NORMAN, Okla. – Oklahoma overcame late deficits in each of the first two sets and then recovered from a third-set loss to top Texas Tech, 3-1 (25-21, 25-22, 23-25, 25-19), Wednesday evening in the Big 12 Conference opener at McCasland Field House.
The Red Raiders dropped to 5-13 all-time in Big 12 openers with the loss. It was just the first time Texas Tech (7-9; 0-1) and Oklahoma had opened conference play against each other in Norman.
Tech had a chance to put the Sooners in an early hole thanks to 21-19 and 20-19 leads in the first two sets but Oklahoma rallied with a 6-0 run in the opening frame before winning the final three points to close the second.
The Red Raiders pulled off a rally of their own in the third, overcoming a four-point deficit to end the frame on a 9-3 run. Oklahoma led from the get-go in the fourth to close the match.
The loss spoiled an impressive debut for Jenna Allen, who missed the non-conference portion of the schedule with a preseason injury. The sophomore led all players with 21 kills on the outside while also recording a double-double with 15 digs as well.
It was the most impressive offensive performance for a Red Raider in a conference opener since 2001 when Kelly Johnson also connected on 21 kills at Missouri.
Allen was boosted on the outside by Breeann David, who had a successful night of her own with 18 kills and a career-high 21 digs. The double-double was the third already this year for David and second in the last two matches.
Aubree Piper also delivered eight kills for the Red Raiders while Mikia Mills added six. Emily Ruetter wrapped the night with a match-high 49 assists to go along with her seven digs from the back row.
Sallie McLaurin powered the OU attack with 14 kills as she was one of four Sooners to finish in double figures. Kierra Holst delivered 12 kills while Micaela Spann and Keila Rodriguez dropped 11 and 10 as well from setter Julia Doyle, who dished out 42 assists while also recording 12 digs.
The Sooners wrapped the match hitting .244 as a team, slightly better than Tech’s .200 percentage. The Red Raiders were previously 5-1 this year when hitting .200 or better for the match.
In a battle between the top two digging teams in the conference heading into the match, Tech slightly out-dug the Sooners with a 78-71 advantage, 18 of which that came from Rachel Brummitt. Nicole Hragyil also had 10 digs off the bench.
The Red Raiders will take the weekend off before resuming Big 12 action next Wednesday against Iowa State. First serve is slated for 6 p.m. at the United Spirit Arena with television coverage provided on FOX Sports Southwest.
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