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SPORTS: University of Oklahoma

Sooner Volleyball Falls To Wichita State

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NORMAN, Oklahoma -

For some reason, the Oklahoma Sooners volleyball team simply can't figure out the Wichita State Shockers.

The Sooners took a step out of conference Wednesday night, falling to the Shockers in four set (21-25, 21-25, 25-22, 14-25), the Sooners fifth consecutive loss to the Shockers in regular season play.

The Sooners did knock off the Shockers in the first round of the 2010 NCAA tournament, but has lost all five regular season matchups the past five seasons.

Sam Sanders led all players with 17 kills for Wichita State, while Emily Adney had 11 kills. Jackie Church led the defense with 25 digs.

For the Sooners, Sallie McLaurin led the team with 13 kills on a .435 hitting clip. Tara Dunn and Morgan Reynolds had 11 kills apiece for the Sooners, who committed an uncharacteristic 26 attack errors during the match.

Maria Fernanda had 19 kills, while Keila Rodriguez had 15. Julia Doyle had 12 digs to go along with 44 assists for her fifth double-double of the season.

The Shockers out blocked the Sooners 13.0 to 10, to mark the fifth match this season in which Oklahoma has been out-blocked, and the fourth that has resulted in a loss.

Oklahoma opened the match with a 1-0 lead from the assistance of a McLaurin kill. Both teams traded points in the opening minutes until the Shockers put together a three-point scoring run to take the lead for the first time at the 15-14 marker. The Sooners battled back and tied the match 15-15, but were unable to hold the momentum the remainder of the set as the Shockers steadily added points to the board. Wichita State closed out the first set on a 10-5 run to take the match lead at one all, 21-25.

The second stanza began as a back-and-forth battle between the Sooners and Shockers as there were six tie scores and five lead changes within the first 17 points of the set with an 8-9 Wichita lead. The Shockers sprinted ahead with a 6-0 score run in the middle of the set to go ahead 17-10 and never look back. Oklahoma was unable to overcome the deficit and dropped the second set, 25-21.

Wichita State carried its momentum from the second, straight into the third as it quickly went up 8-4 in the opening minutes in an effort to close out the match. The Sooners rallied to tie it eight-all, and eventually took the lead 14-12 off back-to-back kills from Dunn. The momentum shift is just what Oklahoma needed as it didn't trail the remainder of the set, and eventually took home the victory, 25-22.

The Shockers jumped ahead thanks to a seven-point score run that put them up 13-4 in the fourth and final set. McLaurin tallied two successful strikes in an effort to sway the set in favor of the Sooners, but it wasn't enough as Wichita State maintained the lead the remainder of the set and eventually took home the victory with a 25-14 performance in the fourth stanza.

Oklahoma travels to Fort Worth, Texas, to face TCU for a Saturday matinee against the Horned Frogs. First serve is set for 12 p.m. CT.

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