NORMAN, Okla. The Oklahoma volleyball team fell to Missouri in its Big 12 opener Saturday night in Columbia, Mo., by a score of 30-23, 30-25, 31-29. OU drops to 0-1 in the Big 12 and 8-5 on the season, while Mizzou improves to 2-0 in conference and 9-2 overall. The match was close throughout with the victory going to the host Tigers in front of a crowd of 1,452.
"The biggest difference tonight was ball control," said OU head coach Kalani Mahi. "We actually had more digs than them (40-34) but we didn't execute at crucial times. Offensively, it was one our most efficient matches of the year, against the best team we have faced this season."
Freshman Joanna Schmitt had 17 kills, one off a career three game-high and OU record, while hitting .237 and collected seven digs. Schmitt's streak of three consecutive double-doubles was snapped. Fellow rookie Laura Tomes was on fire with 13 kills and an all-world .611 (13K-2E-18TA) hitting percentage. Through 13 career matches in her young career, Tomes already owns four of the top seven individual hitting percentage outings for OU under the current scoring system.
"Joanna had a very good all-around game tonight," said Mahi. "Our left sides (Schmitt and Werling) did well despite the fact that we were inconsistent passing. Sheena Werling went up against some big and talented blockers and continued to show improvement."
Rachel Jackson continued to excel in the two setter system with 22 assists and 10 digs, marking her third consecutive double-double. Senior Kelly McCarter contributed five assists, while freshman Anna Monsen recorded a career-high seven assists and eight digs.
Sophomore Sheena Werling hit .346, a career-high, while turning 12 kills and six digs. Werling has hit above .200 in five of the last six matches, a mark she only reached four times in 2002.
OU was doomed by 11 service errors, as opposed to three service aces. OU also had just three total blocks, which is a season single-match low for OU.
"We actually blocked pretty well against one of the best left sides in the conference," said Mahi. "They were able to cover out of it and stay in their offensive systems."
The Sooners open the home schedule with Red River rival Texas, Wednesday at 7 p.m., inside the Howard McCasland Field House.
"We did some things well tonight that will help us against Texas in the opener," said Mahi. "We have to improve in our passing and that will be the point of emphasis in practice leading up to Wednesday."
Admission to the home opener is $5 for adults and $2 for children. The first 300 fans in attendance will receive free OU volleyball schedule magnets. The match is schedule to be the first OU contest televised live on SoonerSports.com and will be streamed to fans on OU's official athletics web site.