The second-ranked Longhorns dropped their first conference match of the season, falling in five sets (25-17, 11-25, 25-27, 25-12, 10-15) to sixth-ranked Kansas Saturday night in Lawrence, Kansas.
The victory moved Kansas (20-2, 9-1) into a tie for first place with the Longhorns in the conference standings and was the program’s first win over Texas since 2003. The Jayhawks have won eight straight conference matches since losing to the Longhorns 3-1 at Gregory Gym in late September.
A pair hitters from central Texas led the Kansas attack Saturday night. Connally High School graduate Kelsie Payne led the Jayhawks with 21 kills and added eight digs and six blocks. Pflugerville’s Madison Rigdon had 16 kills and seven digs.
Texas freshman Micaya White led Texas (17-3, 9-1) with 25 kills and had just six errors on 54 attacks while hitting .352. Ebony Nwanebu had 15 kills for the Longhorns and Texas senior Paulina Prieto Cerame chipped in 13 kills. Texas senior Chloe Collins notched her eighth double-double of the season with 43 assists and 20 digs.
White and Prieto Cerame had five kills apiece as Texas out-hit the Jayhawks .424 to .143 to take the first set 25-17.
The Jayhawks started the second set on a 12-5 run and led by as many as 14, winning the set 25-11. The Longhorns hit -.077 in the second set.
Kansas carried the momentum into the third set, building a 16-12 lead that forced a Texas timeout. The Longhorns rallied to tie it at 19-19 and took a two-point lead at 21-19. Texas had two chances to win the set but failed to convert the game winner. Tied at 25-25, back-to-back attack errors by White and Nwanebu gave the set to the Jayhawks 27-25.
Texas won five straight points to open the fourth set and built a 13 point lead. White had six kills as Texas pushed the match to a fifth set with a 25-12 victory.
The Jayhawks went ahead 5-2 early in the fifth set and stretched the lead to 12-7. Texas managed to get within three at 13-10, but a kill by Kayla Cheadle and a attack error by White gave Kansas the set and match.