- #4 Texas Longhorns def. #9 Baylor Bears 3-1 (27-25, 21-25, 25-23, 25-19)
- Texas moves to 24-2 (16-0 Big 12), Baylor falls to 23-6 (13-3 Big 12)
- Ferrell Center, Waco, Texas
- Attendance: 2,979
- Box Score
The 2017 Texas Longhorns have become just the 6th team in Big 12 history to have a perfect season in conference play, following Nebraska on 4 occasions (2000, 20001, 2002, 2004) and one former Texas team (2013).
They also halted the momentum of #9 Baylor, who had won 7 straight games (including 5 sweeps) coming into Saturday’s game. Baylor finishes 2nd in the Big 12 with a 13-3 conference record – both their best-ever results in Big 12 play. The 2,979 fans in attendance is the 4th-largest crowd in Ferrell Center history for volleyball.
Chiaka Ogbogu and Ebony Nwanebu both finished the match with 13 kills. Both players had big two-way games: Nwanebu had 6 block assists and Ogbogu had 7. With another 7 assists chipped in by Morgan Johnson, Texas out-blocked Baylor 15-7.
Baylor had 5 service aces in the game and were lead offensively by Yossiana Pressley, who had 23 kills. The team’s biggest star, Katie Staiger, played in all 4 sets, but had just 4 kills and 4 errors. This is the 2nd time she’s played a full game since returning from a 4-game absence with a foot injury. Staiger has had 9, 5, and 4 kills in those 3 games, respectively.
While the Bears will need her healthy to make a deep run into the NCAA tourney, the emergence of the freshman Pressley has been a silver lining to Staiger’s time away. In addition to the kills, she had a career-high 13 digs for the second double-double of her young career.
Saturday’s game was a game of runs. Baylor, spurred on by an electric home crowd, went up big early – leading 11-2 that they eventually carried to 16-8. But then the offense went cold and 4-straight errors for Baylor let the Longhorns battle back to 16-13. That eventually became 19-20, 24-24, and 27-25 Texas (the Longhorns’ last 3 points were all scored on various Baylor errors). Pressley had 8 kills in that 1st set alone.
The 2nd set was the most balanced of the day, but was still pretty streaky – Texas went up 5-2, then Baylor fought back to 10-7. While Texas tip-toed back in and was even able to take the lead 19-18, 3-straight Baylor points finished the set 25-21.
In the 3rd, Baylor jumped out to another early lead – a 5-point stretch put the Bears up 12-7. This time, Texas clawed back to a 21-20 lead and had enough with a late ball-handling error from Hannah Lockin to win 25-23.
In the 4th set, Texas went up 8-0, and while Baylor played better as the set went on, they never got closer than 2 (21-19). Texas would score the last 4 points of the match to seal the game.
Baylor may have sunk their own ship in this game. Their 29 hitting errors was their 2nd-most of the season, behind just a 33-error outing in their 4th game of the season against Washington State (in a 5-set game, to boot). While they kept the service errors low (4, with 5 aces, a solid ratio), they had 3 block errors and 3 ball handling errors. Ball handling errors has been a problem for the bears this season – they have 37, while their opponents have only 20.
Texas did just enough while hitting .250 to hold off Baylor – they hit .343 in their last set to finish the match off.
What a battle to close the regular season. Here are your #SicUT highlights ? pic.twitter.com/jsspwB0ENY
— Baylor Volleyball (@BaylorVBall) November 26, 2017
Courtesy Texas Athletics:
WACO, Texas – No. 2 Texas Volleyball (24-2, 16-0) secured a second undefeated Big 12 season in program history on Saturday afternoon after defeating No. 18 Baylor (23-6, 13-3), 3-1 (27-25, 21-25, 25-23, 25-19) in Waco.
Seniors Chiaka Ogbogu and Ebony Nwanebu led the Longhorns as both finished with 13 kills and six or more blocks. Nwanebu recorded two errors on 23 swings (.478), adding six blocks, while Ogbogu posted a .333 hitting percentage along with seven blocks.
Freshman Lexi Sun also finished with 13 kills (.333), while sophomore Micaya White’s 10 kills made her the fourth Longhorn to finish with double-digit kills.
Junior Morgan Johnson tied Ogbogu’s team- and match-leading seven blocks.
Senior Cat McCoy posted a team-high 16 digs, while White added 15, sophomore Claire Hahn had nine, and Rounsaville and Shook contributed eight.
The Longhorns broke an eight-match winning streak for Baylor, registering the most blocks recorded against Bears this season, 15.0, while holding the home team to 7.0 blocks.
A strong burnt orange contingent in the crowd had little to cheer early on as the Bears jumped out to a 10-2 lead, but a Texas timeout gave pause at 11-2, with the Longhorns taking the next two before cutting the deficit to four by a Baylor timeout at 16-12. Kills from Ogbogu tied the scores at 22 and 24 apiece, with a dig from Hahn at 26-25 maintaining a rally for Johnson and Sun to recorded a decisive block for Texas to secure the set at 27-25.
The second set saw the matchup between two the Big 12’s leading teams continue to thrive.
Texas continued the run that secured the first set, opening 5-2, but with the Bears rallying to tie at 7-7. The teams continued to exchange rallies, tying at 18-18 on a block from Johnson and Nwanebu, and neither side led by more than two before Baylor gained set point at 24-21. Extending to a run of three points, Baylor then secured the set at 25-21.
Texas trailed by five at 12-7 in the third set before a kill from Sun sparked a 9-5 run for the Longhorns to draw within one for the first time at 17-16. A service ace from Sun put Texas ahead after the Longhorns tied at 19 and 20 apiece, with a White kill drawing travelling Texas fans to their feet and giving the Longhorns space to secure the set at 25-23.
Ahead by a 2-1 match score, Texas started the fourth set 4-0 to force a Baylor timeout. A one-handed dig from McCoy set up White for a kill for 6-0, and the Longhorns had eight points before Baylor’s first at 8-1.
Heading towards an undefeated Big 12 season, Texas’ lead in the set then fell to a low of two at 21-19 before the Longhorns forced successive attack errors to wrap up the match, 3-1, with a 25-19 final score for the set.
The Longhorns will learn their postseason fate during the NCAA Selection Show, beginning at 8 p.m. CT on ESPNU.
Courtesy Baylor Athletics:
WACO, Texas – No. 18 Baylor volleyball (23-6, 13-3 Big 12) ended its seven-match Big 12 winning streak with a 3-1 loss on Senior Day to No. 2 Texas Saturday afternoon at the Ferrell Center, 27-25, 21-25, 25-23, 25-19.
The Bears closed out a remarkable regular season, finishing with the best regular season winning record (.793) since the 1999 squad. Baylor also ends a program-best Big 12 Conference season that saw them finish in second behind Texas (24-2, 16-0 Big 12) for the first time in program history.
Saturday’s total attendance of 2,979 checks in as the fourth-largest crowd to watch a volleyball match at the Ferrell Center.
With her second career double-double, freshman Yossiana Pressley paced all players with 23 kills and a career-high 13 digs in the loss. Aniah Philo also posted her 20th career double-double with 12 kills and 14 digs. Hannah Lockin joined the double-double party with 41 assists and 11 digs.
The Bears hit a hot streak early in set one and went up 11-2 after a Philo kill, prompting a Texas timeout. BU was plagued by attack errors in the middle of the set and allowed Texas to tie it up at 22-22 with a kill from Chiaka Ogbogu. Baylor had a set point after Pressley’s eighth kill of the set, but a block allowed Texas to steal the first set, 27-25.
BU started slow in the second set but used a 4-0 scoring run with Shelly Fanning at the service line to push its lead to 10-7 before a Texas timeout. UT took the lead at 19-18, but the Bears would run off seven of the last nine points to tie up the match, 25-21.
Set three went back and forth. Both teams were knotted up seven times before Texas took the 21-20 lead. BU fought off a set point before falling short, 25-23.
Down 8-0, the Bears went on a late run to pull within two after a Philo kill at 21-19. The Longhorns ran off the final four points of the set to take the match, 3-1.
• BU closed out the regular season with the best winning record since 1999 (.793).
• Baylor finishes Big 12 play in second place for the first time in program history (13-3).
• Baylor honored six individuals during a post match ceremony on Senior Day: seniors Katie Staiger, Tola Itiola, Camryn Freiberg and Jana Brusek, Amanda Lesikar and manager Paige McKiddy.
• Yossiana Pressley led the Bears with 23 kills and a career-high 13 digs for her second career double-double.
• Aniah Philo (12 kills, 14 digs) and Hannah Lockin (41 assists, 11 digs) also posted their 20th and ninth career double-doubles.
• Baylor had five different players record a service ace against the Longhorns (Fanning, Philo, Presley, Brusek, Staiger).
• Five players recorded double-digit digs, led by Aniah Philo with 14.
• BU has taken a set from Texas in Waco for two straight years (set one in 2016, set two in 2017).
• Baylor has now lost 32 matches in a row to the Longhorns, dating back to Oct. 27, 2001.
STAT OF THE MATCH
2,979 – the attendance for the fourth-largest volleyball crowd in program history.
“We definitely did a good job. We came out strong and put ourselves in a position to (take the opening set). It would have been nice to finish that one off, and we’ve said against all the good teams to move forward. Sometimes your best could be a loss, but in the end, it comes down to who can make plays. You know, both teams tied at 22-22, so we had opportunities and the lead early. Texas, obviously, is very, very good, so it would have been nice to go up 1-0 on them, but I’m really proud of the girls’ response. It could have been heart breaking, it could have been the match, but we fought back and won set two and then again, the third set could have gone either way. If we win that one, we play a fourth set no matter what and that’s life. You know we get better every match, we get better at these kinds of matches right here. Yossi did a phenomenal job. She played like a First Team All-American against one of the best teams in the country and, you know, we have a few things we need to work on and a few adjustments we need to make. We also did a lot of good things right that we talked about this week that gave us chances. We’ve got to put it all together, and we are back to 0-0. It’s the postseason and we didn’t go undefeated in preseason, we didn’t go undefeated in conference, but we would like to go undefeated in the postseason. That’s the only way: to win your last match.” -head coach Ryan McGuyre
Baylor awaits its postseason fate with the NCAA Volleyball Championship Selection Show at 8 p.m. CT start tomorrow on ESPNU.