Dec. 4, 2010

NORMAN, Okla. -

Courtesy of Oklahoma Athletics

The University of Oklahoma volleyball team opened the 2010 NCAA Championship Friday evening with a 3-0 win over Wichita State (-27, -21, -14). It marked Oklahoma's first win over the Shockers since 1999.

The Sooners (22-10) move on to play in-state school Tulsa Sunday at 2 p.m. with the winner advancing to the Sweet 16 in University Park, Pa. Wichita State finishes the season at 21-8.

"It was very important for us to start our first set very strong, and I thought we did that from the very first point," said Oklahoma head coach Santiago Restrepo. "Our game plan was to slow down the outside hitters and I thought we did a great job."

Caitlin Higgins led the Sooners with her ninth double-double of the season. Higgins had a team-best 10 kills and 13 digs, while adding one service ace and two total blocks, including one block solo.

Sallie McLaurin added eight kills and four total blocks, while Brianne Barker, Suzy Boulavsky and Morgan Reynolds added seven kills each.

Barker paced the offense with 29 assists, moving her career total to 3,318. Barker needs just 29 assists to move into fifth on the all-time career list at Oklahoma.

The Sooners hit .282 as a team and dropped 44 kills. OU also dropped seven blocks to WSU's five. OU held the Shockers to a .113 hitting percentage, forcing 23 errors.

Oklahoma leads the all-time series with Tulsa, 31-1 and holds a 15-0 mark in matches played in Norman. The Golden Hurricane won the last series meeting between the two schools on Sept. 14, 2002 (3-1 in Tulsa). This is OU's first trip to the second round since 2007.

Tulsa got its first-ever win in the NCAA Championship and first win over a ranked opponent with a sweep of No. 13 national seed LSU Friday evening (-20, -15, -18).