Defense Leads Volleyball to Upset of No. 14 Iowa State

NORMAN, Okla. – The University of Oklahoma volleyball got its biggest win of the season, downing No. 14 Iowa State in four sets Saturday morning at McCasland Field House (24-26, 25-21, 25-20, 25-23). The Sooners (19-8, 11-5 Big 12) held the Cyclones (17-7, 10-6 Big 12) to a .162 hitting percentage, well-below their season averages of .268 (overall) and .252 (conference only).

“A lot of our losses are to teams ranked higher than us in the , and I kept telling the team that if you play well things will eventually bounce your way,” said Oklahoma Head Coach Santiago Restrepo. “It’s a great confidence builder and great for us going into our match at Nebraska. This is a great win for our program.”

Caitlin Higgins led the Sooners with her seventh double-double of the year, third in conference play. Higgins tied the team-high with 14 kills and dropped a season-best 22 digs. Higgins added one block solo, tying a career best set four times previously and one block assist.

Suzy Boulavsky also added 14 kills and four block assists. Sallie McLaurin moved her conference-only block total to 73 on the year with one block solo and four block assists. McLaurin added nine kills offensively. Brianne Barker had her 16th double-double of the year with 50 assists and 11 digs.

Maria Fernanda added 20 digs, while Eden Williams had a career-high 16. In addition to Barker’s 11, Mindy Gowen added a career-best 10 as the Sooners recorded 84 digs to Iowa State’s 82.

Sarah Freudenrich had two block solos and three block assists as part of OU’s 11.0 on the afternoon. The Sooners out-blocked the Cyclones 11.0-10.5, downing four block solos and 14 block assists. Iowa State had just one block solo and 19 block assists.

Victoria Henson led Iowa State with 21 kills, 16 of those coming in the first two sets. The Sooners kept Henson off the scoresheet in the third set and allowed her to get just five kills in the final set. Carly Jenson added 16 kills and Jamie Straube had 10 for . Alison Landwehr dished out a match-high 52 assists and was one of five Cyclones with double-digit digs. Straube added a match-high seven total blocks, all assists.

It was Oklahoma’s first win over a ranked opponent this season and the Sooners’ first since sweeping No. 21 Texas A&M in College Station last season. It was OU’s first win over a ranked Iowa State team.

The Sooners return to the road Wednesday evening for a 7 p.m. CT contest at No. 5 Nebraska.

Updated 11-14-2010

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