NORMAN, Okla. – The No. 25 University of Oklahoma volleyball team lost a Top-25 matchup to No. 1 Texas, 3-1, at McCasland Field House on Saturday night in front of 2,128 fans, which was the second largest crowd in program history. The Sooners dropped to 18-5 on the season and 6-3 in the Big 12, while the Longhorns improved to 17-2 and 10-0.
Texas won the first two sets by scores of 25-15 and 25-17. Oklahoma rallied to win the third, 27-25, before falling in the fourth 25-21.
“We never gave up and we kept fighting,” said head coach Santiago Restrepo. “We kept getting better and won that third set, which was good for the team.”
In the first set, the Longhorns outhit the Sooners, .355 to .036, and pulled away, up 14-12, with an 11-3 run to close out the set. Texas continued to hold a .345 to .143 edge attacking in the second.
Oklahoma responded in the third, gaining an advantage early with a 9-5 lead and holding that four-point lead as late as 19-15. The Longhorns came back and took a late 24-23 lead, but the Sooners took four of the final five points to win the set, including kills by senior Keila Rodriguez (Gurabo, Puerto Rico) and redshirt-freshman Madison Ward (Lawton, Okla.).
“[At the break] I told them to be confident and believe and have faith. ‘You’ve just got to believe in each other, believe in your teammates and be confident and we’ll win’. We won. We just didn’t have enough juice in the fourth set.”
The fourth set went back-and-forth with eight ties and two lead changes. The set was tied 17-17 when Texas used an 8-4 run to end the match.
Rodriguez led Oklahoma with 11 kills and recorded her team-leading seventh double-double of the season by adding a team-high 14 digs. Sophomore libero Taylor Migliazzo (Kansas City, Mo.) was second on the team with 13 digs.
Texas junior Haley Eckerman led all players with 19 kills to go with 11 digs. As a team, the Longhorns hit .292, led by sophomore Molly McCage at .778 on seven kills. Junior Khat Bell chipped in with nine kills on a .412 hitting percentage.
Senior setter Hannah Allison dished out 52 assists and tied for the match-lead in blocks with McCage at eight. For the Sooners, sophomore setter Julia Doyle (Plymouth, Minn.) collected 33 assists, seven digs and five blocks.
Senior middle blocker Sallie McLaurin (Midwest City, Okla.) was held to single-digit kills for just the fourth time this season with nine kills.
The record attendance at an OU volleyball match in McCasland is 3,162; set against Texas Tech on October 17, 2003. The Sooners are now 2-2 against ranked opponents this season and 7-2 at home.
Oklahoma returns to action Sunday night at Kansas State for a 7:00 pm match. The match was originally scheduled for Wednesday, October 30, but was postponed due to travel complications.