No. 24 Oklahoma came up short against No. 5 Texas, 3-2, in front of 2,439 at McCasland Field House on Saturday night. The loss dropped the Sooners to 17-9 overall and 8-5 in the Big 12. The Longhorns, whose lone loss came to OU back in October, improved to 20-1 and 12-1.
The crowd was the second largest in program history eclipsing the mark of 2,128 that saw OU vs. Texas on November 2, 2013. Oklahoma has notched five wins of the 10 Texas has lost in conference play and 13 it has lost all season.
For the second straight match, Oklahoma led two sets to one and couldn't come away with the win as it fell by scores of 25-22, 18-25, 25-21, 17-25 and 5-15.
“It's not the end of the world,” coach Santiago Restrepo said. “That for sure I know. Secondly, I thought our kids battled all the way to the end and played extremely well to take them to five. I thought Kimmy [Gardiner], for it being her first [match] on the outside, did a good job. There are a lot of positives, a lot of good things we take out of this. We just couldn't close it like we couldn't close it with Iowa State.”
The pivotal moment came at the media timeout of the third set. Texas held a narrow 15-14 edge and finished out the set on a 10-3 run and finished the night outscoring the Sooners 25-8 from that point on.
Junior outside hitter Kierra Holst led all players with 18 kills and added three service aces. The Longhorns were powered by middle blocker Khat Bell with a team-leading 16 kills on a .483 hitting percentage to go with four blocks.
For the match, Texas outhit Oklahoma, .322-.229 and totaled 13 blocks to the Sooners' four. Middle blocker Chiaka Ogbogu hit a match-high .526 with 12 kills and middle blocker Molly McCage registered a match-high 11 blocks.
“On a system we're also pretty good,” stated Restrepo. “We also hit the back row. I just think [Texas] just played better at the end. Serve-and-pass was better for them and it was not very good for us.”
Sophomore outside hitter Kimmy Gardiner finished second for Oklahoma with 13 kills and hit .300. Sophomore middle blocker Micaela Spann was the third Sooner in double figures with 10 kills and a .304 attack rate plus three blocks.
Junior setter Julia Doyle dished out 50 assists for her fifth match with 50 or more this season. She finished one dig away from a double-double in a nine-dig effort. Junior libero Taylor Migliazzo led Oklahoma with 16 digs.
For the Longhorns, Chloe Collins picked up a team-high 31 assists, while Nicole Dalton added 25. Each totaled nine digs and Cat McCoy recorded a match-leading 18 digs.
The Sooners return to action Tuesday in non-conference action against Central Arkansas at home at 7 p.m.