Wednesday’s match against No. 1 Texas proved this season’s West Virginia volleyball team has fight. After dropping the first two sets against the Longhorns, head coach Jill Kramer said she didn’t see her team roll over for the defending national champions in the third set. Instead, she saw her team go blow for blow with the best volleyball program in the nation.
When the Mountaineers travel to Norman, Okla., to take on the Sooners Saturday, Kramer said she hopes to see that same fight as her team tries to end their four-game losing skid in the Big 12 Conference.
“We were the ones fighting back this time, and that was a good thing to see. Some of the things we are working on, and there are still things we are improving on,” Kramer said. “That last set we were playing very good volleyball. We just want to keep that going.”
West Virginia will arrive in Norman on a two-game losing streak, which is only the second time this season this young team has dropped consecutive games. Despite dropping the previous two matches, several Mountaineers have continued to put up solid numbers.
Freshman outside hitter Jordan Anderson eclipsed a new career-high in kills last Saturday against No. 22 Kansas when she recorded 19 kills; she led her team again with 16 kills Wednesday in front of a nationally televised audience.
Along with Anderson, sophomore outside hitter Hannah Sackett has also been boasting some impressive numbers. Coming into the match against the Jayhawks, Sackett had eight consecutive matches with double-digit kills, which was good for second all-time. Sackett finished her night one kill shy of extending her streak against Kansas but responded against the Longhorns by tallying 11 kills.
Junior middle blocker Evyn McCoy has quietly been having a stellar season. McCoy’s 1.60 blocks per set average is still good for the lead in the Big 12. McCoy added four more to her total against the Longhorns.
The Sooners will finally return to the Llyod Noble Center after a week of traveling to take on Baylor and TCU. The Sooners took down the Bears in straight sets Saturday afternoon before being pushed to five sets against TCU Wednesday night.
Oklahoma was able to sweep the road trip behind the play of senior middle blocker Sallie McLaurin. McLaurin averages 3.66 kills per set, which leads her team, and leads the Big 12 in hitting percentage with a .455 clip.
McLaurin isn’t the only defensive weapon Oklahoma features. Talyor Migliazzo, a sophomore libero, has an average of 3.84 kills per set, helping her team average the most digs in the Big 12.
West Virginia dropped both matches against the Sooners in the 2012 season and will look to avenge those losses this Saturday at noon.