NORMAN — Any time the Oklahoma volleyball team takes the court, it likes to leave its opponents with a distinct impression. With a towering front line, they want teams to be afraid.
“I think people will understand when we come up there swinging, we mean to kill,” sophomore Kierra Holst said
That may have been the case Saturday when the Sooners hosted West Virginia at McCasland Field House. They ran through the visiting team in straight sets and definitely left the Mountaineers with something to think about the next time they face off.
“I thought the team played really great,” Madison Ward said. “We had some awesome defense from all of our players. With blocking, we had a lot of great touches and I think we shut them down.”
The Sooners (18-4, 6-2 Big 12) came out the gate controlling the action at the net. Holst, Ward, Keila Rodriguez and Sallie McLaurin tried to put divots in the floor with the ferocity they were sending shots back at the Mountaineers.
“It’s extremely important because when we do that we assert our dominance,” Holst said. “We are like, this is our game, we have control of it. You may get your kills every now and then. But overall, we are the ones who want to put the ball away.”
OU won the first set 25-15 behind six kills from McLaurin and 11 assists by Julia Doyle.
Oklahoma didn’t take the foot off the pedal in the second set. Leading by three, the Sooners scored five straight points to take a 15-7 advantage. It forced West Virginia coach Jill Kramer to take a time-out.
Unfortunately for the Mountaineers, the time-out didn’t help. Oklahoma raced to a 25-14 win to take 2-0 lead into the intermission.
“That’s one of the things we talked about, not letting teams back into the game and keeping the intensity,” OU coach Santiago Restrepo said. “I thought we did a great job of that.”