The Norman Transcript

Sports

September 4, 2013

Sooners clamp down on Razorbacks to stay unscathed

NORMAN — Coach Santiago Restrepo’s Oklahoma volleyball team is headed to Portland, Ore., to face Pacific on Friday and Portland State and Brigham Young on Saturday.

If all goes really well, the Sooners will exit their road trip an unbeaten 7-0 in the young season.

After what happened Tuesday night at Howard McCasland Field House, it’s not so crazy a thought.

“I’m looking forward to it,” Restrepo said.

So, too, should his team, coming off its 25-22, 25-22, 25-21 straight-set victory over Arkansas.

“I think it’s a huge win,” preseason All-American middle blocker Sallie McLaurin said.

OU had enjoyed recent success against the Razorbacks, yet not in straight sets. Further, how they made it happen Tuesday should be reason for even more confidence.

In the opening set, OU led 15-7 before enduring a 20-20 tie. From there, the Sooners won five of seven points to end it. 

In the middle set, it was a 16-9 edge that was whittled down to 20-19 before the Sooners won five of eight points to end it. 

In the last, there was no big lead, but OU still held a 19-18 edge before running off six of nine points to end the match.

“We played in crunch time better than they did and that is a sign of good character, very good confidence in ourselves and very good chemistry,” Restrepo said.

Also, what it looked like on the court may be a pretty good model for the Sooners going forward.

A couple of stat lines told the story. 

One, OU hit .259 as a team, which is plenty good, yet even a tad misleading, because the Sooners hit a stratospheric .425 as a team in the first set and a really, really good .333 in the third. Along with it, OU committed just 12 attack errors to Arkansas’ 21. 

The Sooners (4-0) were putting the ball away at best and keeping points going at worst. They were not giving points away.

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