NORMAN — Today, Oklahoma volleyball coach Santiago Restrepo’s Sooners find out where they’re heading for the NCAA tournament. And, because of what happened Saturday night at McCasland Field House, the Sooners might well be looking at a pretty good draw.
Closing the regular season on a five-match winning streak, running the regular-season mark to 23-7 overall and 12-4 in the Big 12 Conference, and finishing up with a four-set victory over No. 25 Kansas should all play in the Sooners’ favor.
Friday was about the senior quartet of Sallie McLaurin, one of the best hitters ever to come through the program, Eden Williams, a prolific digger, Keila Rodriguez and Mindy Gowen.
Playing their final match at the old field house, they helped to make sure the experience was a good one.
McLauren led OU with 14 kills, a healthy .343 hitting percentage and a match-best seven blocks.
Rodriguez added 13 kills in the match and five in the pivotal second set, when the Sooners responded from a harsh 25-16 Jayhawk victory in the opening frame. Williams and Gown combined on eight digs.
During brief postgame comments to close the Fox Sports broadcast of the match, a misty-eyed and emotional Restrepo struggled to get the words out when asked about the seniors contributions.
The Sooner rolled after falling behind, dispatching Kansas with consecutive set victories by scores of 25-17, 25-19 and 25-16.
If the NCAA selection committee is willing to look at work done in the previous 24 hours as it seeds teams, the Sooners stand to improve from their match-entering RPI of No. 23. It won’t hurt that the Jayhawks, though ranked 21st, entered with an RPI of No. 12.
The NCAA Selection Show for volleyball begins at 8:30 p.m. on ESPNU.
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