Volleyball Opens with Nike Invitational

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
AUGUST 25, 2011
 2011 Nike Invitational 
 August 26
 Oral Roberts vs. Missouri St. | 5 p.m. CT
 SMU vs. #16 Oklahoma | 7 p.m. CT
 August 27
 Missouri State vs. SMU | 10 a.m. CT
 Oral Roberts vs. #16 Oklahoma | Noon CT
 Oral Roberts vs. SMU | 5 p.m. CT
 Missouri State vs. #16 Oklahoma | 7 p.m. CT
 Location  Norman, Okla. | McCasland Field House
 Tickets  Tickets OU Athletics Ticket Office
 Internet  All-Access VideoLive Webcast | Stats GameTracker
 Online   Match NotesMedia Guide | Roster | Twitter
 Promotions  Back to School Weekend

NORMAN, Okla. - The 16th-ranked University of Oklahoma volleyball team opens the 2011 season hosting the Nike Invitational Friday-Saturday at McCasland Field House. Oral Roberts and Missouri State open the tournament Friday at 5 p.m. CT. Oklahoma and SMU follow at 7 p.m. Saturday's action includes Missouri State vs. SMU (10 a.m.), Oklahoma vs. Oral Roberts (noon), Oral Roberts vs. SMU (5 p.m.) and Oklahoma vs. Missouri State at 7 p.m. GameTracker for all matches is available at SoonerSports.com.

Oklahoma is ranked 16th in the preseason American Volleyball Coaches Association poll, its highest preseason ranking ever. The ranking is the highest for OU since finishing the 2006 season at a program-best No. 12 in the final poll. ... Oklahoma returns 10 letterwinners from last season's 23-11 team that finished third in the Big 12 (13-7). The Sooners return five position starters and libero and welcome five newcomers ... OU was selected to finish second in the Big 12 Conference this year in a vote by the league's coaches the conference office. The Sooners tied Iowa State with 53 points. Texas garnered 63 points to finish first.

 Player to Watch: Carlee Roethlisberger
Among the five newcomers to the 2011 Oklahoma volleyball team is Carlee Roethlisberger. Sooner fans know the name - Roethlisberger spent four years playing for Sherri Coale and the women's basketball team. But, Roethlisberger traded uniforms and looks to provide Oklahoma with valuable minutes at the middle blocker position.

A highly touted high school volleyball player from Findlay, Ohio, Roethlisberger comes from an athletic family. She's the younger sister of Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Her father, Ken, played quarterback at Georgia Tech and her mother, Brenda, played one year of collegiate basketball at Northwest Missouri State.
Carlee Roethlisberger

Seniors Brianne Barker and Suzy Boulavsky and sophomore Sallie McLaurin were named Preseason All-Big 12 ... Carlee Roethlisberger joined the volleyball team this year after playing for the women's basketball team the last four years ... Barker was a member of the USA Volleyball A2 Women's National Team this summer. McLaurin was a member of the U.S. Women's Junior National Team. Oklahoma head coach Santiago Restrepo was the head coach for the A2 Women's Junior National Team.

Missouri State leads the all-time series with Oklahoma, 23-7. OU has won two straight in the series (2006, 2010). The Bears are 3-1 against the Sooners in Norman. The two teams last played here in 1993 ... SMU has won both matches against OU (2001,1974). The 1974 meeting was in Denton, Texas. They played in Norman in 2001 ... Oral Roberts also leads the all-time series with Oklahoma, 27-21. Oklahoma has won two straight (both in 2006). Oklahoma leads the series with ORU 12-7 in Norman ... OU has split the last 10 meetings with both Missouri State and ORU.



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