The Oklahoma Sooners defeated Nebraska-Omaha, 3-0, Thursday night in the first game of the 2013 NIKE Invitational. The win pushed the Sooners’ record to 11-1 for the season, extending the best start in program history.
The Sooners cruised to a win in set one, 25-16. Senior Keila Rodriguez led the Sooners with four kills and four digs. The second set was tied 8-8 before Oklahoma took control on a Sallie McLaurin block and never looked back, taking the frame 25-20. The Mavericks jumped ahead in the third set to take a 7-5 lead before the Sooners went on a 6-0 run to push the score to 11-7 on the back of Rodriguez’s strong serve. The Sooners went on to take the third set, 25-19, and sweep the match.
Senior Sallie McLaurin credited strong team defense and a huge effort from Rodriguez for the win.
“Definitely our solid team,” McLaurin said of the biggest factors in the win. “I think our defense definitely, and Keila Rodriguez. She just is an amazing player and was hitting out of her mind and was just digging every ball. The energy she brought to the team definitely helped us win.”
Rodriguez finished the match with seven kills to tie for the team lead, while adding nine digs and three blocks.
Sooner liberos Kaitlyn Drawe and Taylor Migliazzo recorded 12 and 11 digs, respectively, in a match characterized by strong defense. Oklahoma held the Mavericks to a -.073 hitting percentage and forced 30 errors.
McLaurin was honored for her 1,000 kill in a ceremony before the game.
“It was awesome,” she said. “It was really cool because my family was here from South Carolina so it was awesome that they got to see that.”
The Sooners take on Miami at 7:00pm at the McCasland Field House Friday night. Oklahoma is 2-2 all-time against the Hurricanes with its last win coming at home in 2010.