The Sooners were trailing No. 14 West Virginia midway through the second set Friday night when head coach Lindsey Gray-Walton yelled the words “killer instinct.”
The team heard her command and rallied to avoid the sweep, winning the third set by two points in their final fall match. Although the sudden spark that Gray-Walton gave the team helped, it proved to be too late as the Mountaineers (8-8) defeated the Sooners (3-9), 3-1, in four sets.
The Sooners produced a sluggish start in the first set at McCasland Field House, making several errors and having multiple miscommunications. West Virginia would come out on top and take the first set, 25-21.
The first half of the second set was much more competitive, as both teams were tied at 10, but OU would give up multiple runs and lost the second set, 25-20.
The Sooners fought their hardest in the third set to keep from being swept on senior night, and won, 27-25. In the final set, the Mountaineers would start with a 15-9 run and would hold on to that lead to get the victory, 25-20.
Freshman outside hitter Guewe Diouf set a single-game program record with 28 kills, surpassing former Sooner outside hitter Alyssa Enneking’s 27 kills in 2018.
Sophomore outside hitter Sanaá Dotson followed with 14 kills on the night. Freshman defensive specialist Sam Anthony also garnered a career-high 27 assists.
Once the match came to an end, the team held a ceremony for the seniors and their families. Many tears were shed as each player was honored with a plaque and flowers.
There are no more matches scheduled for the Sooners in the fall. They will play their postponed matches with Iowa State and TCU in the spring, looking to improve after a rough finish to a COVID-19 shortened season.