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OU volleyball: Sooners hoping to reset with bye week after home loss to Texas Tech

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Head coach Lindsey Gray-Walton

Head coach Lindsey Gray-Walton speaks during the game against Kansas State on Oct. 2.

Lindsey Gray-Walton knows her team needs a reset. 

Oklahoma and its head coach lost the second game of its conference series to Texas Tech (13-8, 3-5 Big 12) 3-0 on Friday night. The Sooners (9-10, 3-5) are looking forward to their upcoming bye week to physically and mentally reset midway through the season. Gray-Walton is hoping her team can use the break to bounce back with some adjustments.

“Mental discipline and fatigue for sure definitely set in,” Gray-Walton said. “It’s always hard to beat a team twice, and then have to do it on back-to-back nights. But, that’s the uniqueness to the schedule this year and credit to Texas Tech they wanted to win. They came out swinging and that's something that we didn't really get after too much. You can't win any matches with only 31 kills, unless you combo that with a lot of blocks, and we didn't do that either. So, overall, just not our best performance.

“Here we are into the two-week break, and we need to reboot. Hopefully (we can) refresh the minds, the bodies and all the things to come and get ready for KU in two weeks.”

Freshman setter Peyton Dunn’s streak of consecutive games with at least 30 assists ended Friday night. Dunn struggled to create for her teammates, and it had a direct effect on Oklahoma’s outside hitters. The Red Raiders dominated OU 25-17 in the second set and 25-16 in third.

“Last night, they went after a different zone, and we handled it pretty well,” Gray-Walton said. “And, tonight — you know the counter effect of playing a team two nights in a row — they went after a different zone and really kind of disrupted some seams that pulled balls off. In turn, forcing Peyton to be on the run, having to bump set a lot. We didn't really get too many good looks behind the setter.” 

Notably, freshman outside hitter/middle blocker Megan Wilson struggled to produce offense due to Oklahoma’s passing struggles, as she delivered a season-low four kills. In the second set alone, Texas Tech blocked OU’s kills leader on back-to-back occasions.

“Right now Megan is living the life of the L1 (left outside blocker) when a team isn't passing well,” Gray-Walton said. “We passed well in the first set, but we didn't pass well enough in those specific rotations to help her out and create some seams, so it's really no fault of her. I mean, she's carrying a load right now that many don't until they're a junior or senior.

After Oklahoma’s bye week, it turns its focus to Kansas (11-8, 3-5) at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 29 on the road. Gray-Walton wants her team to use the break to reboot.

“We really want to utilize this (bye week),” Gray-Walton said. “The message in the locker room was to take Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday to do something that's not volleyball. ... Then, we also have next weekend off, and so I know some of our kids are going to go home. Sometimes all you need is a home-cooked meal, your bed and some friends to just get rebooted.”

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