Volleyball stays unbeaten against Oklahoma
AUSTIN, Texas -- Three different Longhorns recorded double-figure kills, led by senior All-American Mira Topic's (Kastela Kambelovac, Croatia) 16 kills, as Texas pushed its all-time record against Oklahoma to 26-0 with a 3-0 (30-11, 30-17, 30-28) victory over the Sooners before a season-high crowd of 2,492 at Gregory Gym on Saturday evening.
Topic paced the team's attack - which connected for a .382 attack percentage in the match - as senior All-American Bethany Howden (Austin, Texas) and sophomore Brandy Magee (Mission Viejo, Calif.) each added 10 kills.
The Horns' two defensive players - freshmen Alyson Jennings (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Sarah Holloway (Aurora, Colo.) - led a tough Texas defense as each collected double-figure digs. Jennings had a match-high 11 digs, while Holloway had a 10.
Magee also had a match-high three blocks as UT narrowly out-blocked the Sooners, 4.0 to 3.0. Texas also limited Oklahoma to a .102 attack percentage in the match, including a -.083 mark in the first game.
The match marked the 21st and 22nd time this season that Texas held an opponent below 20 points in a game. The Horns also accomplished the feat twice on Wednesday in the team's upset victory over No. 5 Florida.
"We talked about all the upsets going on around the country and we talked about not letting down for this match," Texas head coach Jerritt Elliott said. "I thought we came out ready to play and didn't face a let-down at all. We played hard in game one and our intensity on both sides of the ball showed that. Even though we're so young, our team was ready to play this match.
"We executed well all night, especially in games one and two. With the lead in the third game, we had the opportunity to get more players into the match and reward them for all their hard work in practice. Our starters got the opportunity to get a little rest and Jenny Andrew) did a good job running the offense when she came in late," Elliott said.
Game one was played evenly by the two teams until 9-8 (Texas), when freshman setter Michelle Moriarty (Houston, Texas) stepped up to serve. She reeled off 10-straight points on her serve to set UT ahead 21-7. From there, UT closed the match with a 9-2 run to take a 1-0 lead.
In the second game, Texas could only manage a five-point cushion - at 20-15 - until Jennings' jump serve helped the Horns score seven-straight points to take a 28-16 advantage. UT hit .556 in the game, as Topic had six kills and Howden had four.
In the final game, Texas built a 13-9 advantage, but Oklahoma changed setters and rallied back to tie the score at 15-15. UT ran off six-straight points on Magee's serve to go ahead 22-16, but the Sooners again mounted a come-back and pulled within one point, two separate times, at 28-27 and 29-28. But a Jen Christian (Gilbert, Ariz.) kill on match point gave Texas its 11th 3-0 victory of the season.
Texas next returns to action on Wednesday, Oct. 6, when the team travels to Lubbock, Texas, for a 7 p.m. match at Texas Tech, before heading to No. 15 Kansas State on Saturday, Oct. 9 for a 7 p.m. match that will be taped by CSTV for air on Sunday, Oct. 10 at 5:30 p.m.