Call it a Red River Romp.
Texas tuned up for a Saturday showdown against Kansas with a sweep of Oklahoma at Gregory Gym on Wednesday. Micaya White, the five-time Big 12 Freshman of the Week, led the Longhorns with her match-high 14 kills, while junior Ebony Nwanebu contributed nine kills and a .600 hitting percentage.
Kansas (19-2; 8-1 Big 12) hosts Texas (17-2; 9-0) this weekend in a match-up that will feature the second- and sixth-ranked teams in the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s national poll. No. 2 Texas and No. 6 Kansas are the only teams from the Big 12 in the AVCA poll, and there is one conference loss between the two schools.
That one loss was Texas’ 3-1 ruffling of the Jayhawks in Austin on Sept. 24. Kansas has won seven straight matches since that loss, and a 3-0 victory over Texas Tech on Wednesday was its fifth straight sweep.
“We were pretty pumped about tonight,” Nwanebu said. “Kansas is a really good team. If we do what we did tonight and just stay with it and be calm, I feel like good things will happen on Saturday.”
Five service errors kept Oklahoma in a first set that featured a 20-20 tie, but White’s six kills lifted the Longhorns to a 25-22 win. Texas then separated itself from first-half ties in the second and third sets in what turned out to be 25-19 and 25-15 triumphs.
For the fourth straight match, Texas held its opponent to a hitting percentage of lower than .200. Oklahoma hit .183 on Wednesday, and the Sooners could only muster a .128 percentage in the second set.
Claire Hahn, a freshman from Westlake, led the Longhorns with her 10 digs. Texas also recorded nine blocks.
“Game two, I told them I think it’s the best defense that we’ve played all Big 12,” Texas head coach Jerritt Elliott said. “We’re getting touches and getting transition points. If we can play that kind of defense, we’re going to put a lot of pressure on teams.”
With its win on Wednesday, Texas moved to 47-4 in its all-time series with Oklahoma. The match, though, only drew an announced crowd of 2,762 to the university’s 4,000-seat gym.
“I think our students can do a much better job, I think the city of Austin can do a better job,” said Elliott, whose team has four home matches left on its regular-season schedule. “These girls deserve that right now. It would be great for people to come out and sell this place out right now. I was a little shocked that we were basically half-full.”