OU Narrowly Falls to No. 14 Pittsburgh
ORANGE, N.J. – Facing its first ranked opponent of the season, the Oklahoma volleyball team narrowly dropped a four-set match to No. 14 Pittsburgh, 3-1, Friday at the Seton Hall Classic.
The Sooners took the first set, 25-16, before falling in three close sets of 25-19, 25-21 and 25-22.
Oklahoma out-blocked Pitt 18-9 and finished with a .193 hitting percentage to the Panthers’ .188. Pitt led OU in total kills by a 59-46 clip.
Junior middle blocker Brianna Kadiku led the Sooners with 13 kills, registering a match-high .579 hitting percentage and adding seven blocks. Senior outside hitter Alyssa Enneking also reached double-digit kills with 12, her fourth consecutive match of at least a dozen kills.
Sophomore middle blocker Paige Anderson registered a career-high 11 total blocks in the contest. Additionally, classmate Kylee McLaughlin earned her third straight double-double with 37 assists and 13 digs.
“We learned a lot from today’s match going forward,” OU head coach Lindsey Gray-Walton said. “We saw a good effort defensively, but we learned the little things matter today.”
The Sooners jumped out to an early lead with a four-point run thanks to two kills and an ace from Enneking and a solo block by Kadiku. Pitt used its first timeout after a block assist by Anderson and Sarah Maras gave OU a five-point lead.
The Panthers went on a 6-3 run out of the timeout before the two teams exchanged points on the next eight serves. Pitt used another timeout after back-to-back Sooner points, and the Sooners scored four more out of the break.
Although the Panthers claimed the next three points, OU closed the set on a 5-1 run, capping the 25-16 set win with consecutive kills from Anderson and Sarah Sanders.
OU took an early deficit in the second set and trailed 14-7. The Sooners then went on a six-point run, including a pair of kills from Sanders and Kadiku. The Panthers responded with a 4-1 run to establish an 18-14 lead and carried their advantage throughout the rest of the set to win 25-19.
The Sooners took a 4-1 lead early in the third set, carrying the advantage throughout the first half of the frame. The Panthers came back to tie the set at 16-16 before taking the lead at 18-17. The Sooners remained within striking distance, but Pitt closed the frame with a three-point run to take a 2-1 lead in the match.
The fourth set saw a competitive start as the Sooners took a narrow 9-8 lead after seven ties. Pitt went on a 3-0 run to take the lead before a 4-1 run by the Sooners forced a Panther timeout. The two teams traded points, knotting the frame again at 18 apiece. They remained close until the Panthers closed the match out on a 5-1 run. Overall, the fourth set had 17 ties and eight lead changes.
The Seton Hall Classic continues Saturday as the Sooners face VCU at noon CT and Seton Hall at 6 p.m. CT.