Norman, Okla. -- The University of Oklahoma volleyball team fell to Wichita State Wednesday night in four sets (3-1; 21-25, 21-25, 25-22, 14-25) at McCasland Field House. The match marked the first loss for the Sooners in a 2012 home contest, as they drop to 13-5 overall, and closed out their final non-conference match of the regular season.
With the win, Wichita State improves to 11-5 overall, and have taken home two-straight wins against OU after they defeated them in five (27-25, 25-23, 18-25, 27-29, 13-15) last season.
After winning six consecutive matches which began September 7 at the Ameritas Player Invitational in Lincoln, Neb., the Oklahoma is now 1-2 in its last three matches – as it has totaled a win over West Virginia and losses to No. 9 Texas and Wichita State.
The Shockers out blocked the Sooners 13.0 to 10, to mark the fifth match this season in which Oklahoma has been out-blocked, and the fourth that has resulted in a loss.
Three Sooners combined to strike double-digit kills on the night as junior Sallie McLaurin totaled a team-high 13 kills, and both junior Morgan Reynolds and sophomore Tara Dunn notched 11 apiece.
For the second consecutive match McLaurin led Oklahoma in three separate categories after she successful struck 13 of her 23 swings with just three errors to hit .435 on the night. The middle blocker also added four total blocks to lead the team in the respective category for the 15th time in 18 matches.
In addition to McLaurin’s performance, freshman outside hitter Kierra Holst also added four total blocks – off one block solo and three block assists – to stand alongside McLaurin against the Shockers in the respective category.
Freshman Julia Doyle notched the fifth double-double of her freshman campaign after she totaled 44 assists and 12 digs on the night, to mark the sixth time this season that she has totaled 40-or-more assists in a single match.
Senior libero Maria Fernanda lead the backcourt with 19 digs, while junior outside hitter Keila Rodriguez added 15 of her own.
Oklahoma opened the match with a 1-0 lead from the assistance of a McLaurin kill. Both teams traded points in the opening minutes until the Shockers put together a three-point scoring run to take the lead for the first time at the 15-14 marker. The Sooners battled back and tied the match 15-15, but were unable to hold the momentum the remainder of the set as the Shockers steadily added points to the board. Wichita State closed out the first set on a 10-5 run to take the match lead at one all, 21-25.
The second stanza began as a back-and-forth battle between the Sooners and Shockers as there were six tie scores and five lead changes within the first 17 points of the set with an 8-9 Wichita lead. The Shockers sprinted ahead with a 6-0 score run in the middle of the set to go ahead 17-10 and never look back. Oklahoma was unable to overcome the deficit and dropped the second set, 25-21.
Wichita State carried its momentum from the second, straight into the third as it quickly went up 8-4 in the opening minutes in an effort to close out the match. The Sooners rallied to tie it eight-all, and eventually took the lead 14-12 off back-to-back kills from Dunn. The momentum shift is just what Oklahoma needed as it didn’t trail the remainder of the set, and eventually took home the victory, 25-22.
The Shockers jumped ahead thanks to a seven-point score run that put them up 13-4 in the fourth and final set. McLaurin tallied two successful strikes in an effort to sway the set in favor of the Sooners, but it wasn’t enough as Wichita State maintained the lead the remainder of the set and eventually took home the victory with a 25-14 performance in the fourth stanza.
Oklahoma travels to Fort Worth, Texas, to face TCU for a Saturday matinee against the Horned Frogs. First serve is set for 12 p.m. CT.
For up-to-the-minute updates, follow Oklahoma volleyball on Twitter at @SoonersVB (https://twitter.com/SoonersVB).
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