Up 21-17 in set four, Oklahoma (11-4, 3-1 Big 12) reeled off four unanswered points to secure a win over Kansas (4-9, 0-3 Big 12) on Saturday. However, the Sooners did more than just improve their regular season record — their victory improved the program’s all-time win total to 800.
In what was just her 28th win as the Sooners’ head coach, Lindsey Gray-Walton didn’t shy away from just how special win No. 800 felt.
"Credit to the people who have come before us. I think, 'man, how cool' because we talk about it as a team — the people who came before you and leaving your jersey in a better place," Gray-Walton said. “To just add to that tradition that we knew was here and we wanted to be a part of as a family and a staff… I'm a very, very small part of it. That's that team out there wanting to win. That speaks to the success and tradition of this program and this place."
After dropping the first set 23-25, OU took down the Jayhawks 25-21, 25-16, and 25-17 in the following sets.
"The plan was to execute from the service line and get the pins going early and get the middles involved, both first ball and in transition," Gray-Walton said. "At different points and in different sets, each player rose to the occasion when we needed them to. Overall, I'm really proud of their ability to execute at a really high level after (the Baylor loss).”
The Sooners came into Saturday after falling to No. 1 Baylor in three sets on the road. Yet the atmosphere of over 1,000 fans inside McCasland Field House proved that the Sooner faithful isn’t quite ready to give up on this team. The energy on the court on Saturday proved that this team isn’t ready to give up on this season. The crows was all in as the Sooners fought for every kill, dig, set and block.
“I truly believe that at our best we have the pieces to compete with everybody,” Gray-Walton said. “It comes down to the transfer of that confidence and going out and putting it into action consistently. … There’s something to be said about that uber-confidence that you can just go out and play with. As coaches, we came back (from Baylor) wanting to instill that confidence back in our team, letting them know that we’re a good team, a very good team when we play clean, controlled, disciplined volleyball.”
Simply put, don’t write off the Sooners just yet.
Up next, the Sooners head to Austin, Texas to take on No. 6 Texas at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 12.