Oklahoma outlasts No. 8 Volleyball, 3-2
NORMAN, Okla. -- Despite dropping its first two games to Oklahoma, Texas rallied back to record two straight victories before coming up short in game five, falling to the Sooners for the first time in school history, 3-2 (30-28, 30-21, 31-33, 26-30, 15-13), Wednesday night at the Howard McCasland Field House. In the loss senior outside hitter Dariam Acevedo (Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico) recorded a season-high 26 kills, while freshman Ashley Engle (Yorba Linda, Calif.) added 19 kills and 19 digs.
In the fifth and deciding game, the Longhorns fell behind early, but used a 3-0 run and two Acevedo kills to move in front, 5-3. Oklahoma evened the score at 10-10 and then forged ahead, using a 4-0 run sparked by a pair of blocks by Joanna Schmitt that put OU ahead 14-11. Texas rallied for two points on a kill by Engle and a block assist by Jen Christian and Jen Todd, but a Laura Tomes kill ended the game, 15-13 and lifted OU to a 3-2 victory.
The Longhorns and Sooners battled back-and-forth the entire first game with Texas holding the lead until the 10-11 mark, when Oklahoma took its first lead. Texas briefly reclaimed the lead, but OU used a 3-0 run capped by a Sarah Weiland and Tomes block assist that moved the tally to 17-16. Engle ended the rally with her fourth kill of the game, but Oklahoma answered with another 3-0 run and extended its lead to 20-17.
The Horns rallied back late in the game behind three kills and a solo block by Acevedo. The senior recorded four points in a five- point span to move Texas back in front, 25-24. Oklahoma answered Acevedo's outburst with a 5-0 run, paced by a pair of Schmitt kills that put OU ahead 29-25 and set up five game-points. Three straight Sooner errors brought the Horns within one, but a Tomes kill closed out game one, 30-28.
Texas came out strong in game two, running off three straight points to start the game and stretched its edge to 8-3, on a Leticia Armstrong (Elkhart, Ind.) kill and a pair of OU miscues. Oklahoma then strung together a pair of 4-0 rallies highlighted by a block and three kills by Schmitt to take its first lead of the game. Schmitt's block assist with Eliane Santos and Bridget Laplante's rally block put the Sooners ahead, 13-11 and Oklahoma would never look back. The Sooners stretched the lead to as many as six and eventually closed the door on the Horns with a 3-0 rally that ended the game, 30-21 and gave OU a 2-0 lead.
After trailing the Horns early in game three the Sooners rallied back with a 4-0 run that moved OU ahead 8-5. Oklahoma pushed its lead to its widest margin at the 19-15 mark, but a 4-0 Texas rally paced by an Acevedo kill and three OU miscues evened the score at 19 apiece. Acevedo's kill was the first of her five kills in an eight-point span, with the fifth kill putting the Longhorns in front, 24-23. The lead would change three more times down the stretch before three kills by Engle gave Texas a 32-31 advantage. Armstrong capped Texas' 3-0 game-ending run with a kill that pushed the final tally to 31-33.
Texas used a pair of 3-0 rallies at the beginning of game four to grab a 7-5 lead and stretched its advantage to 12-7, with a 4-0 run highlighted by two Acevedo kills and an Alyson Jennings (Costa Mesa, Calif.) ace. The Sooners answered with a 7-0 run of their own that included two block assists and a solo block by Santos, and evened the score at 14-14. The Longhorns rallied back and took the lead behind five Engle kills and eventually closed out OU on a Destinee Hooker (San Antonio, Texas) kill and a thunderous kill by Armstrong that ended the game and forced a fifth and decisive game five.
Acevedo led the Horns with 26 kills on .278 hitting and added 16 digs in the losing effort, while Engle added 19 kills and 19 digs. The kill/dig double-doubles were the fifth and fourth respectively for the duo this season. Armstrong joined them in double digits with 12 kills and junior setter Michelle Moriarty (Houston, Texas) registered a double-double of her own with 59 assists and 12 digs. Jennings led the defense on the night with 24 digs and Hooker recorded a career-high four solo blocks.
Schmitt anchored the Sooners' attack with 24 kills and 10 digs and Laplante added 20 kills and 12 digs in the victory.
Texas returns to action on Saturday, Sept. 30 when it welcomes the Kansas State Wildcats to Gregory Gym. First serve is set for 12 p.m.