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WVU volleyball finishes weekend sweep of Oklahoma

MORGANTOWN, W. Va. — The West Virginia University volleyball team opened Big 12 play with a pair of wins over Oklahoma. WVU beat OU in another four-set match at the WVU Coliseum in Morgantown on Saturday evening in set scores of 25-18, 22-25, 25-18 and 25-22.

On Friday evening, the Mountaineers beat the Sooners in set scores of 25-23, 25-14, 21-25 and 25-22.

With the win, WVU has earned a season sweep over OU for the first time in program history. West Virginia has now won three straight contests over Oklahoma and has taken the Sooners in four sets in all three matches.

“It’s great to start 2-0 in the conference,” said coach Reed Sunahara. “That is what we were striving for, and I thought we played well tonight.”

In Saturday evening’s match, the Mountaineers posted 63 kills and nine team blocks.

The Sooners also had 56 kills and six team blocks.

WVU led the match in assists (52-48) and digs (84-74).

WVU was led by eight Mountaineers who recorded double-digit scores.

Fifth-year outside hitter Adrian Ell recorded her first Mountaineer double-double after tallying 15 kills and a WVU career-high of 19 digs in the win.

Ell also recorded a team-high, four blocks. All three stats were team highs.

She was followed by senior setter Lacey Zerwas who recorded her 25th career double-double, and fifth of the season.

Zerwas also recorded a double-double in Friday’s match against Oklahoma.

She led the team with 45 assists and had ten digs in the win, along with a season-high two service aces.

Junior middle blocker Emmy Ogogor tallied a season-high 12 kills, and she was followed by fifth-year senior middle blocker Briana Lynch and senior outside hitter Kristin Lux who both tallied 11 kills.

“Again, (fifth-year senior outside hitter) Athena Ardila came off the bench and did well. Also, Emmy came in and did a good job. Both of them helped us get this win, along with everyone else. I told the team that it is a team effort, and we can’t do it individually. We have to keep working hard.”

Fifth-year senior defensive specialist Alexa Hasting dug 19 balls, along with sophomore outside hitter Skye Stokes who dug a career-high 15 balls, and senior outside hitter Natali Petrova with 11 digs.

The Sooners opened the first set, 2-0, but the Mountaineers responded with a kill from Lux. A 4-0 scoring run for WVU ultimately gave the Mountaineers a 5-3 lead.

The teams traded points throughout the set, but another Mountaineer run led to a media timeout, and WVU led 15-10.

Following the timeout, OU saw two kills, but WVU used a scoring run to take a six-point lead to force an Oklahoma timeout.

The teams traded points to close out the set, but a 3-0 WVU scoring run gave the Mountaineers a 25-18 win.

Following the first set win, WVU opened the second set with a service ace from Zerwas. A 5-0 scoring run gave the Sooners a strong lead early on.

The Mountaineers fired back with a scoring run of their own to come within one point of the Sooners, 5-4.

A kill from Ogogor and an OU attack error led to a tie, 6-6.

The teams traded points, but a trio of kills and an Oklahoma attack error gave the Mountaineers the lead, 12-10.

A trio of Oklahoma scoring runs ultimately gave the Sooners a set two victory, 25-22.

Although OU opened the third set, WVU battled back to take an early 10-6 lead. Oklahoma went on a 3-0 scoring run, but West Virginia responded with a 5-0 run of its own to hold the lead,17-11.

A few more WVU runs helped the Mountaineers sail to a set three victory, with a score of 25-18, and they took the lead 2-1.

Petrova opened the fourth set with a kill from Hasting. OU responded, and the teams traded points.

Oklahoma took a 5-4 lead, but a scoring run from West Virginia helped the Mountaineers retain their lead 12-9.

The teams then traded scoring runs.

Both WVU and OU battled back and forth with a total of 13 tied scores throughout the set. Oklahoma went on a 3-0 scoring run to take a two-point lead, 20-18.

The Mountaineers were down by two, nearing the end of the set. Ell recorded two kills, Ogogor recorded a kill and OU gave up two points on attack errors.

Ultimately, an Oklahoma attack error ended the set in West Virginia’s favor, 25-22 and WVU won, 3-1.

Looking ahead, the Mountaineers travel to Austin, Texas, for a two-match series against Texas at Gregory Gymnasium from Sept. 30-31.

Thursday’s match will begin at 9 p.m., followed by Friday’s match at 8 p.m.

BUCKHANNON-UPSHUR 4, WOODROW WILSON 4: Caden Andrick scored on a 20-yard shot from Noah Radabaugh’s assist in the 70th minute to even up a high-scoring affair for the Buccaneers.

“We challenged the team at practice yesterday and again during pregame that Woodrow Wilson would come out very physical and we need to match that physicality and intensity and I feel that not only did we match it but surpassed it for long stretches of the match,” B-U coach Mike Donato said.

It was especially wild early: Radabaugh opened scoring in the second minute with a shot from outside the box that deflected off the defender and went in at the far post.

Carson Eckley scored the first of his three goals for Woodrow in the fifth minute, dribbling past his defender and finishing to the back corner.

Andre Wright gave Woodrow the lead in the ninth minute, receiving the ball in the penalty area and finishing at the far post.

Two minutes later, B-U got even on Jared Brandish’s 25-yard free kick over the goalkeeper from the left side.

Eckley then buried a free kick of his own in the 16th minute, a hard shot off of the goalkeeper’s hands at the far post.

Right before the half, Radabaugh scored his second, finishing a diagonal bar from Cam Carpenter to the near post.

Eckley completed his hat trick in the 51st minute before Andrick’s equalizer.

“I was honestly expecting a low-scoring game, so for this game to turn into a shootout was a bit of a surprise, but we were able to hold our own, creating some good scoring chances and capitalizing on some set pieces,” Donato said. “This team continues to grow and play well together. We’ve seen a fighting spirit and unwillingness to quit that makes me very proud.”

B-U hosts Morgantown on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

JACKSON WINS LHU INVITATIONAL: Fifth-year senior Hayley Jackson led the way for the West Virginia University cross country team and took first place at the LHU Invitational, on Saturday in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania.

“We got a lot out of today’s meet,” said coach Sean Cleary. “Lock Haven has kickstarted the careers for many WVU cross country runners over the years.”

Jackson finished the 6k in a time of 20:51.5. She was followed by Maria Kaylor, who placed fifth and finished in a time of 21:33.6.

“Watching Hayley close off this race was very encouraging,” said Cleary. “A few weeks ago, she was a little rusty at Lehigh, but today she showed us that she is right on track for the fall.”

“Maria showed big improvements in a few short weeks,” Cleary stated. “After a very frustrating true freshman year, Maria demonstrated that she has a bright future with us.”

Redshirt junior Malina Mitchell followed and placed 56th with a 6k time of 23:31.5.

WVU was one of 27 schools racing in the LHU Invitational.

The Mountaineers return to action at the Louisville Classic in Louisville, Kentucky, on Saturday, Oct. 2, at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park.

“We are looking to line up next week in Louisville with a full team. If you are healthy and fit, then you will be in uniform,” Cleary said.