4-Seed Texas Advances to 11th-Straight Elite 8 in Another 3-2 Thriller

  0 Braden Keith | December 09th, 2016 | Big 12, College - Women's Indoor, News, WCC

Match Stats

Friday’s Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Women’s Division I volleyball tournament was full of thrilling finishes, and the matchup between 13th-seeded BYU and 4th-seeded Texas wrote another chapter in that story.

After Texas went up 2-0 in front of a home crowd, BYU fought back to tie the game at 2-2.

The Cougars looked like they were going to ride that momentum to the Elite 8, jumping out 5-0 in the final set. They carried that margin all the way to 12-7, where Texas got hot behind their stars Micaya WhiteEbony Nwanebu, and Paulina Prieto-Cerame gave the Longhorns 5-straight points on true kills to tie the set at 12-12.

BYU grabbed the next 2 points to push themselves to the brink of a wing, but the Longhorns couldn’t be broken – winning the next 4 to win 16-14.

White, Nwanebu, and Prieto-Cerame combined for 59 kills in the game and a .284 hitting percentage to carry the Longhorns. White, with 24 kills and a .322 hitting percentage, also had 3 service aces. Chloe Collins had a career-high 70 assists and now ranks 5th in Longhorn program history with 3,570 in her career.

Cat McCoy had 23 digs and Yaazie Bedart-Ghani had 8 block assists as part of a 14-block effort for Texas all night.

BYU had 5 players with double-digit kills. They were led by McKenna Miller who had 16. Whitney Howard was the offensive star of the night though, with 15 kills and a .500 hitting percentage.

As Howard went, so went the Cougars. In the 3 sets where she hit well, including 5 kills in the 3rd set, the team had their highest hitting percentages. In the 2nd and 5th sets, she had only 1 kill in each, and BYU hit .125 and .242, respectively, in those sets: their lowest percentages of the day.

Libero Mary Lake finished off her freshman season with 30 digs and 2 aces for BYU in the game. Amy Boswell had 14 kills, 8 block assists and 7 digs. Lacy Haddock had a double-double with 13 kills and 10 digs in a game that saw stuffed stat sheets on both sides.


The final point:

Press Releases

Courtesy Texas Athletics:

AUSTIN, Texas – No. 4 seed Texas Volleyball (25-4) punched its ticket to the Elite Eight in thrilling fashion, knocking off No. 13 seed BYU (29-4), 3-2 (25-23, 25-14, 24-26, 22-25, 16-14), inside Gregory Gym on Friday afternoon.

With the win, Texas advances its 11th straight and 22nd all-time regional final match. The Longhorns improve to 66-9 (.880) in tournament matches hosted in Austin and a 33-2 (.943) mark under head coach Jerritt Elliott.

Four Longhorns registered double-digit kills on the match. Freshman Micaya White led all players with 24 kills, marking the seventh time she has had 20 or more kills on the season, coupled with a career-high 20 digs. Junior Ebony Nwanebu posted 19 kills while senior Paulina Prieto-Cerame followed suit with 16 kills. Sophomore Morgan Johson rounded out the double-digits for Texas with 11 kills, her new career-high.

Senior Chloe Collins tossed up a career-high 70 assists, moving her into 5th place all-time for assists at Texas with 3,570. Junior Cat McCoy posted a team-high 23 digs, and junior sophomore Yaazie Bedart-Ghani led the Longhorns with eight blocks.

As a team, Texas swung at a .364 hitting percentage (66-102) while holding BYU to .242 percent (66-112). The Horns outblocked the Cougars, 14-10.

The opening set was everything a Sweet Sixteen matchup should be, featuring three lead changes and 14 ties. The Longhorns found their strength behind White, who registered seven kills in the opening stanza, including a 3-0 run of her own to eliminate a 20-17 deficit. After a White ace evened things once again at 23, Prieto-Cerame drilled two to the wood to hand Texas set one, 25-23.

The Horns never trailed BYU in the second set and hit at a match-high .448 hitting percentage while holding the Cougars to .125 percent. After opening on a long rally that ended on a Nwanebu tip, Texas pressed ahead to as many as eight (16-8) headed into a BYU timeout. From there, the Longhorns continued to forge onward to capture set two, 25-14.

After three ties, BYU picked up its first lead since the opener and extended it to as many as three (13-10) in the heart of the third. A 4-0 stretch helped Texas regain control of the set, 21-18, and a Johnson kill made it match point with the Longhorns holding the 24-22 advantage. The Cougars proved tough, battling off two elimination points and closing on a 4-0 run to take set three, 26-24.

An 8-8 tie didn’t dampen the BYU momentum, and the Cougars steered the fourth from that point on. After utilizing a 6-2 push to take the 20-14 lead, its largest of the match, BYU kept the striking distance to at least three for the remainder of the stanza and won the fourth set, 25-22.

The Cougars claimed the first five points of the final set with the help of two service aces and led by as many as six (11-5) in the closer, but the Texas front row had other plans. A 7-1 Longhorns attack tied things at 12, but two straight BYU kills made it match point. Texas remained calm, knocking down kills from Nwanebu and White to make it 14-14 and force extra points. Another Nwanebu kill made it match point once again, this time in favor of Texas, and a BYU attack error sealed the deal as Texas closed the fifth set, 16-14, and the match, 3-2.

Texas will face the winner of the matchup between Creighton and No. 12 seed Michigan in the regional final on Saturday, Dec. 10 inside Gregory Gym. The first serve is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT, and the game will be carried live on ESPNU.

Courtesy BYU Athletics:

AUSTIN, Texas – After being down two sets and fighting back to force a fifth, No. 13 seed BYU women’s volleyball fell 3-2 (25-23, 25-14, 24-26, 22-25, 16-14) to No. 4 seed Texas in the NCAA Regional Semifinals in Austin Friday afternoon.

“Congratulations to the University of Texas on advancing in the tournament,” BYU head coach Heather Olmstead said. “They played a great match. I don’t think that I could be any more proud of the way the team played. I thought, except for a lapse in the second set, it was phenomenal volleyball. I’m very proud of the team and the courage and fight that they showed in the match tonight. ”

In the decisive fifth set, BYU (29-4, 16-2 West Coast Conference) jumped out to an early 5-0 lead with two aces from Mary Lake. An off-speed kill by Veronica Jones-Perry made it a 10-5 advantage over Texas (25-4, 14-2 Big 12). The Longhorns went on a 7-1 run to tie the game 12-12. Kills from Whitney Young Howard and Amy Boswell made it match point at 14-12, but Texas scored four straight to win the set 16-14 and the match.
Texas out hit BYU .323 to .251 along with earning four more total blocks (14) than the Cougars (10). Both teams had at least three players with double-digit digs and at least four with more than 10 kills.
BYU had five players with double-digit kills, led by McKenna Miller’s 16 kills. Howard had 15 kills on a .500 clip, while Boswell notched 14 kills, seven digs and eight blocks. Lacy Haddock had a double-double with 13 kills and 10 digs. Pacing the offense, Lyndie Haddock had 48 assists and 20 digs. Freshman libero Lake tallied 30 digs and two aces in the match.

The two teams were close the whole first set with four lead changes and 14 ties. BYU’s two senior middle blockers got it started for the road team in the first set, with Boswell and Howard earning two kills each for the Cougars’ first four points. Miller and Howard’s block capped off two-straight points to go up 12-11. After trading points, Miller powered the ball through the block to get BYU’s first three-point lead, 20-17. However, the Longhorns scored three unanswered to even the score at 20 apiece. The Cougars struggled down the stretch, giving up four-straight to allow the Longhorns to win the first set 25-23.

The second set was all Texas. An early 8-3 Longhorns lead forced the Cougars to take a timeout. Miller came out of the break with a kill, but then Texas scored three more. Behind two kills from Veronica Jones-Perry, BYU scored three-straight to close in on the lead, 11-7. The Longhorns never allowed the Cougars to score more than one at a time to close out the set. Howard scored two kills down the stretch, but Texas closed it out with a 25-14 win.
BYU brought back the fight in the third set. Lacy Haddock hammered home a kill after a long rally to spark a 3-0 run to take a 5-3 lead. The Longhorns tied the game at 14-all, but Haddock found the deep corner on her attack to keep the lead at 15-14. BYU allowed Texas to score five unanswered points, taking the 21-18 lead. Behind a kill and a block from Howard, the Cougars fought off a match point with three-straight points to take the 25-24 lead, capped off with an ace from Haddock. BYU took the third set 26-24 after a Texas error.

Riding the momentum from the third-set victory, the Cougars jumped out to an early lead in the fourth. BYU went up 5-3 after Haddock killed the ball on a rally that lasted just over one minute. Texas then went on a 3-0 run to tie it at 6-6 until Boswell killed the ball to take back the lead. The teams had been trading points for a while when BYU scored four-straight points behind two kills from Jones-Perry to push the lead to 18-12. Despite the big lead, the Longhorns fought back with a 4-1 run to get within two, 23-21, forcing a timeout from the Cougars. Boswell slammed the ball from the middle to take the fourth set 25-22, forcing a decisive fifth set.

Despite a big lead for BYU in the fifth set, Texas came from behind to win 16-14, taking the match 3-2 to advance to the NCAA Regional Finals.



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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and co-founder of VolleyMob.com. Braden's first foray into sports journalism came in 2010, when he launched a swimming website called The Swimmers' Circle. Two years later, he joined SwimSwam.com as a co-founder. Long huge fans of volleyball, when Braden and the SwimSwam partners sought an opportunity to …

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