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OU Volleyball Wins Nike Invitational

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Brianne Barker tallied 41 assists, marking her 39th career match with 40 or more assists. (Photo: OU Athletics) Brianne Barker tallied 41 assists, marking her 39th career match with 40 or more assists. (Photo: OU Athletics)

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NORMAN, Oklahoma – The No. 16 ranked Sooner volleyball team fought its way to victory in the finals of the Nike Invitational Saturday in Norman.

After sweeping the Golden Eagles earlier in the day, OU faced Missouri State in the finals, which would prove to be a tough test.

Related Story: OU Volleyball Sweeps ORU In Three Sets

The Sooners won the first set 25-22, but MSU evened the score in the second set, winning 30-28. OU came back and took the third set with the largest margin of the evening, 25-18. In the fourth set, the Sooners got out to an early lead that MSU challenged, but OU pulled away late to take the 25-21 win.

Sooner senior Suzy Boulavsky led the team with 18 kills, followed by Midwest City native and sophomore Sallie McLaurin who tallied 15.

Sophomore Eden Williams amassed 13 digs to lead OU while junior Maria Fernanda had 12 digs.

On the night, senior Brianne Barker tallied 41 assists, marking her 39th career match with 40 or more assists and second time this weekend.

Senior Carlee Roethlisberger led the Sooners with eight total blocks, including six block assists. McLaurin and Roethlisberger's two block solos each led all players as the Sooners out-blocked Missouri State 13.0-7.0.

As a team, the Sooners had eight service aces, highlighted by a career-high four from senior Caitlin Higgins. OU hit a .230 clip as a team, led by McLaurin who hit .484 and Boulavsky who hit .455.

For Missouri State, Christine McCartney had 16 kills and hit .406. Ashley Mason registered 25 digs. As a team, Missouri State hit .191.

McLaurin was named the tournament's most valuable player after hitting .418 through three matches and averaging 3.10 kills per set in those matches.

Joining McLaurin on the team were Barker, Fernanda, McCartney, Calli Norman (Missouri State), Sidney Stewart (SMU) and Sheina Fernandes (Oral Roberts).

The Sooners return to McCasland Field House Monday, Aug.29 at 7 p.m. to face 15th-ranked Colorado State.

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