OU Downs Georgia, Falls to No. 24 Colorado

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
Northern Illinois

BOULDER, Colo. — On the final day of its nine-match road swing, the Oklahoma volleyball team split a pair of matches at the Buffs Invitational. The Sooners downed previously undefeated Georgia, 3-2, before falling to No. 24 Colorado on its home court, 3-0.

The Sooners handed the Bulldogs their first loss of the season in five sets: 25-22, 17-25, 25-23, 18-25, 15-13.

Sophomore middle blocker Paige Anderson recorded a career-high 14 blocks against the Bulldogs, marking the most blocks by a single player in one match in Division I volleyball this season. Her total also matches the program record for blocks in a five-set match and is the most by a Big 12 player since 2016.  

Also seeing a career-best performance was sophomore defensive specialist Keyton Kinley, who led all players with 25 digs. Classmate Kylee McLaughlin registered her fifth double-double of the season with a team-high 42 assists and 10 digs. Senior outside hitter Alyssa Enneking led OU with 14 kills.

The first set opened close before a three-point run by the Bulldogs gave them a 12-8 advantage, leading to OU’s first timeout of the match. The Sooners hung around, using a 3-0 run of their own to get within one at 17-16 and to force a UGA timeout. In that span, Anderson crushed a big kill before combining on a block with Sarah Sanders.

Out of the break, the Sooners scored on five of the next seven chances to take the lead at 21-19. During the run, Brianna Kadiku drilled two kills while Sanders and McLaughlin both added one. Although the Bulldogs tied the set at 21 and 22, the Sooners closed the frame out on a 3-0 run to clinch the set win. OU battled through a long rally and used a huge Enneking kill to take the lead at 23-22, and back-to-back block assists by Anderson and McLaughlin sealed it.

After the Bulldogs opened the second frame on a 4-0 run, the Sooners battled back to take the lead at 9-8. However, Georgia used a 7-2 run to establish a 15-11 advantage. The Bulldogs would carry that momentum throughout the rest of the set, tying the match 1-1 with a 25-17 win.

The Bulldogs took a narrow 5-3 lead to open the third frame, but consecutive points for OU knotted it at five. OU took its first lead of the set at 9-8 with an Anderson kill. Georgia regained the lead and held a 13-11 advantage, but the Sooners responded with a 5-1 scoring run to take a 16-14 lead and force a UGA timeout.

Oklahoma went 3-1 out of the break, including kills from Enneking and Morgan Miller, to lead by four and cause another Bulldog timeout. The Sooners used a timeout of their own when the Bulldogs got within one at 23-22. An attack error gave OU set point at 24-22, and after a Sooner service error, Enneking crushed a kill to finalize OU’s 25-23 victory in frame three.

Georgia began the fourth frame with a 6-2 advantage, but the Sooners used a 5-1 run to tie the set at 7-7. The Bulldogs reestablished a lead at 13-10, but kills from Miller and Enneking and a block by Kadiku and Enneking tied the set at 13-13 before UGA called timeout. However, after a 15-15 tie, the Bulldogs won 10 of the next 13 points to send the match to set five.

In the final set, the Sooners used a three-point run – featuring one kill from Kadiku – to take an early 5-3 lead, but the Bulldogs went on top 7-6 with a 4-1 run. After a kill by McLaughlin and a Sooner service error, three straight attack errors by the Bulldogs gave the Sooners a 10-8 advantage.

After Georgia called timeout, an Anderson kill grew the OU lead to three. The Bulldogs rallied to tie the fifth set at 13, but back-to-back kills by Sanders and Miller clinched the Sooners’ win.

In the nightcap, the Sooners suffered their first sweep of the season as Colorado won straight sets 25-12, 26-24, 25-15.

McLaughlin led all players with 23 assists. Sanders led OU with nine kills, Aysia Harty paced the team with eight digs, and Sanders and Kadiku both tallied two blocks.

The Buffaloes opened the first set with a 7-2 lead and ran away with the advantage. Colorado took a one-set lead with a 25-21 victory in the first frame.

The Sooners came out hot in the second set, opening with a 6-0 lead. However, the Buffaloes came back to take the lead at 13-11. After Oklahoma called timeout trailing 22-19, it came out of the break with a 4-1 run to force a CU timeout at 23-23. Colorado scored on three of the final four serves to claim the second frame.

Although the Sooners held a narrow 12-11 lead early in the third, the Buffaloes went on a seven-point run to build an 18-12 advantage. They rolled to a 25-15 set victory, closing the set with a 4-0 run.

Up next, the Sooners open their 2018 home slate on Sept. 14-15 as they host Northwestern State and Texas A&M in the OU Nike Invitational at McCasland Field House in Norman. 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. Season and single-match tickets are on sale now.