Roberson’s 19 kills help Texas sweep Kansas, extend win streak

Austin Laymance

The rest of the Big 12 is finding out just how dangerous Texas can be when it balances out its offense.

The No. 10 Longhorns pieced together another sweep to extend their win streak to a season-best five matches behind the latest in a string of dominant performances by junior outside hitter Amber Roberson, who led another balanced Texas attack Wednesday against Kansas.

Texas (13-5; 8-2 Big 12) rode Roberson’s career-high 19 kills to a 3-0 victory over the Jayhawks (13-8; 4-6) and the Longhorns won their third straight on the road as they have found the recipe for success away from home — plenty of Roberson and an equal distribution of kills from the rest of Texas’ big hitters.

Junior middle blocker Rachael Adams, Roberson’s roommate, added 11 kills for Texas and senior middle blocker Jen Doris chipped in another double-digit effort with 10 kills. Senior All-American outside hitter Juliann Faucette got in on the action with nine kills of her own to round out the Longhorns’ offense.

Roberson, who keyed Texas’ sweep of Texas Tech Saturday, was busy again with a game-high 43 attacks and her offensive energy carried over to the defensive end as she had nine digs as well.

The first set was a back-and-forth affair with Texas surviving Kansas’ early spark to win 29-27. Faucette’s block and kill sealed the opening game for the Longhorns, who had fallen behind 7-2 before waking up and taking control.

In the second, Roberson made her presence felt. With the set knotted at 10, Roberson carried Texas with five kills during a 6-2 run that pushed the Longhorns out of reach. She added another two kills to extend the lead to 24-18 before a Doris kill ended the frame.

The Longhorns came out strong after the break and leapt out to a 7-2 advantage in the final set — something they have struggled with on the road this season. But Adams and Roberson overpowered the Jayhawks and a triple-block by Doris, Roberson and sophomore opposite hitter Sha’Dare McNeal put an exclamation point on the team’s dominant performance.

Junior setter Michelle Kocher stepped into the starting role for Texas again as Hannah Allison was held out with an injury. Kocher responded with a match-high 49 assists as she distributed the ball to all of Texas’ weapons.

Freshman libero Sarah Palmer paced the Longhorn defense with 10 digs and Texas was the aggressor all night, out-blocking the Jayhawks 19-4.

It was Texas’ 12th straight victory over Kansas.