The Oklahoma volleyball team came from behind to force a fifth set, but was ultimately downed by a 5-0 run in the fifth that led to a 3-2 defeat at Kansas on Saturday afternoon. The Sooners, who finished the regular season 20-10 overall and 10-6 in the Big 12, led the deciding set 8-5 at the break before the Jayhawks (22-8, 10-6) rallied for the win.
Oklahoma was playing for sole possession of second place and the loss placed the Sooners and Kansas in a tie with a chance for the two teams to end up in a four-way tie. Oklahoma was voted fourth in the Big 12 Preseason Coaches Poll back in August.
The Sooners cruised through the first set, hitting .533 and winning 25-17, before the Jayhawks took a two sets to one lead with wins of 25-18 and 25-20 in the next two sets. Oklahoma forced the fifth with a 25-20 win in the fourth. The final set went to Kansas, 15-11. The Sooners are 3-6 in five-set matches this season, while it was the first five-set win in six tries for the Jayhawks.
Junior outside hitter Kierra Holst became the newest member of the 1,000-kill club at Oklahoma with her 10th of the match coming early in the fourth set. For the match, she tied for the match lead at 18 with Kansas' Sara McClinton. Holst, whose career total is now 1,008, sits just four back of the OU single season record in the 25-point, rally-scoring era with 441. She passed former teammate Sallie McLaurin and now trails Suzy Boulavsky.
Freshman middle blocker Marion Hazelwood posted a season-high 17 kills and hit .379 for a Sooner squad that hit .237 as a unit to the Jayhawks' .247. Sophomore outside hitter Kimmy Gardiner also finished in double figures with 11 kills and nine digs.
Kansas dominated on the block with 20.5 blocks to 12 for Oklahoma. Tayler Soucie provided 13 for the Jayhawks to go with seven kills. Tiana Dockery added nine blocks and was second on the team with 15 kills, while hitting .289.
Ainise Havili managed the KU offense to the tune of 53 assists to go with nine kills and four blocks. For the Sooners, junior setter Julia Doyle notched her 10th double-double and seventh 50-assist match with 50 helpers and 10 digs, while adding five blocks. Senior defensive specialist Kaitlyn Drawe chipped in with a season-high six assists and four digs.
Defensively, junior libero Taylor Migliazzo led all players with a season-high 29 digs. Cassie Wait totaled 22 for the Jayhawks. At the net, sophomores Micaela Spann and Jody Larson each posted six blocks for the Sooners. Spann added nine kills, while Larson had seven.
Oklahoma will learn where it is headed for its sixth straight NCAA Tournament Sunday night during the selection show to be aired on ESPNU at 7:30 p.m.