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Sooners Run Out Of Gas In Fifth Set, Fall To No. 21 Kansas

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NORMAN, Oklahoma -

The Oklahoma volleyball team was looking for a sweep of ranked Sunflower State opponents Wednesday night when they took on No. 21 Kansas in Norman.

The Sooners had already taken down Kansas State earlier this season, and were looking to do the same to the Jayhawks, and move into a tie for second place in conference play.

Tied at two sets apiece going into the fifth set, the Sooners simply ran out of gas, falling behind 8-1 in the fifth set. The Sooners couldn't recover and fell to the Jayhawks, 3-2 (16-25, -21, -13, 21-25, 10-15).

"We were up and down tonight," explained head coach Santiago Restrepo. "We didn't play well in crunch time, and against a team like that you have to play well when it counts.

"It is disappointing. It is a missed opportunity,"

The Jayhawks were the fifth ranked opponent the Sooners have faced this season and Restrepo knows the opportunity to knock off a ranked foe doesn't come around often.

"I keep talking about the opportunities that this team has in this league. There are only so many times that you get the opportunity to play against ranked opponents, so when it does come your way, you need to take full advantage of the opportunity and we didn't tonight," said Restrepo. "We let it slip away."

Sallie McLaurin led the Sooners' offense with 18 kills, while Morgan Reynolds had 15 on a team-high .267 clip.

Freshman setter Julia Doyle recorded the seventh double-double of her freshman campaign and third in as many matches with 45 assists and 13 digs for the match.

Defensively, the Sooners were led by a pair of middle blockers in junior Sallie McLaurin and sophomore Grace Whitley. The duo each recorded one block solo and four block assists to notch five total blocks on the night.

The backcourt was held down by senior libero, Maria Fernanda, who had the best output of her senior campaign after she recorded 26 digs in the Sooners efforts against the Jayhawks.

Another key contributor in the Sooners back court was junior outside hitter Keila Rodriguez, who continued to boost her numbers with a personal-best 22 digs on the night.

The Jayhawks claimed the opening set 25-16, but were held off by a come-back Sooner squad that claimed the next two stanzas, 25-21 and 25-13, respectively.

The second set was back-and-forth until the Crimson and Cream broke free at the 15-15 marker. An 8-2 run brought the score to 23-17 before Oklahoma held off a late Kansas run to take the second set, 25-21.The Sooners rolled the momentum from the second into the third. The Sooners took the third set with a 12-point advantage – the largest lead held by either team on the night.

Kansas jumped out to a 3-0 lead to begin the fourth set until Oklahoma evened the score at 10-10, and eventual lead at the 12-10 marker. The Jayhawks rallied to tie it up 18-18, and pull together a 7-3 run to even the match at two wins a piece with a 25-21 set victory.

Again, the Jayhawks pulled ahead with an early lead in the fifth and final set, with an 8-1 advantage before the Sooners climbed back within five at 10-5. Unable to close the gap, Oklahoma fell 15-10 in the final set.

Oklahoma concludes its two-match homestand when it hosts Baylor Friday night at McCasland Field House. First serve is set for 7 p.m.

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