Longhorns fight back from 2-0 deficit to defeat West Virginia in Big 12 Opener

Jacob Martella

The Longhorns had one of the hardest non-conference schedules this season, playing three ranked teams, including Florida and Nebraska on the road.

But it was the Big 12 opener at West Virginia where they found their toughest test yet.

Trailing 2-0 at intermission, No. 2 Texas battled back to win the final three sets, ending the match at 3-2 and avoiding an upset.

The Longhorns (9-0, 1-0 Big 12) struggled from the start against a Mountaineers team that had previously dropped each of their matches against ranked teams in straight sets. After Texas tied the first set at 12, West Virginia (10-4, 0-1) fired off a 6-0 run, behind kills from West Virginia sophomore outside hitter Jordan Anderson, to take an 18-12 lead. While the Longhorns would later tie the set again at 23, the Mountaineers scored the final two points to take the set.

The second set was nearly identical to the first, with neither side able to break away until West Virginia unleashed an 8-5 run, taking a 19-16 lead and ultimately winning it 25-19.

But after posting a season-low .172 hitting percentage in the first two sets, the Longhorns came back after intermission on fire, opening on a 12-6 run to take control of the set and the match. In the fourth set, Texas opened on 12-4 run, winning the set 25-18 and forcing a fifth set.

The fifth set was more of the same, with the Longhorns in complete control of the match on a 10-4 run to seal the win.

Outside hitters senior Haley Eckerman and sophomore Paulina Prieto Cerame led the Longhorns’ attack with 12 and 11 kills, respectively. Texas returns home to face Iowa State on Wednesday.