The University of Oklahoma volleyball team concluded its 2012 season Saturday night at the Smith Fieldhouse in Provo, Utah, with a three-set loss (25-17, 25-21, 25-18) to No. 12 seed BYU in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Despite dropping the first set, the Sooners looked to have their step back in the second, with their first lead of the match in the opening minutes. Although they put together runs, one of which pulled the Sooners within two at 23-21, it wasn't enough as BYU took the 2-0 match lead heading into the break. The Cougars returned to the court for the third and final set with the same momentum to secure the NCAA Regional appearance.
A pair of seniors – outside hitter Morgan Reynolds and libero Maria Fernanda – ended their careers Saturday night. They conclude their four-year term as the only two Sooners to make it to the NCAA Tournament every season.
"Our seniors are a pair of class acts," OU head coach Santiago Restrepo. "They're so much more than great players, they're great role models. Hopefully our younger players will learn from all that they have done, and continue their success in the years to follow."
In her final game, Reynolds totaled eight kills, and added four block assists in the Sooners efforts.
"This year was great for our program," Reynolds said. "Obviously doing better than last season was a huge goal of ours and we did just that."
Fernanda went out in fashion. With her 556-dig senior performance, Fernanda holds the top-four single season performances in the OU record book. Additionally, she ends her career as the program record holder, the lone Sooner to ever total 2,000-plus digs and the fifth to accomplish the feat in the Big 12.
"Like Morgan said, our goal this year was to be better than last, and we did that tonight," remarked Fernanda. "It's all about working hard every day, staying focused and giving your all – and this team did that.
"Unfortunately we lost tonight, but we gave it our all in the process. I'm proud of this team, and what they've done this year. "
Sophomore outside hitter Tara Dunn led the Sooners offensively with 10 kills against the Cougars. Fellow sophomore Grace Whitley had a standout performance with a career-best eight total blocks.
The Sooners finished their season with a 22-11 overall record and finished fourth in the Big 12 with a 10-6 Conference slate. 2012 marked the 16th 20-win season for OU, and fifth since Restrepo took over the program in 2004, totaling 20-or-more wins in 2006, 2007, 2010 and 2011.