After dropping the first game, the No. 4 Texas volleyball team went on to win three straight, topping Iowa State 23-25, 25-9, 25-19, 25-22 to close out the regular season in Ames and claim a share of the Big 12 title.
Texas claimed the NCAA tournament automatic bid over Baylor due to the Big 12’s tiebreaker rules. The co-championship is the first in the Big 12 since 2008. It’s Texas’ third straight Big 12 title and Baylor’s first.
Micaya White led the Longhorns (21-3, 15-1 Big 12) with 18 kills and 19 digs. Jhenna Gabriel also recorded a double-double, assisting on 44 points and making 11 digs. Sydney Petersen also had double-digit digs for Texas, making 15.
Brionne Butler added 11 kills and led the Longhorns with seven blocks. Texas held a decided edge in team blocks, registering 13 against the Cyclones’ four.
Michal Schuler had 15 kills for the home team while Annie Hatch added 10.
Trailing 12-10 in the first game, Iowa State (17-11, 8-8) went on a 4-0 run to go up by two points. Texas tied the game at 19, and then 20, before the Cyclones scored three straight points. Iowa State never relinquished the lead again.
The second set was a stark contrast to the first. With the game tied 3-3, the Longhorns reeled off a 12-0 run to take full control of the set. Texas had a pair of 3-0 runs later in the set to eventually tie the match 1-1.
Iowa State led 9-8 before the Longhorns went on another run in the third game. Texas scored five straight to take a 13-9 lead. The Cyclones got to within two points later in the game, prompting a Texas timeout. From there Texas took three of the next four points and led 19-15. A service error by Iowa State clinched the set for Texas.
Texas utilized three runs of three points and a four-point run in the final set to clinch the match. Their 4-0 run came at a pivotal time when Iowa State led 19-18. A kill by White followed by one of her two aces started the run. A pair of bad sets led to a 22-19 lead for Texas. A pair of kills by Logan Eggleston set up the Longhorns with match point. Butler put the final touches on the win with her 11th kill.
The Longhorns now await their postseason schedule. The NCAA tournament bracket will be announced on ESPNU at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday.
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