Oct. 25, 2000
NORMAN, Okla. - "Aloha Night" at the OU Field House not only featured lais and grass skirts, but a tough fought battle between Oklahoma and Colorado won by the Buffaloes, 15-11, 15-9 and 15-12, Wednesday night in volleyball action. The match, which consisted of several lengthy rallies throughout the match, marked the second contest of the season for former Hawaii high school teammates, Oklahoma Head Coach Kalani Mahi and Colorado Head Coach Pi'i Aiu. Despite registering more blocks, digs and service aces than the Buffaloes, the Sooners were unable to stop CU's explosive hitting attack as four players posted double-digit kill performances. OU's Cathy Cook and Maria Holmgren both connected for double-digit kill performances as well, as Cook landed a team-high 17 kills and Holmgren followed with 15. The Sooners fell to 6-13 overall and 1-10 in the Big 12 Conference with the loss, while Colorado improved to 10-9 overall and 6-6 in the league.
"We had several chances to put Colorado away and we didn't," commented Mahi after the match. "Despite the loss, we did a lot of great things tonight. We made a lot of side outs and won a lot of the rallies. I felt good about our competitive level and composure and felt we were in control most of the match."
Mahi also expressed his pleasure in squaring off against his long-time friend.
"We're great friends and its neat to see a friend across from you coaching and to see them doing well."
With game one tied at two, the Buffaloes went on a 10-2 spurt to try and put the Sooners away. Down 12-5, Oklahoma's Lindsay Hoyt served four-straight points to pull OU back in the game. A kill by Hoyt and a block assist by Holmgren and Holly McMillan brought the Sooners within two at 13-11, before the Buffaloes claimed a sideout and served for the final two points to win game one, 15-11.
Reminiscent of game one, the second game saw Colorado jump out to an early 12-5 lead before Oklahoma mounted a comeback. A solo block by OU freshman outside hitter Christina Barlow began a five point rally, which featured two kills by setter Carolyn Kittell and a kill and service ace by Cook, to bring the Sooners to within three points at 12-9. The Buffaloes were once again able to hold off another Sooner comeback by scoring three unanswered points to close out the game, 15-9.
Game three remained tight throughout as the two teams battled through five ties. CU clung to a 6-4 lead before OU compiled their second five point rally of the match to hold a brief 9-6 advantage. Down 14-10 to Colorado in the final minutes of the game, Cook recorded two kills to try and spark another Oklahoma rally. However, CU's Sonja Nielsen landed her 18th kill, a match-high, to close out the OU rally and the match, 15-12.
OU hits the road next for a Friday match in College Station, Texas, against No. 25 Texas A&M at 7 p.m.