Texas middle blocker Brionne Butler (10) and opposite hitter Skylar Fields (5) block Baylor's Marieke van der Mark (10) at Gregory Gym on Oct. 23, 2019. [Stephen Spillman for Statesman]

Volleyball

Texas sweeps top-ranked Baylor, retains Big 12 volleyball supremacy

Posted October 23rd, 2019

Advertisement

So what happens when you play volleyball at Texas and you beat the No. 1 team in the nation?

Does that count as an upset? Or is it impossible to be an underdog when you’ve won 10 of the Big 12’s last dozen championships?

After Texas swept Baylor on Wednesday night, senior outside hitter Micaya White had an answer.

Advertisement

“I think we always just try to come out and be the hunter, not the hunted,” White said. “So no matter if were ranked low or ranked higher, we’re going to come after you no matter what.”

In a midweek clash, the Longhorns hunted and swept Baylor out of Gregory Gym with a 25-19, 25-10, 25-19 victory. In addition to sitting atop the AVCA’s last four polls, Baylor (16-1; 6-1 Big 12) was the nation’s last undefeated team. Texas (13-2; 7-0) was ranked fourth in that same poll this week.

Now 84-2 in its all-time series with Baylor, Texas is also 44-0 against the Bears at home. Texas has won the last 39 Big 12 matches it has hosted.  Since 2005, UT is 11-1 whenever the Big 12 sent a top-ten team to Austin.

Highly-ranked conference clashes

Over the past 15 seasons, Texas has hosted a dozen Big 12 matches that featured a top-10 foe.
 OpponentTexas rankResult
Oct. 23, 2019No. 1 Baylor4Texas, 3-0 (25-19, 25-10, 25-19)
Sept. 24, 2016No. 8 Kansas2Texas, 3-1 (27-25, 25-16, 18-25, 25-19)
Oct. 23, 2015No. 7 Kansas2Texas, 3-0 (25-16, 25-19, 25-14)
Sept. 29, 2010No. 9 Iowa State13Texas, 3-2 (17-25, 25-16, 12-25, 25-15, 15-11)
Oct. 27, 2010No. 2 Nebraska10Texas, 3-1 (25-15, 25-19, 25-27, 27-25)
Sept. 18, 2009No. 10 Iowa State2Texas, 3-0 (25-22, 26-24, 25-17)
Oct. 30, 2009No. 8 Nebraska2Texas, 3-0 (25-22, 26-24, 25-19)
Nov. 19, 2008No. 3 Nebraska4Texas, 3-1 (25-19, 21-25, 25-22, 25-22)
Oct. 24, 2007No. 1 Nebraska5Texas, 3-0 (30-22, 30-25, 30-20)
Oct. 18, 2006No. 1 Nebraska9Nebraska, 3-2 (27-30, 30-22, 22-30, 30-22, 15-13)
Oct. 12, 2005No. 7 Missouri18Texas, 3-0 (30-28, 30-27, 30-22)
Nov. 26, 2005No. 1 Nebraska11Texas, 3-2 (22-30, 28-30, 30-27, 30-27, 15-12)

Hitting .333, Texas took control of the first set at the halfway point and pulled away to an early triumph. The first-set loss snapped a 31-set winning streak for Baylor, which had swept its last 10 matches. In fact, Baylor had only dropped two sets the entire season. That number, though, would be doubled by the end of Wednesday’s second set.

With four kills and three blocks, sophomore middle blocker Brionne Butler paced the UT offense and defense in the second set. Logan Eggleston also delivered three of her team’s five aces in the set.

“I think we did a really good job at focusing on our side of the net,” said UT setter Jhenna Gabriel, whose team led by as many as seven points in the final frame. “At the end of day, it’s what we’re doing on our side of the net that’s going to win games”

Texas celebrates a point against Baylor at Gregory Gym on Oct. 23, 2019. [Stephen Spillman for Statesman]
In Wednesday’s victory, Butler led the Longhorns in kills (12) and blocks (eight). White added seven kills and Gabriel contributed 29 assists. Five of UT’s nine aces were recorded by Eggleston.

Nationally, Baylor’s .310 hitting percentage had ranked just behind Texas (.328) and Missouri (.311). The Bears, though, hit only .084 in Austin. Senior Yossiana Pressley finished with 18 kills on 41 swings, but Baylor could not establish another offensive threat. It took until Baylor’s sixth point of the second set for a Bear not named Pressley to record their second kill, and setter Hannah Lockin’s four kills ended up being the team’s second-best total.

‘”Erik (Sullivan, UT’s associate head coach) works really hard on the scouting report and just making sure we know their tendencies,” Butler said. “I think we did a really good job.”

The win was the eighth in a row for Texas. Since a five-set loss at Rice on Sept. 18, Texas has swept seven of its opponents. Iowa State is the only conference foe that has taken a set off the Longhorns.

“I think little by little, every day is getting better,” White said. “That’s what you want, you don’t want this drastic increase and then maybe drop toward the end of the season. Just gradually getting better and better every day, just one percent.  And so hopefully by tournament time, we’re 100.”

Texas middle blocker Asjia O’Neal (7) celebrates a sweep of Baylor on her birthday at Gregory Gym on Oct. 23, 2019. [Stephen Spillman for Statesman]
Notes: Texas will travel to Kansas on Saturday. … On her 20th birthday, redshirt freshman Asjia O’Neal celebrated with five kills, three blocks and a .500 hitting percentage. … With an announced crowd of 4,215, Texas celebrated its fifth sell-out in eight home matches.

Comments