Freshman Marion Hazelwood powered the Oklahoma volleyball team, in what was otherwise an off night offensively, to a 3-1 win over Texas Tech at McCasland Field House on Wednesday. Hazelwood notched a match-high 15 kills and hit .737 on one error as the Sooners moved to 13-5 overall and 4-1 in the Big 12.
“[Marion] came through with a couple of blocks and a couple of hits on that fourth set,” coach Santiago Restrepo said of his rookie middle blocker. “She plays stress free. She plays having fun and enjoying the game and smiling. She's not stressing so much about, ‘oh my gosh, I got roofed.' She just plays. That's what's great about her.”
Oklahoma, which improved to 7-0 at home, fell in the first 25-22 and narrowly won each of the next three; 25-23, 26-24, 26-24. The Sooners had to come from behind in all three sets won.
“I think it was just about getting ourselves going,” Restrepo said about the dropped first set. “That's a team that puts a lot of pressure on you because of their defense, and they are very well coached and they are a very well disciplined team. They get a lot of blocks. So it's good to see our team respond. It's good to see that when it was up to us to fix the match we went at it and did it.”
At the media timeout of the second set, the Red Raiders (14-4, 2-4) led 15-11, but a 14-8 run by OU evened the match heading into the break. The third set was tight and came down to back-to-back kills from sophomore middle blocker Micaela Spann to tie the set at 24. Spann gave the Sooners the lead with a third straight kill and OU took the set on a kill by junior outside hitter Kierra Holst.
Texas Tech held what seemed to be an insurmountable 18-8 lead after gaining a point out of an Oklahoma timeout in the fourth. The Sooners reeled off an 8-0 run, including seven points on Holst's serve, two of which were service aces, to close the gap to two. A block assist from Spann and sophomore outside hitter Kimmy Gardiner tied the set at 19 and another block by the duo plus redshirt-sophomore outside hitter Madison Ward put OU on top.
For the match, Ward totaled 14 kills and eight digs, while overcoming six errors in the first set to hit .125. Holst registered double figures on a 12-kill night and posted her first double-double of the season with a career-high 11 digs, while hitting just .068.
As a team, the Sooners totaled 9.5 blocks to the Red Raiders 13.5. Hazelwood and Gardiner led OU with six, while Spann tallied three. Gardiner added six kills on the night and Spann tallied seven.
Junior setter Julia Doyle recorded her fifth straight double-double in a 43-assist, 15-dig effort, falling one shy of her career-high in digs. Junior libero Taylor Migliazzo led the Sooner defense with 21 digs, matching her season-high set in a five-set match at Florida.
For Texas Tech, Breanna David and Jenna Allen notched 12 kills apiece to lead the attack. They each posted a double-double with dig totals of 11 and 10, respectively. Rachel Brummitt posted a match-high 23 digs and Marguerite Grubb dished out 39 assists.
Oklahoma returns to action Saturday night at 7 p.m. when they host Baylor. Admission is free.