COLLEGE STATION — On Wednesday night, UT’s volleyball team opened its tour of Texas with a win.
Sophomore Micaya White’s 10 kills led the way as Texas recorded a 25-20, 25-18, 25-15 sweep of Texas A&M in College Station. The victory — UT’s 74th in the 97-match series — helped Texas (7-2) bounce back from last week’s loss to No. 1 Minnesota.
Wednesday marked UT’s only appearance on the volleyball court this week. Texas next travels to UT-San Antonio on Sept. 19 for a tune-up for Big 12 play. The Longhorns, who were ranked sixth in this week’s AVCA poll, also have road trips to Fort Worth, Lubbock and Waco left on their schedule.
“We kind of needed some redemption, so it’s nice to just sweep 3-0 and not have to have all the stress we usually put on ourselves,” senior Ebony Nwanebu said. “Jerritt (Elliott) said before this game this was the battle for Texas. just to win and come out and not let up, it was just a great feeling.”
Texas A&M scored the match’s first two points, but the Aggies could not make anything of that early momentum. Texas recorded 11 kills and five blocks in the opening set. The Aggies, however, hit a measly .061 with 11 attacking errors and two service miscues.
Texas led by as many as eight points in the second set, but A&M scored seven of the third set’s first 11 points. UT, though, eventually grabbed a 12-11 lead it wouldn’t relinquish. The Longhorns closed out the match on a 12-3 run, and Nwanebu wrapped up the sweep with her fifth kill.
“We kind of just regrouped and were like ‘We know we can beat his team right now, so let’s just go out and do it and not play games,'” Nwanebu said of how UT finished the match.
UT’s leader in kills last year, White posted a team-high in that statistical category for the second time this season. Senior Chiaka Ogbogu and freshman Lexi Sun each added seven kills. Setter Ashley Shook had 29 assists.
Senior libero Cat McCoy anchored Texas’ defense with 18 digs, and Ogbogu had six blocks. As a team, UT recorded 13 blocks. Texas A&M was held to a .089 hitting percentage.
“I thought our blocking was spectacular tonight at the end,” said Elliott, UT’s longtime head coach. “We just got in a rhythm there. We kind of got the groove going… As the match went on, we got a little more patient and a lot more successful.”
Texas A&M was led by sophomore Hollann Hans’ 11 kills. Texas A&M (3-4) lost for the fourth time in five matches, but those defeats were handed to them by the teams ranked second, fourth, fifth and sixth in the nation. The Aggies open SEC play on Sept. 22 at LSU.