OU fights hard in four sets for Homecoming victory over UIC


Ayman Ishimwe

The volleyball team celebrates after getting a point against UIC on Oct. 8.

The Golden Grizzlies showed off just how much they could endure as they fought through adversity to capture the win against the University of Illinois-Chicago Flames. 

The Grizzlies started off the game red hot with three straight kills before UIC locked down defensively to bring the score up to 7-5. After UIC found their footing, the game became much more evenly matched as the two teams traded points in kind.

OU would eventually capture the lead and tried to protect it as best as they could, but UIC’s solid receiving and well-paced offense led them to mounting a run that would enable them to take the lead in the first set and run away without ever looking back. UIC would win the first set 25-17 despite OU trying to fight their way back into the game. 

The second set would start off with the same evenly matched play that filled much of the first set. It was here that the game turned into a question of “Who can last the longest?.” UIC started to break away after taking a 6-4 lead before OU would quickly catch up and eventually take the lead. 

The second set would heat up into an all-out race for the win as OU looked to tie the set count and UIC looked to win back-to-back sets and solidify their winning position. Both teams would swap leads at one point during the set, but OU would reach the win first on the back of an amazing block that would tie the set count up 1-1. 

Another bout of even matched play started off the third set before UIC started to pull away with a commanding 6-point lead. An OU spike ended the run and was the catalyst for the comeback that the Golden Grizzlies would then mount. 

OU’s tenacity, well-paced offense and great defense helped them stay in the game but UIC’s ingenious offense was keeping them in the front. OU was in a precarious position, as they kept trading points with UIC. The consistent scoring helped OU to stay in the matchup, but the fact that UIC would score just as easily meant that they were always able to extend their lead. The Golden Grizzlies were essentially stuck in “No Man’s Land.” 

OU would eventually close the gap and make it into a one-point game, as UIC scrambled to recover the broken pieces of their once commanding lead. As the game raced to a thrilling conclusion, the score felt deadlocked with UIC leading 24-23. With the set on the line, OU would make play after play and take the hard-fought set with a score of 28-26.

After the most brutal set of the game, OU would open up the fourth set with a commanding 4-0 start that included a service ace. UIC struggled to stop their momentum as kill after kill would find their side of the floor, widening the OU lead and increasing the momentum they carried into every play. The lead would eventually grow to six points, forcing UIC into a timeout to try and collect their bearings and figure out a way to fight back into this game. 

Eventually, UIC would find their footing and tie the set up 10-10. UIC would build that tie into an eventual three point lead and push OU back onto their heels. OU would fight back into the game, and tie it up 18-18 after treading water in the fourth set despite a red hot start. 

After continuous trades, OU would take the lead back and sprint to the finish line to take the final set and win the game 3-1. A game of ups and downs would end with a win for the Golden Grizzlies, as they increase their record to 10-7 on the season.