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SPORTS: University of Oklahoma

Sooners Open Big 12 Play With Win Over Texas Tech

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NORMAN, Oklahoma -

With a game against archrival Texas looming on Saturday, the Oklahoma volleyball team could very easily have overlooked Texas Tech Wednesday night.

The Sooners did no such thing, defeating the Red Raiders, 3-1 (-21, -22, 23-25, -19) in a hard-fought Big 12 opener for both teams.

The Sooners can now turn their attention to the Longhorns, who are currently ranked No. 5 in the country.

Wednesday night, the Sooners used a very balanced attack to knock off Texas Tech. Four OU players finished with double digit kills, led by Sallie McLaurin who had 14 kills on a .462 hitting percentage. Kierra Holts and Micaela Spann each had 11 kills while Keila Rodriguez chipped in 10 kills along with 13 digs.

"[Micaela] had 11 kills and hit close to .300," OU head coach Santiago Restrepo said. "That is really good for her being a freshman. Now we just have to get the other freshman back to playing up to par."

Setter Julia Doyle had a terrific match, dishing out 41 assists and racking up 12 digs to go with six kills on nine swings.

The Red Raiders were led by Jenna Allen's 21 kills. Allen also contributed 15 digs. Breeann David also had a double-double with 18 kills and 21 digs.

The Sooners had a big advantage at the net, racking up 9.5 blocks to six for Texas Tech.

Each set was a tight battle, with the Sooners jumping to a 16-12 lead, before a 6-0 run gave Tech an 18-16 advantage. The Sooners rallied, but fell behind 21-19 before rattling off the last six points to take the set.

The second set was much like the first with the Sooners closing strong, taking the final three points to go into the break with a 2-0 lead.

Tech rallied and controlled most of third set, stealing the third set, 25-23. The Sooners rebounded to dominate the fourth set, leading by as many as 12 in the 25-19 win.

"We did a great job," said Restrepo. "I thought we should have closed it in three, but they are a talented team. It was good to see us bounce back and take a big lead [in the fourth], even though they put pressure on at the end."

The Sooners haven't won in Austin since 2008 and even though the Longhorns have already fallen twice, Oklahoma will have to play a near-perfect game to pull the upset.

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