Oklahoma entered Saturday’s match against Kansas with high morale from Friday night's comeback victory over the Jayhawks for their first win of the season.
Saturday, the Sooners rolled over Kansas (1-7) by scores of 28-26, 25-22, and 25-20 for a clean sweep. Oklahoma is now 2-4 after consecutive victories this week.
"Winning can help you a lot,” OU head coach Lindsey Gray-Walton said. “Even sets kind of are moral wins, but when you can finally get a ‘W’ in a match, you can feel accomplished like, 'Yeah, we put all the pieces together and there's the final puzzle.'”
The Sooners did allow Kansas to lead in the first set with five consecutive points. That didn't faze OU however, as it came back to tie the game 18-18, and then took the first set on a Kansas error.
In the second set, Oklahoma once again fell behind Kansas with the score being 19-15 at one point. Oklahoma was still undeterred in the slightest as it went on a 6-0 run to cut the deficit to 21-19. Then freshman outside hitter Guewe Diouf smashed the ball into the ground to take the second set.
In the final set, the Sooners were able to build a lead before Kansas tied the game at 10-10. Each team went back and forth, trading points until the score reached 16-16. However, the Sooners were able to go on a 9-4 run to close out the victory.
Oklahoma out killed Kansas 38-31 in the contest. Diouf was able to score double digit kills, leading the Sooners with 14. Freshman middle blocker Tyler Alcorn and sophomore outside hitter Sanaa Dotson followed suit and scored seven and six kills, respectively.
Sophomore setter Grace Talpash set up 28 assists for the team and contributed five digs and a kill for the Sooners. OU also out-aced Kansas with seven aces to three by Kansas.
Defensively, Oklahoma and Kansas were equally competitive as each team scored eight blocks. Alcorn led the team and was involved in six of them while Diouf was involved in three.
Diouf and senior defensive specialist Keyton Kinley lead the Sooners with eight digs each, and sophomore outside hitter Olivia Curtis scored six for the team.
The team showed great resilience throughout the game, and even when the score was in favor of Kansas, Oklahoma always managed to come back and win each set.
Gray-Walton has stressed before the value of teamwork and having the players depend on each other rather than an individual to be able to win. Saturday, that resonated with her players, and their resolve to keep fighting despite adversity helped them to a win.
“So, tonight, to see the emotional and physical recovery we needed to do, because last night took a lot out of us…for this group to come out and do that, was it pretty at times? Not always, but (there were) not as many strings of points (or) runs of points as we saw last night that got us into that five set situation. That was our focus today. Could we clean up a couple of defensive positional errors and be where we needed to be and make plays easier...and we did that tonight. That's a call to respond and that's awesome."
Oklahoma’s next matches will be against Kansas State on Oct. 22 and 23 in Manhattan, Kansas.