The University of Oklahoma volleyball team defeated New Mexico, 3-0 (25-17, 25-9, 25-19) in its fourth consecutive sweep to claim the 2012 Oklahoma Invitational tournament title Saturday night at McCasland Field House. The Sooners, now 11-3 on the season, claimed the tournament title for the second consecutive year as they took wins over each competitor: SMU, University of Arkansas-Little Rock and New Mexico.
Oklahoma dished New Mexico just its second loss of the season, and first loss in 11 matches, as they drop to 11-2 on the year following tonight's contest.
"How quickly this team has improved – It's unheard of," explained Sooner head coach Santiago Restrepo. "It's very exciting. This is a whole new season coming up with Big 12 play starting on Wednesday. Conference play is a whole new season. So it'll be interesting to see what we do once conference starts."
Three Sooners were named to the Oklahoma Invitational All-Tournament team as Maria Fernanda, Keila Rodriguez and Sallie McLaurin represented OU. McLaurin was additionally selected Tournament MVP.
The Sooners were led by a flashing duo as both middle blocker McLaurin, and outside hitter Morgan Reynolds each posted 11 kills against the Lobos. McLaurin led the team, successfully striking 11 of her 17 swings with just one error to hit an efficient .588, while also contributing a team-leading six blocks on the night.
Fernanda continued her domination on the court, recording a team high 13 digs to surpass the 1,900 career-digs marker, now with 1,901 under her belt. The Sooner veteran now just needs 99 digs to become the first player in program history to record 2,000 or more digs.
The All-Tournament Team was composed of SMU's Courtney Manning, UALR's Edina Begic, New Mexico's Chantal Riddle and Miquella Lovato, as well as Oklahoma's Fernanda, Rodriguez, and tournament MVP, McLaurin.
Earlier in the day, OU swept Arkansas-Little Rock, 3-0 (25-22, 25-19, 28-26) in its second match of the tournament.
Rodriguez tied her season best with 12 kills off 23 swings with just one error, to hit .478 on the afternoon.
Freshman Julia Doyle recorded 33 assists for the Sooners and added two kills, while outside hitter Tara Dunn and middle blocker McLaurin added 11 and nine kills, respectively.
Fernanda had a team high 12 digs in the match. She added four assists, second best on the team.
Oklahoma returns to action this week with its first conference match of the 2012 season when it plays host to No. 19 Kansas State Wednesday. First serve is slated for 7 p.m. CT at McCasland Field House. The match will also air live on FS Oklahoma.