the decisive game. Despite a combined six kills from the left side duo, OU was unable to overcome three final session service errors.
OU led in every statistical category except aces and service errors.
The showdown between Big 12 Freshman of the Year candidates Schmitt and Jessica Vander Kooi of Missouri went to the Sooner. Vander Kooi had nine kills, while hitting .049 and trailing Schmitt in every statistical category.
Adams finished with a match-high six block assists and 10 kills, while fill-in middle blocker Sheena Werling had four block assists and one solo block. Anna Monsen, who was filling in at right side hitter, had 15 digs and three block assists. Freshman setter Rachel Jackson tied her own rally scoring five game record with 56 assists and earned her 10th double-double with 14 digs.
As a team OU set a rally scoring record with 90 digs.
OU falls to 11-17 on the season and 3-13 in Big 12 play, while Missouri improves to 17-9 and 10-7. Oklahoma returns to the Lloyd Noble Center when No. 5 Kansas State visits Wednesday at 7 p.m.