Volleyball Opens Home Slate this Weekend

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
OU Nike Invitational
Sept. 14-15 | Norman | McCasland Field House
ouNorthwestern StateTexas A&M

NORMAN — The Oklahoma volleyball team begins its home slate this weekend as it hosts Northwestern State and Texas A&M in the OU Nike Invitational at McCasland Field House.

On Friday, OU will face Northwestern State at 11 a.m. CT and Texas A&M at 7 p.m. CT. After a neutral-site match Saturday morning, the Sooners will have a rematch with the Aggies at 5 p.m. CT.

Both of Friday’s matches will be televised on Fox Sports Oklahoma, and Saturday’s contest against the Aggies will be streamed on SoonerSports.tv for premium subscribers. Live stats will be available on OUStats.com, and live updates can be found on Twitter (@OU_Volleyball). Season and single-match tickets are on sale now.

WEEKEND STORYLINES

Last Time Out

The Sooners moved to 5-4 on the season following a 1-2 showing at the Buffs Invitational in Boulder, Colo., Sept. 7-8. OU handed previously undefeated Georgia its first loss of the season but fell to North Carolina and No. 24 Colorado.

In Friday afternoon’s opener against the Tarheels, the Sooners dropped a competitive 3-2 contest (24-26, 25-20, 25-21, 16-25, 15-17), their first five-set match of the season. Sophomore setter Kylee McLaughlin set a career high with 60 assists in the match, leading all players, and classmate outside hitter Sarah Sanders also had a career night with 13 kills.

The Sooners bounced back with an impressive win on Saturday over Georgia, who entered the match 7-0. It was OU’s first five-set win of the season: 25-22, 17-25, 25-23, 18-25, 15-13. Sophomore middle blocker Paige Anderson recorded a career-high 14 blocks against the Bulldogs while sophomore defensive specialist Keyton Kinley tallied a career-high 25 digs. McLaughlin registered her fifth double-double of the season with a team-high 42 assists and 10 digs.

In Saturday’s nightcap, the Sooners suffered their first sweep of the season as host school No. 24 Colorado won straight sets 25-12, 26-24, 25-15.

All-Tournament Honors

Four Sooners have combined for six all-tournament selections in OU’s first three tournaments of the season. Senior outside hitter Alyssa Enneking was named MVP at the NIU Invitational and earned a second consecutive all-tournament honor at the Seton Hall Classic. Sophomore setter Kylee McLaughlin was named to all-tournament teams at the NIU Invitational and the Buffs Invitational.

A pair of sophomores have earned OU’s other tournament accolades this season. Outside hitter Sarah Maras joined Enneking and McLaughlin on the All-Tournament Team at the NIU Invitational, and outside hitter Sarah Sanders was named to the Seton Hall Classic All-Tournament Team.

Anderson's Block Party

When the Sooners handed Georgia its first loss of the season on Sept. 8, sophomore middle blocker Paige Anderson recorded a career-high 14 blocks. Fourteen blocks in one match are the most by a single player in Division I volleyball this season.

Anderson is the just fifth Big 12 player since 2011 to record at least 14 blocks in a match and the first to do so since Oct. 1, 2016 (Natalie Gower, TCU). Additionally, Anderson’s 14-block performance matched the program record for blocks in a five-set match, previously set by Sallie McLaurin on Aug. 25, 2012, against Tulsa.

Enneking Reaching Records

Through nine games this season, senior outside hitter Alyssa Enneking has set a pair of program records for kills. In the season opener against Xavier, Enneking matched her own school record with 19 kills in a three-set match. Against VCU, Enneking tallied 27 kills, breaking her own record for kills in a four set match (previously 26 kills).

Previewing Northwestern State

Northwestern State is 4-4 this season after dropping a pair of matches last weekend in Tulsa, Okla., falling 3-1 to Oral Roberts and 3-0 at Tulsa. After opening the 2018 campaign with a pair of losses to Texas Tech and Rice, the Lady Demons won four straight against Jackson State, Radford, ULM and Southeast Missouri.

Senior outside hitter Reagan Rogers leads Northwestern State with 106 kills and a 3.66 kills per set average while setter Skyler Besch has totaled 252 assists (9.00 per set) in 2018. Senior libero Channing Burleson paces the Lady Demons with 153 digs on the year, and middle blockers Madeline Drake and Brooke Wood lead the team in blocks with 30 and 28, respectively.

Previewing Texas A&M

Currently 6-3, Texas A&M enters the Nike Invitational after a 2-1 showing at the Texas A&M Invitational in College Station, Texas. The Aggies swept Pepperdine and Nicholls 3-0 before falling to Missouri State in five sets. In each of its three tournaments this season, Texas A&M has gone 2-1.

Junior outside hitter Hollann Hans leads the Aggie offense with 127 kills this season (4.54 kills/set). Sophomore Camille Conner has served as Texas A&M’s primary setter during the 2018 campaign, totaling 328 assists this season (10.58 assists/set). Senior libero Amy Houser has recorded 107 digs this season, and freshman middle blocker London Austin-Roark has tallied a team-high 22 blocks.

Up Next: Conference Play Begins

The Sooners open 2018 conference play next week as they travel to Fort Worth, Texas, on Sept. 19 to face TCU at 7 p.m. CT. Oklahoma returns home on Sept. 21 to host Kansas State at 7 p.m. CT at McCasland Field House.

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