Aug. 24, 2012
NORMAN, Okla. -- Despite recording 12 more kills than Oklahoma, the Missouri State volleyball team was plagued by 32 hitting errors in four sets in losing 25-19, 24-26, 25-17, 25-23 to the Sooners Friday in the season opener for both clubs at the Nike Invitational in Norman, Okla.
Junior Christine McCartney led all players with 18 kills, and setter Carly Thomas picked up where she left off in 2011 with 50 assists, but 32 hitting errors took the punch out of MSU's 62 kills as the Bears hit .196 to Oklahoma's .292 figure.
Consecutive services aces from Amber Doolittle sparked the Bears to a 9-3 lead to begin the match, but the Sooners responded to tie the set at 10-10 and took the lead for good at 15-13 with a 3-0 run before pulling away from a 17-16 score.
The Bears started the second set strong as well, getting three kills from Andrea Beaty to lead 6-1. OU tied at 8-8 before Kayln Vlasin registered three blocks in a 6-0 run, and the Sooners again battled for a 15-all deadlock. The set was tied at each point to 20-20 when OU pulled ahead to gain set point at 24-22. Missouri State then closed with a 4-0 run, including two McCartney kills for the 26-24 win.
The Sooners never trailed in the third stanza after turning a 7-5 deficit into a 10-7 lead, and the fourth set was a barnburner that featured 11 ties. MSU held leads of 17-14 and 20-18 before the Sooners went up 21-20 and closed the set with three Keila Rodriguez kills from a 22-22 score.
Beaty finished with 12 kills in her MSU debut, and Doolittle had eight with a .583 hitting percentage. Ashley Mason led the defense with 16 digs and Shelby Strang added 12 as MSU led the Sooners 58-49 in that department. MSU had eight blocks to OU's 11.
Missouri State plays two matches Saturday, at 10 a.m. against Tulsa and 5 p.m. versus Western Michigan. Tulsa defeated WMU 3-0 on Friday.