The Oklahoma volleyball team erased a two-set deficit on the way to a 3-2 come-from-behind upset of No. 23 Kansas in front of 1,083 at McCasland Field House, Saturday night. The win lifted the Sooners to 10-4 overall and opened the Big 12 slate at 1-0, while the Jayhawks fell to 12-3 and 0-1.
Kansas claimed the first two sets 25-19 and 25-20. After the break, Oklahoma went on to win three consecutive sets by scores of 25-19, 25-23 and 15-9.
“I think our adjustments came through really late,” coach Santiago Restrepo said. “After the first set we realized how to play with this team. I thought we kept a pretty good intensity in the second set, they just happened to play better at the end. You don't want to give a team like that two sets. The first one was a free one and the second one we made them work for it.
“It's tough to come back with a team like that and win in five. Our resilience and confidence that we exuded out there in front of a big, great crowd was really incredible to see.”
Junior outside hitter Kierra Holst and redshirt-sophomore outside hitter Madison Ward powered the OU attack with 23 and 18 kills, respectively. Ward hit a team-high .385, while Holst hit .378, including .727 in an eight-kill fourth set.
“Well I think with [Holst and Ward] they get into this idea that you have to bounce the ball straight down and see how high it goes off the bounce,” Restrepo said. “They don't realize that their height, that it is important to hit it over the block or through the seams. I thought they both made a very good adjustment. For our two outside hitters to be hitting .378 and .385 is wonderful.”
For Holst, her 23 kills set a new career-high, while Ward matched her career-high at 18 for the third time this season. Ward also notched her team-leading fourth double-double of the season by added a team-high 15 digs.
Junior setter Julia Doyle registered her second double-double of the season with a career-high 55 assists to go with 10 digs and four blocks.
Jayhawk outside hitter Chelsea Albers led all players with 24 kills and hit an impressive .595 to go with nine digs and five blocks. Kelsie Payne added 12 kills on a .647 attack rate as Kansas hit .280 to Oklahoma's .314.
Junior Taylor Migliazzo returned to the libero role for the Sooners and totaled 14 digs. The Jayhawks were led by Cassie Wait at 10. Freshman middle blocker Marion Hazelwood led all players with seven blocks. For the match, KU recorded 12 blocks, while OU had 9.5
The Sooners return to action Wednesday, October 1 at home against TCU at 7 p.m.
- Doyle set a career-high with 55 assists. Her previous high was 53 against Kansas State (10/12/23).
- Holst bested her previous career-high of 19 at Portland State (9/7/13) with 23.
- Ward posted 18 kills, a career-high, for the third time this season.
- The win puts Restrepo one away from 200 at OU. He is 199-129 on the Sooner bench.
- Oklahoma leads the all-time series with Kansas, 48-32 and is 25-12 at home.
- The Sooners are 2-2 in five-set matches this season with both wins coming at home.
- Oklahoma played in front of a home crowd of over 1,000 for the first time in five home matches.
- The Sooners are 1-2 against ranked competition this season after a 3-4 mark in 2013.