After a near upset at the hands of Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas (10-3) returned home to Gregory Gym Saturday night marking the strong program’s 24th straight win against Big 12 opponents – victorious over Iowa State (8-10) in three sets. Although Iowa State was the last Big 12 team to beat Texas (November 2016), the Cyclones arrived on the 40 acres following three straight losses and a season plagued by injuries.
In total control of the set and looking far less sluggish and sloppy from their play against the Horned Frogs, the Longhorns came out looking like a well-oiled machine with recently named Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week Micaya White leading Texas on 4-0 stretch. Appearing to have worked out their woes from just a few days before, an assist from sophomore setter Ashley Shook (Plainfield, Illinois) for a kill by Freshman middle blocker Brionne Butler took Texas up 11-7. But the Cyclones weren’t ready to give away the first set, making their way to pull within two points (12-14). Freshman outside hitter Logan Eggleston earned Texas’ 20th point of the set with a nice kill from the left but Iowa State closed the gap (19-21). After the Longhorns lost a challenge for a possible touch by the Cyclones, senior middle blocker and 2018 Preseason All-Big 12 selection Morgan Johnson (Desoto) came in for the kill – her sixth of nine swings for the set (22-19). At second set point for Texas, they closed out (25-21).
The second set between the teams proved to be quite different, with the Cyclones keeping the Longhorns on their toes. With continued energy on their side, Iowa State took a quick lead over Texas 10-9. The set was a much closer battle with the Cyclone’s hitting percentage at .393, far greater than their season average of .229, over the Longhorns’ .349. An ace by 2018 Big 12 Preseason Freshman of the Year Eggleston allowed Texas to tie it up at 17.
However, Iowa State continued to make plays and regained their lead (19-18) but that was quickly followed by a Texas five-point run that included a nice dig by 2017 AVCA All-America Honorable Mention Shook and a couple of aces from freshman libero Sydney Petersen. A beautiful kill from senior outside hitter and 2018 Preseason All-Big 12 selection Yaasmeen Bedart-Ghani of Los Angeles placed Texas at set point (24-20). Two errors by Texas kept the Cyclones close and forced a Longhorn timeout (22-24). A stuff by the junior outside hitter and 2018 Big 12 Preseason Player of the Year White delivered the set to Texas (25-22).
The Longhorns jumped out with a 7-5 lead over the Cyclones in the third but Iowa State quickly tied it up at seven. Making Texas earn their win, Iowa State kept themselves within two over the course of the game before tying it up at 12. The Longhorns finally took their biggest lead in the set over the Cyclones (20-16) and another stunner kill by Eggleston took the team to set point (24-19). Much like the night, Iowa State didn’t give up and kept Texas on the brink (24-21) forcing a Longhorn timeout. With her 12th kill of the night, the 17-year-old Eggleston claimed match point from the right side for her Longhorn team (25-21).
Following the weekend upset of Minnesota (5) over Nebraska (3), fans await the release of a new AVCA Coaches Poll to see how it impacts Texas – a team that has had the toughest schedule in the country this season. The Longhorns face the Texas Tech Red Raiders in Austin at 1PM – Saturday, October
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