NORMAN, Okla. - Oklahoma volleyball continues its early season tournament play at Missouri State in the Dr. Mary Jo Wynn Invitational this weekend. The Sooners enter with an overall record of 6-1 and are fresh off a five-set comeback victory over No. 25 BYU. Oklahoma’s first match of the weekend is against Alabama A&M at 4:30 pm, Friday afternoon.
THIS WEEK IN SOONER VOLLEYBALL: WHAT TO KNOW...
1. Back-To-Back Award Winner
Sallie McLaurin was named the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week for the week ending September 8. The award is her second straight and eighth career weekly award from the Big 12. McLaurin hit .454 for the week and averaged 3.76 kills per set.
2. Missouri State Rematch
The Sooners opened the 2012 season at home with a 3-1 win over the Bears in the NIKE Invitational on August 24. Morgan Reynolds led the way for OU with 17 kills, while Christine McCartney posted a match-best 18 for MSU. The match marked the first career starts for then-freshmen Julia Doyle, Kierra Holst and Madison Ward. Oklahoma has won each of its last four matches against Missouri State, dating back to 2006, dominating the sets, 12-3.
3. 1,000 and Counting
McLaurin notched the 1,000th kill of her career with her third of the night in a 3-2 win over No. 25 BYU on September 7. In that match, she registered a season-high 21 kills, to go with a .677 hitting percentage and eight blocks. McLaurin enters this weekend with 1,018. She is chasing Margaret Page (1983-87) for 10th all-time at 1,170.
4. 700 Wins
Oklahoma volleyball, now in its 40th season, won its 700th match in a 3-1 decision over Portland State on September 7. The Sooners now own a 701-669-7 record since the program’s inception in 1974.
5. Five-Set Comeback
Down two sets to none, Oklahoma stormed back to win each of the next three sets and take a 3-2 win over No. 25 BYU at the PSU Tournament. McLaurin netted a team-high 21 kills, while also posting season-highs in hitting percentage (.677) and blocks (8). The win avenged a 3-0 loss to BYU in the NCAA Second Round in Provo, Utah on December 1, 2012. BYU won the first two sets; 25-22 and 25-14. OU took the remaining sets; 25-23, 25-22 and 15-12. Ward won the match on a solo block.
6. League Leaders
Through the first two weeks of the season, Oklahoma leads the Big 12 in both hitting percentage (.273) and digs per set (16.37). McLaurin is the Sooners’ leader in hitting percentage at .455 as well as kills per set with 3.89. On the defensive side of the ball, four OU players average better than 2.00 digs per set; led by senior outside hitter Keila Rodriguez at 3.81 and senior libero Eden Williams at 3.59. Freshman middle blocker Micaela Spann has come on quickly, leading the team with 1.15 blocks per set, followed by McLaurin’s 1.07.
7. RSVP to the Block Party
Oklahoma gears up for a match-up against Tulsa on Tuesday, September 17. Last season, the Sooners totaled 20.5 team blocks in a five-set victory over the Golden Hurricane at home. McLaurin paced Oklahoma with 14, while Reynolds added 11. The Sooners got a good warm-up for the rematch last weekend when totaling a season-high 17 against No. 25 BYU. McLaurin led the way with eight, while Spann added seven.