After a split on the road first suffering a disappointing loss to Kansas but rebounding in Norman over Oklahoma, Texas (12-4) returned home to the 40 acres to take Texas Tech (15-7) down in three sets (25-13, 25-18, 25-21). While Texas has won 34 consecutive matches over the Red Raiders, recovering and improving from the upset in Lawrence that took the Longhorns from #4 to #8 in AVCA Coaches Poll was at the forefront of minds before a sold-out home crowd.
2018 Big 12 Preseason Player of the Year Micaya White (Frisco) led Texas out to a quick 5-1 in the first set and would finish the match with the team high in kills (17) and digs (12). The Longhorns dominated the Red Raiders in play round one but also benefited from Tech service errors extending their lead (10-4). Freshman Sydney Peterson (Dyke, Iowa) consistently on her digging game at libero allowed Texas to propel (23-13). A strong showing from middle hitters freshman Brionne Butler (Kendleton) and 2018 Preseason All Big 12 Selection and senior Johnson (Desoto) delivered the 25-13 win.
In a momentum reversal, Texas started down 1-4 but clawed their way back to tie it up at 8. The 2018 Preseason All-Big 12 selection Yaasmeen Bedart-Ghani (Los Angeles, CA), barely trailing the junior outside hitter White in kills for the day, advanced towards her season and career high throughout the match (16 total) and was critical to Texas finally gaining the lead (11-9). Totaling 33 kills in combination for the match, the dynamic duo of White and senior Bedart-Ghani from the outside drove Texas towards securing the second set (25-18).
Keeping it close from the outset in the third (5-5), Texas began pulling away with strategic offensive plays including the versatile setter and 2017 AVCA All-America Honorable Mention Ashley Shook (Plainfield, Illinois) winning a play at the net taking Texas to 14-11. An Eggleston kill, first ruled out but a challenge by Texas reversed the call, improved the Longhorns over the Raiders (16-13). In under an hour and a half of play, Texas’ toppling of Tech ended on a kill from the 2018 Big 12 Preseason Freshman of the Year, Eggleston (25-21).
Midway through the NCAA Volleyball season now, a Frida night upset with #9 Wisconsin Badgers victorious over the #5 Nebraska Huskers, who had just fallen to top ten ranked Penn State five days earlier, will certainly shake up the rankings and road to the championship bracket.
The Longhorns are back on the road to face the Cyclones in Ames on Wednesday (8PM).
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