From Little Rock Sports
Tyler Morrison, Athletic Communications Assistant
LITTLE ROCK – After winning a close third set to keep their hopes alive, Little Rock volleyball (0-4) fell 3-1 (18-25, 14-25, 30-28, 17-25) to Oklahoma (4-0) in the opening match of the Little Rock Invitational on Thursday night at the Jack Stephens Center.
Veronica Marin led the Trojan offense as she put up a career-high 13 kills.
Tied 10-10 in the first set, Oklahoma went on a 12-4 run to take a 22-14 lead. The Trojans cut the Sooner lead to four at 22-18 with four straight points before Oklahoma scored three consecutive points to win the set.
The Sooners led the entirety of the second set and eventually took the win with a double-digit margin of victory at 25-14.
The third set was the most highly contested frame of the night as the set went into extra points. With the Trojans taking the first set point at 24-23, Oklahoma evened it up with a kill by Alyssa Enneking. A kill by Marin gave Little Rock set point again at 25-24, but Oklahoma answered once more with a kill by Madison Ward.
The Sooners gained their first match point at 26-25 on an ace by Rachel Manriquez, but Taylor Lindberg declined Oklahoma the match with a kill. With match point once again at 28-27, Marina Avram denied Oklahoma the win with a kill. Tied 28-28, the Trojans finished off the Sooners with two straight points on a block by Carolee Dillard and an ace by Marina Avram.
However, the Sooners weren’t about to lay down as they got out to a nine-point lead at 20-11 in the fourth set. Little Rock was able to cut Oklahoma’s lead to seven at 24-17, but a final kill by the Sooners’ Kimmy Gardiner put the match away.
Edina Selimovic led the match with six total blocks (one solo and five assisted) and picked up eight kills with a team-high .312 hitting percentage.
Marina Avram had nine kills for the Trojans with two service aces. Taylor Lindberg led the team with 22 assists and picked up four total blocks, tying her career high. Sydnee Martin led Little Rock with 18 digs and tallied two aces. Carolee Dillard led the match with three solo blocks and had a total of four.
Little Rock outblocked Oklahoma 13-12.5 at the net. The Trojans have won the block battle in all four matches this season.
The Trojans return to action on Friday with a noon match against UAPB and a 6 p.m., match against Mississippi State at the Jack Stephens Center.