NORMAN – The Oklahoma volleyball team is headed down to Waco, Texas for its first road matches of the season. The Sooners will face the No. 2 Baylor Bears Thursday at 6 p.m. on ESPNU and Friday at 6 p.m. on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.

WEEKEND STORYLINES

LAST TIME OUT

The Sooners went 0-2 on opening weekend, dropping a pair of matches to the reigning Big 12 Champion Texas Longhorns. OU fell in its opener, 3-0, going 18-25, 16-25, 21-25. Freshman Guewe Diouf was the offensive spark for the Sooners with 13 kills in her debut. Sophomore Grace Talpash notched 22 assists and senior Keyton Kinley added nine digs.

In the second match of the week, the Sooners took the Longhorns to four sets falling, 14-25, 20-25, 29-27, 13-25. Diouf once again led the Sooners with a career best 18 kills and five digs. Freshman Kelsey Carrington got in on four blocks, including the block to secure the third-set victory.

DIOUF HONORED BY BIG 12

Oklahoma outside hitter Guewe Diouf was named the Big 12 Rookie of the Week after the opening weekend of play. Diouf made a splash in her collegiate debut, leading the team with 31 kills on the week, good for third in the conference. The Marignane, France, native added seven digs and four kills over two matches. Diouf is the first Sooner to earn Rookie of the Week since 2015 when three different Sooners were honored by the conference.

A NEW LOOK

Due to COVID-19, the 2020 season has a different look as the Big 12 has elected to play conference only games for the year. Each team will play four home series and four road series for a total of 16 matches. The Sooners will host Texas, Kansas (Oct. 16-17), TCU (Nov. 5-6) and West Virginia (Nov. 19-20) and will travel to Baylor, Kansas State, Iowa State and Texas Tech.The 2020 NCAA Volleyball Tournament has been scheduled for the spring 2021 semester. The Big 12 Champion will automatically qualify to the spring championship.

FIRST LOOKS

All four freshmen saw action during opening weekend with Sam Anthony, Tyler Alcorn, Kelsey Carrington and Guewe Diouf making contributions.Diouf started both matches for the Sooners and led the team with 31 kills on the weekend. Carrington played in every set, tallying eight blocks and adding seven kills. Anthony appeared in both matches, earning a service ace in the second match. Alcorn appeared in two sets in the Sept. 25 match, adding two blocks.

BACK AT IT

The Sooners return 12 student-athletes from the 2019 roster, including Big 12 Libero of the Year Keyton Kinley. Three of OU’s returners earned All-Big 12 accolades in 2019 as Kinley and Sarah Sanders earned first team honors, with Paige Anderson earning second team recognition.Additionally, Kinley was named the Big 12 Libero of the Year, marking the first time a Sooner won back-to-back awards.

 

QUICK HITS

  • OU is 181-265 (.405) all-time against the Big 12.
  • Freshman Guewe Diouf still ranks second in the conference with 4.43 kills per set, despite the Sooners not playing this pas t weekend.
  • The Sooners lead the all-time series, 39-23, with the Bears and hold a 16-12 advantage on the road.
  • OU will look to snap a six-game losing streak to Baylor, while also looking to snap Baylor’s home winning streak which currently sits at 20 straight matches.

SCOUTING BAYLOR

After dropping its season opener to Kansas, Baylor has dominated in its last three matches. The Bears responded by sweeping Kansas the next day before sweeping TCU in Waco this past weekend.Baylor is led offensively by Kara McGhee who leads the conference with a .514 hitting percentage. Callie Williams ranks third in the conference in assists with 10.43 per set. As a team, Baylor leads the conference with a .363 hitting percentage. The Bears rank second in opponent hitting percentage (.161), assists/set (12.71), kills per set (13.93) and blocks/set (2.36).

UP NEXT

The Sooners will return to the friendly confines of McCasland Field House for a two-game series against Kansas. OU will host the Jayhawks on Friday, Oct. 16 and Saturday, Oct. 17.

For updates, follow @OU_Volleyball on Twitter or like Oklahoma Volleyball on Facebook.