Finally playing is one thing. Winning — against a team like Texas — is another step entirely.
Oklahoma dropped its 2020 volleyball opener to rival Texas on Thursday night at McCasland Field House. The Sooners were swept 25-18, 25-16, 25-21, as Texas doubled OU on kills (48-24) and hit .382 compared to just .149 for Oklahoma.
Texas also led in blocks (7-5) and digs (34-25).
The teams meet again Friday at 6 p.m. for game two of the series. The match will air on ESPNU.
“I think (Texas) really attacked it from the serving line,” head coach Lindsey Gray-Walton said. “Going into your first match, you’re always like, ‘Can how we've been serving show up when the whistle blows and it’s a different team across the net?’ A game serve and a practice serve are very different, and Texas tonight served tough and we did not.
“To say we were competitive into it, we were because we had good defense at times, but we just couldn’t kill it and keep up with them in that regard.
Freshman Guewe Diouf led the Sooners with 13 kills on the night, while sophomore Grace Talpash dished out 22 assists. Defensively, senior Keyton Kinley and junior Aysia Harty led the team with nine digs apiece. Of OU’s five total blocks, freshman Kelsey Carrington got in on four of them.
“We’ll go back, watch the tape and find how we can we be in better spots to make some more defensive plays,” Gray-Walton said, “but really, it’s on us. We’ve got to take better rips and play taking some risk, but not reckless and we’ll at least get another shot tomorrow night.”
The first set went back-and-forth to 14-14. Texas went on a 5-1 run to take a 19-15 lead before closing out the set on a 6-2 run.
In the second set, the Sooners pulled within one point to make it 15-14 before Texas pulled away.
Texas jumped out to a 19-13 lead in the third set, but behind the arm of Diouf, the Sooners went on a 5-0 run to make it 19-18. An ace from Curtis tied things at 21, but Texas score the last four points to close it out.
“If you were to ask (Guewe) tonight, she’s not really excited about her performance, but she has very high expectations for herself,” Gray-Walton said. “I think what we saw tonight was a lot of young faces out there. First match of the year, playing their rival and you kind of had the big eyes when the lights come on. So it was good to see us settle in to things
“We need to figure out a way to not rely on one individual and facilitate better passing, maybe some better decision making. We need to kill the ball better. We can’t just have one person doing all of it for us. We’ve always relied on a balanced attack. Yes, it’s new and nice but we need to have some supporting cast members [for G] as well.”
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