- #5 Texas def. West Virginia 3-1 (24-26, 28-26, 25-18, 25-15)
- Texas moves to 9-2 overall, 1-0 in Big 12; West Virginia moves to 8-6, 0-1 in Big 12
The Texas women had a little hiccup at the beginning of their Big 12 opener on the road in West Virginia on Tuesday evening, dropping the first set to the Mountaineers 26-24 – perhaps a mental hangover from their crushing defeat to the Wisconsin Badgers on Sunday.
The Longhorns’ play improved in ever set, however, and after dropping the first one, they took the 2nd, and looked back on form as the #5 team in the country by the 3rd and 4th deciding frames. That includes an error-free attack in the closing set.
Texas’ hitting by set:
- (12kills, 6errors, 3totalattacks) – .194
- (17k, 4e, 37ta) – .351
- (13k, 2e, 32ta) – .344
- (15k, 0e, 31ta) – .484
Texas was also stout defensively, recording 3 solo blocks and a whopping 28 block assists on the game for 17 total team blocks – or 4.25/set. West Virginia, alternatively, only had 4 total team blocks. Freshman Orie Agbaji led the Longhorns in blocks with 9 total – a career high and the most of any Longhorn this season.
While the Mountaineers eventually ran out of steam against Texas, unable to apply enough defensive pressure at the net in the 3rd and 4th sets, they did actually record more kills than the Longhorns in the match (62-57). That includes superstar freshman Payton Caffrey, the reigning Big 12 Rookie of the Week, who scored a whopping 26 kills on .259 hitting.
The Mountaineers have leaned heavily on Caffrey all season, and she has responded with more kills-per-set than any freshman in the country, and ranks second in total attacks by a freshman nationally as well. With 9 digs, she came up just short of recording her second double-double of the season.
Texas too was led by a freshman in scoring in this match – Micaya White recorded 18 spikes at a .260 hitting percentage – one of three Longhorns in double figures alongside junior Ebony Nwanebu (13 kills, .429) and senior Paulina Prieto Cerame (15 kills, .419).
While Caffrey had the biggest numbers, her West Virginia teammate Erin Slinde had the highest average – hitting .545 on 7 kills with 19 assists to boot.
Courtesy Texas Athletics:
MORGANTOWN, W.V. – No. 5 Texas Volleyball defeated West Virginia, 3-1 (24-26, 28-26, 25-18, 25-15) to start the Big 12 Conference season with a road win on Tuesday night.
Freshman Orie Agbaji led the Longhorns with a career-high nine blocks, the most of any Texas player so far this season. She also added three kills on four attempts.
Senior Nicole Dalton took over setting duties for Texas, posting 41 assists, five kills, nine digs and three blocks in the match.
Three Longhorns finished with double-digit kills, all hitting .260 or better.
Freshman Micaya White finished with 18 kills, nine digs and five blocks in the match.
Senior Paulina Prieto Cerame had 15 kills, hitting .419 and junior Ebony Nwanebu finished with 13 kills, hitting .429, seven digs and four blocks.
Junior Cat McCoy led with 15 digs, while sophomore Lauren Beard and freshman Claire Hahn added four.
As a team, Texas (9-2, 1-0) hit .344 in the match and outblocked West Virginia (8-6, 0-1), 17.0 to 4.0.
In the first set, neither team led by more than two until the Mountaineers went on a 6-0 run to take an 8-4 lead, but the Longhorns chipped away, winning six of the next eight points and tied the score at 10. West Virginia went on another 3-0 run to take a 16-13 lead later in the set, but could not pull away and Texas tied it again at 18. They tied three more times before the Longhorns saved three set points, but the Mountaineers closed in on the fourth to take set one, 26-24.
Neither team led by more than two in the second set, featuring 12 ties early, until West Virginia took an 18-16 lead. Texas responded and tied it at 20, but the Mountaineers took another lead, 22-21. Back-to-back kills from White gave the Longhorns the advantage, but neither team could pull away until Texas closed the set, 28-26, to even the score, 1-1.
The third set picked up where the second set left off with six ties until the 7-7 mark when the Longhorns went on a 4-0 run to lead, 11-7. UT maintained the lead and extended it for a 21-15 advantage. From there, Texas finished with another 4-2 run to close set three, 25-18.
In the fourth set, the Longhorns jumped out to a 4-1 lead and stretched it to 11-5. The Mountaineers could not close the gap, pulling to within five at 10-15, but Texas responded to increase the lead and finished the match with a 25-15 fourth set.
Payton Caffrey led West Virginia with 26 kills and nine digs.
The Longhorns will return to Gregory Gym to welcome No. 8 Kansas on Saturday, Sept. 24 at 7 p.m. The match will be televised live on Longhorn Network.
Courtesy West Virginia Athletics: