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OU volleyball: Sooners look to upset No. 1 Texas

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Then-sophomore setter Kylee McLaughlin sets a ball versus Iowa State Nov. 14, 2018.

Once again, the Sooners have an opportunity to bring down a top-ranked opponent inside McCasland Field House as Oklahoma (15-6, 7-3 Big 12) welcomes No. 1 Texas (16-2, 10-0 Big 12) to Norman this Friday.

The match, which is set for a 6 p.m. start, will mark the second time OU has faced off against the Longhorns this season. In their first meeting on Oct. 12, Texas made quick work of the Sooners in a 3-0 sweep.

Using the lessons her team learned in that loss, head coach Lindsey Gray-Walton and the Sooners are determined that this time will be different.

“Sometimes, I’d rather play (the first match) on the road,” Gray-Walton said. “You know what you’re getting yourself into the second time around, how big that gap is between them and us, what we need to work on for a team that physical. 

"We need to be mentally and physically engaged.”

In the top-ranked Longhorns’ previous matchup, they took down West Virginia 3-0 at home. In its last nine matchups, Texas has not lost a single set. 

As for OU, the Sooners are coming off a bounce-back 3-0 win against Kansas on the road. The Oklahoma defense put together its second lowest opponent hitting percentage from an opponent on the season, as it held Kansas to .076.

Heading into this week’s match, Gray-Walton isn’t concerned about her team coming ready to play.

“You don’t have to talk that much about it,” she said. “The elephant in the room is they’re No. 1 in the country, they’re Texas. Whether that ranking is next to their name or not, we wanna beat Texas.

"Like we’ve said all year, we’re better by playing this match — win or lose. We need to go out with the effort we need to be proud of at the end of the match. If that matriculates a win, great. If it’s just close and we lose, like (against No. 3 Baylor), then we’re better and we’re going to play better because of it.”

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