Aug. 21, 2012
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Oklahoma - Friday, August 24, 7 p.m.
Tulsa - Saturday, August 25, 10 a.m.
Western Michigan - Saturday, August 25, 5 p.m.
Site: McCasland Field House
Location: Norman, Okla.
Live Audio: None
Live Stats: Oklahoma -- Tulsa -- Western Michigan
Live Video: None
The Missouri State volleyball team begins the 2012 season this weekend with a trip to the Oklahoma Nike Invitational in Norman, Okla. The Bears open Friday at 7 p.m. against the host Sooners, and face a tough Saturday slate that includes Tulsa at 10 a.m. and Western Michigan at 5 p.m.
All three of MSU's opening-weekend opponents played in the NCAA Tournament in 2011 and finished with an RPI of 39 or better, while Tulsa and Oklahoma received votes in the initial 2012 AVCA Coaches poll.
Oklahoma returns 10 letterwinners and two starters from a 2011 squad that went 21-12 overall and 8-8 in Big 12 play. The Sooners advanced to the first round of the NCAA Tournament last year, ended the season rated 29th in the RPI and received four votes in the initial AVCA Coaches Poll in 2012, good for 41st place.
Tulsa received 25 votes in the preseason poll, ranking it 32nd, and brings back all but one starter from a 28-7 club that made the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Golden Hurricane closed 2011 ranked 25th in the RPI.
Western Michigan also brings back five starters from a solid 2011 team. The Broncos went 24-9 a season ago, qualifying for the NCAA Tournament and earning the No. 39 spot in the final RPI.
Missouri State leads Oklahoma 22-7 but has lost the last three meetings. Last year, the Sooners won 3-1 in Norman.
The Bears hold a 17-1 margin in the series with Tulsa that includes 16 consecutive victories dating to 1977, including a sweep of the Golden Hurricane in Springfield in 2007.
MSU and Western Michigan have met four times on the volleyball court but not since 1982. The Bears have won all four meetings.