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OU volleyball: Last-second controversy, Savannah Davison's performance highlight Sooners' win over Texas Tech

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Savannah Davison

Redshirt senior outside hitter Savannah Davison before the game against Abilene Christian on Sep. 14.

Head coach Lindsey Gray-Walton thought the game was over. 

After Savannah Davison had the ball inadvertently struck off her head, which counts as an opposing kill in the NCAA rule book, the play was called a point for the Sooners, and the players ran to the locker room celebrating their win. Texas Tech challenged the call, but the Big 12 referees concluded that Oklahoma (9-9, 3-4 Big 12) won the contest 3-2 over the Red Raiders (12-8, 2-5 Big 12) in a 15-13 fifth set victory. 

Texas Tech head coach Tony Graystone was not finished, though. Graystone, who was frustrated about the call, protested to the referees that Oklahoma had run off the court before the ball was ruled dead. Gray-Walton, who was about to leave the court and into the locker room, argued with the referees and coach for nearly 10-minutes after the play was reviewed.

“In that instance, the ball was down and the whistle had been blown,” Gray-Walton said. “We were celebrating. But (Graystone) was doing anything you can do to try and figure out a way to get to an extra point or push it. And, that's definitely needed, but we'll take the win and go.

“It's an unprotestable call at the end and the ball was down. They can challenge the review, if that ball is up or down, but what you cannot challenge is that people are out onto the floor. That's not a challenge. So, more or less, just we all read the rulebook before we go into the season, so we'll do that again.”

The Sooners came back from a 5-2 deficit in the fifth set to win. Davison, who added the game-winning point to her team-high 27 kills, carried the offensive load for the Sooners the entire night.

The redshirt senior outside-hitter set the tone in the first set with eight kills and later helped Oklahoma outscore the Red Raiders 13-8 in the closing moments. While in the locker room after the final set, Davison and the team had to remain locked in with the potential of returning to play. 

“It was difficult for us (to stay focused) because our assistant coaches told us to go into the locker room,” Davison said. “But, we tried to say, 'Okay, we still need to go out there, we need to and finish this thing off,' and all the girls were on board with that. We were trying to listen outside and see who was cheering and stuff, but when it comes down to that you just have to be ready for whatever happens.”

Despite the whirlwind of the closing moments, Oklahoma found itself in a situation similar to other experiences this season. Going into the fourth set, the Sooners led the set count 2-1. Despite that, the Red Raiders’ defense shut down Oklahoma’s offense to a game-low six kills, which resulted in a 25-18 set four loss for OU.

Much like Oklahoma’s 3-2 loss to TCU on Saturday, Oct. 9, Texas Tech came roaring back from a set deficit. But, this time around, Oklahoma was able to close out the game in the final moments.

In the first three sets, Oklahoma outmatched the Red Raiders 47-33 in kill count. Those numbers helped the Sooners defeat Texas Tech 30-28 and 25-16 in the first and third sets, respectively. Freshman outside hitter/middle blocker Megan Wilson and redshirt senior Paige Anderson aided OU’s offensive momentum in those sets with 27 combined kills in the game.

Next, Oklahoma pivots to a rematch with Texas Tech at 6 p.m. CT on Friday, Oct. 15 at McCasland Field House in Norman. Davison is expecting a hungry opponent looking for vengeance after Thursday’s outcome.

“I think right now, Tech wants that point back,” Davison said. “We know that they're going to come back tomorrow being like, ‘okay we deserve that, we want to come back and win it,’ because they have played Baylor and they've won, and they have played Iowa State and won … . So I think both teams are just coming into tomorrow headstrong.”

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