Norman, Okla. -- The University of Oklahoma volleyball team notched its 11th sweep of the season Wednesday night after it defeated Texas Tech (27-25, 25-20, 25-21) at the United Spirits Arena in Lubbock, Texas.
With the win, OU improves to 16-6 on the year and 5-2 in Big 12 action, while Texas Tech drops to 12-11 overall and 1-6 in conference play.
In under a week, and in just a matter of two matches, senior libero Maria Fernanda has managed to quickly move up in the Big 12 record books.
After totaling a team-high 13 digs on the night Fernanda now owns 2,019 to her name. In Oklahoma’s last match against Baylor she surpassed the 2,000-career digs mark to become the first player in OU, and fifth in Big 12 history to accomplish the feat.
With her performance against the Red Raiders tonight, she now sits fourth overall in the conference record book surpassing Missouri’s Tatum Ailes (2004-07) who owns 2,017 throughout her playing career with the Tigers. To date, Fernanda is the only active Big 12 player to rank in the top-10 of conference leaders in eight separate categories.
Middle blocker Sallie McLaurin led the Sooners offensively, successfully striking 16 of her 30 attempts with just two errors to hit .467 on the night. In addition to her offensive efforts, McLaurin was a dual threat assisting on three blocks against Texas Tech.
Both Morgan Reynolds and Grace Whitley each totaled five block assists against the Red Raiders to lead Oklahoma on the night.
It is the third time in as many matches, and her career, that Whitley has led the Sooners in the respective category. Her five total blocks against the Red Raiders match a personal-best performance for the sophomore middle blocker who last totaled five blocks in Oklahoma’s sweep of West Virginia on Sept. 29.
Oklahoma trailed to start the first set, until Kierra Holst stuffed the ball from an ensuing Texas Tech attack to tie it up 14-14. The Sooners would go on to tie the set two more times until they grabbed their first lead at 17-16 courtesy of a Julia Doyle kill.
Two Red Raider errors combined to put the Sooners up 20-29 in the final minutes of the set, but Texas Tech was able to battle back and tie the set once more at 21-21. Both teams battled back and forth, down to the wire, but it was a successful swing from Whitley that secured the first set victory, 27-25, for Oklahoma.
The second stanza was a different story for Oklahoma, as it jumped ahead to a 5-2 lead to begin the set. Five consecutive points put the Sooners ahead 10-4 thanks to four kills, each from separate players, and a service ace from Holst. OU continued to add points and took another large lead at 15-7. Both teams traded points in the final minutes as Texas Tech inched closer to Oklahoma, but the Sooners couldn’t be contained as they took the second set 25-20.
The Sooners were on the board first to begin the third set courtesy of a Red Raider attack error, but it was a tie score just second later as Texas Tech was on the board to make it 1-1. It was a narrow match in the opening points until OU strung together four points from McLaurin to take a 13-10 lead.
The Sooners went on a 6-0 run to take an 18-10 lead and ultimately secure the match in three sets. Despite the lead, Texas Tech refused to give up and went on to score 11 more points until Oklahoma took the set and match, 25-21.
The Sooners will play one more match before a week-long break when they travel to Ames, Iowa, to face a No. 21 ranked Iowa State squad. The Cyclones will mark the seventh ranked opponent on the season for the Sooners, before they return home next on Sunday, Oct. 28, for the annual Pledge For The Cure Match against No. 8 Texas at 2 p.m. CT.
For up-to-the-minute updates, follow Oklahoma volleyball on Twitter at @SoonersVB (https://twitter.com/SoonersVB).
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