KU claimed a 6-15, 15-2, 13-15, 15-9, 15-13 victory, the Jayhawks' first five-game match since Sept. 25.
Oklahoma reminded Kansas University's volleyball team what it was like to play a five-game match Wednesday night, and the Jayhawks responded with a 3-2 victory.
KU (17-9 overall, 8-7 Big 12) hadn't been pushed to five games since a 3-2 victory Sept. 25 at Missouri. The Jayhawks' seven previous matches had all been sweeps, with KU winning four and losing three.
"It wasn't pretty. We didn't execute as well as we'd like, but it was good to be in a five-game match and play with confidence," said senior middle blocker Amanda Reves, who led KU with 19 kills in the 6-15, 15-2, 13-15, 15-9, 15-13 victory at the Horejsi Center.
Kansas had defeated the Sooners 3-1 on Oct. 6 at Norman, Okla.
"I told someone those Sooners aren't dead yet," Kansas coach Ray Bechard said. "They moved Danielle Bookout from outside to middle, and that's when they started getting better."
Bookout matched Reves with a match-high 19 kills. The Sooners (8-17, 3-12) showed they meant business early by rolling through the first game, 15-6.
The Jayhawks had five of their 13 service aces in the second game, including two each from junior Sara Kidd and sophomore Molly LaMere.
OU then forced Kansas to win the final two games when the Sooners claimed game three, 15-13.
The Jayhawks rolled to a 14-5 lead in game four, but it took KU eight more rotations to finish the game. Bookout sided Kansas out three times in that stretch as OU pulled within 14-9.
"We let momentum switch," Bechard said. "That was critical going into rally (scoring)."
Junior Nancy Bell finally finished the Sooners and game four with a service ace.
In the final game, which used rally scoring, the Sooners led 9-7 before Reves' kill sided out OU and gave KU a point.
Outside hitter Amy Myatt took over from there, scoring the Jayhawks' next four points. Myatt, a 6-foot junior, had two of her 18 kills while Reves was serving, tying the game at 9-9.
Myatt also ended the Sooners' next two serves with kills, tying the score at 10-10 and again at 11-11.
Myatt said she wasn't feeling any pressure.
"I want the ball," she said. I'll take any ball I can get."
OU reclaimed a 13-11 lead, but senior outside hitter Mary Beth Albrecht sided the Sooners out with one of her 14 kills.
Kidd then served the final three points. OU helped out with a hitting error, and Albrecht finished the Sooners with a stuff block and a kill.
The Jayhawks needed the victory to maintain their hopes of advancing to the postseason for the first time since 1993.
"We're shot if we don't win this one," Bechard said. "The team knew that. We just would not go away."
KU has five regular-season matches remaining, including Saturday's contest at Baylor.
"I'd say in the next five matches we might experience something similar to that," Bechard said of the two-hour, five-game marathon. "You can't simulate that kind of tension and pressure in practice. It was good for us."
LaMere led KU with 61 assists, and Bell led the team and tied a career high with 19 digs.