The No. 14-ranked West Virginia University volleyball team dropped a four-set match to Big 12 foe Oklahoma on Thursday evening, at McCasland Field House, in Norman, Oklahoma. The Mountaineers (7-8) fell to the Sooners (3-8) in set scores of 22-25, 25-19, 25-21 and 25-23.
“We have to make better adjustments to what they are doing,” sixth-year coach Reed Sunahara said. “Their outside hitters went off, and hopefully, we can contain them better tomorrow night. From a defensive standpoint, our blocking has to be way better. We out-dug them, but they out-blocked us by a lot.”
Senior middle blocker Briana Lynch paved the way for WVU with 12 kills on the evening, followed by junior outside hitter Natali Petrova with 11. Additionally, sophomore middle blocker Emmy Ogogor registered nine swings on 16 attacks for a team-best .375 hitting efficiency.
Sophomore setter Lacey Zerwas dished out 44 of WVU’s 48 assists, as the Mountaineers hit .136 in the match.
Defensively, senior libero Alexa Hasting had a team-high 18 digs, while Petrova dug 12 balls to record her seventh double-double of the season. Lynch also posted a trio of block assists and one solo stop for a match high, while redshirt senior middle blocker Audrey Adams followed suit with three block assists.
Additionally, sophomore defensive specialist Natalie Winter and Adams served up two aces apiece, while Petrova and Zerwas each had one.
Of note, the Mountaineers posted 51 digs and seven team blocks in the loss. Oklahoma’s Guewe Diouf led the Sooners with 24 kills and hit a match-high .404.
With OU holding a 19-18 advantage in the opening frame, junior outside hitter Kristin Lux came up with a huge swing to tie the set for the 10th time. Another kill from Lux gave WVU the one-point edge at 21-20. Oklahoma took a timeout, down 22-20, but Lynch placed one through the Sooner block to increase the Mountaineers’ lead to three. A stop from Ogogor and Lynch helped WVU reach set point, but back-to-back scores from OU forced WVU to burn a timeout and regroup. Lynch came out of the stoppage swinging and laid down her second kill of the frame for the 25-22 first-set victory and 1-0 match lead.
However, the Mountaineers couldn’t keep the momentum going in sets two and three, falling by a score of 25-19 and 25-21, respectively.
Down 23-20 in set four, West Virginia scored three of the next four points to come within one at 24-23. Freshman outside hitter/defensive specialist Skye Stokes tipped the ball over the net to knot the score at 24-all, but Oklahoma’s coach Lindsey Gray-Walton challenged a net violation on the play and the call was reversed. The Sooners walked away with the 25-23 victory and 3-1 triumph in the match.
The Mountaineers return to the court on Friday for another match against the Sooners to cap their 2020 fall slate. First serve is set for 7 p.m. ET inside McCasland Field House. The contest will be carried live on FOX Sports Oklahoma.