STANFORD, Calif. – The University of Oklahoma volleyball team was knocked out of the NCAA Tournament in a 3-0 Second Round loss to No. 3 Stanford at Maples Pavilion on Friday night. The Sooners finished the season 24-8 overall, while the No. 7-seed Cardinal moves on at 26-5.
Stanford’s straight-sets victory came by scores of 25-15, 25-19 and 25-18. Oklahoma is now 10-10 in 10 NCAA Tournament appearances.
“That is an extremely talented Stanford team and I think they will be in the Final Four,” started head coach Santiago Restrepo. “When you [plan] a strategy for Stanford, you have to work with all six cylinders, be on and hope they have an off night. We kept neck-and-neck with them, but they put so much pressure on by deflecting a lot of balls and playing great defense.”
Senior middle blocker Sallie McLaurin (Midwest City, Okla.) led the Sooner attack with nine kills and hit .333 for the match. She finished her career ranked seventh all-time in OU history with 1,351 career kills and fell seven shy of the single season record with 438. McLaurin added four blocks to give her 633 in her career; seven short of the OU record.
McLaurin along with classmates Mindy Gowen (Edmond, Okla.) and Eden Williams (Amarillo, Texas) set a program record for NCAA Tournament games played with eight. Gowen finished the night with four digs, while Williams added 10; finishing their careers with 466 and 947, respectively.
“Our seniors have meant a lot to this program. Sallie McLaurin has played for us for four years and been an All-American for two years in a row. As you can see, today she was hitting the ball above .300 against a big, talented team.”
The OU senior class finished with a career record of 90-42, making it the second winningest class in program history and winningest since 1982.
The Cardinal was led by 11-kill efforts from Inky Ajanaku, who hit a team-high 421 and Brittany Howard, who notched a double-double with 17 kills. Ajanaku and Carly Wopat tied for the match-lead with five kills. Wopat added seven kills on a .350 hitting percentage.
Sophomore libero Taylor Migliazzo (Kansas City, Mo.) led all players with 22 digs.
For Stanford, Madi Bugg dished out 38 assists and picked up nine digs. Sophomore setter Julia Doyle (Plymouth, Minn.) collected 22 assists, six digs and three blocks.
Sophomore outside hitter Kierra Holst (Coppell, Texas) tied for the team-lead with nine kills and finished with seven digs.
Oklahoma finished the season tied for third in the Big 12 with an 11-5 record after being predicted to finish fifth in the preseason poll.