OU volleyball: Sooners host Wichita State tonight in hopes to extend home win streak
Heather Brown, The Oklahoma Daily
The Oklahoma volleyball team looks to continue its home winning streak when it hosts Wichita State at 6 tonight at McCasland Field House.
The Sooners have won all eight of their home games this season, including an upset over then-undefeated Kansas State.
OU is 22-3 when playing in Norman the past two seasons.
“Playing at home makes us more comfortable, more relaxed and having our fans cheer us on makes it a lot easier to play,” freshman setter Julia Doyle said.
Coach Santiago Restrepo agreed with Doyle on the benefits of home court advantage.
“It’s always easier for a team to play better at home because they are familiar with the area, and they have the fans on their side,” Restrepo said.
Heading into their final nonconference game, the Sooners are 8-2 in their last 10 games with their only losses coming to then-No. 1 Nebraska in Lincoln and No. 9 Texas in Austin. Restrepo credits his young team’s ability to bounce back after losses — OU is 4-0 in games following losses — as a crucial part of its success this season.
“Nobody likes to lose two in a row, so we fight even harder to make sure it doesn’t happen,” Restrepo said.
Oklahoma is led by junior middle blocker Sallie McLaurin, who is averaging 2.65 kills a game and holds a team high .392 hitting percentage.
McLaurin, a Preseason All-Big 12 team member, is tied with Creighton’s sophomore middle blocker Kelli Browning for the most blocks per set in the nation with both players averaging 1.70.
Restrepo credits McLaurin’s success to her maturity.
“She reads her opponents extremely well, which helps her get all those blocks,” Restrepo said.
The Shockers are coming off a loss to conference foe Northern Iowa (3-1) last Saturday night in Iowa, stopping their three game winning streak. They are led by junior setter Chelsey Feekin (1.95 kills, 9.66 assists, .465 hitting percentage) and junior middle blocker Ashley Andrade (2.07 kills, 2.68 points, .321 hitting percentage).
Both players were named Missouri Valley Conference honorees this week with Feekin being named Player of the Week and Andrade as the Defensive Player of the Week.
The Sooners are 1-3 in their past four games against Wichita State with the Shockers owning a 2-1 record in Norman, splitting their last two meetings.