Streaks snapped: Sooners sweep Texas volleyball

Nick Castillo

After the volleyball team won a record 34th straight home game against TCU on Wednesday, the streak was snapped as Oklahoma swept No. 2 Texas (26-24, 26-24, 26-24) on Saturday.

The Longhorns came out strong but never managed to find consistency in front of a record-setting crowd of 4,402. While the Sooners gave Texas trouble throughout the game, the Longhorns’ own errors hurt them the most, as they committed 15 attack errors, 14 service errors and two blocking errors.

“I thought we did fine,” head coach Jerritt Elliott said. “[But] we missed seven serves in game one, and that kind of became a stress level for us and carried over to all parts of the game. We were never able to get the composure that we needed, and we were on our heels from that point on.”

In the opening set, Texas had its foot on the gas as senior outside hitter Haley Eckerman opened the game with three kills, and the Longhorns had a 10-5 lead. But, the errors began to mount, and Texas lost its rhythm. The Sooners fought their way back into the game and tied the set at 19. 

The match went back and forth, but Oklahoma got the best of Texas and claimed the set, 26-24. The Longhorns committed seven service errors, three attack errors and one blocking error in the first set.

After losing its first set in Gregory Gym this season, Texas started the second set on a 5-1 run, but the Sooners kept it close and eventually tied the set at 11. Both teams battled in the middle of the set, exchanging the lead seven times with nine ties. But, once again, Oklahoma bettered Texas and put the Longhorns down 0-2.

With a two-game lead, Oklahoma started off the third set as the aggressor and opened with a 5-2 lead. Texas didn’t give in and was able to tie the match at 10 thanks to three kills by junior middle blocker Molly McCage. But the 0-2 deficit was too much to overcome. Oklahoma won the set, 26-24.

The upset loss to Oklahoma ended Texas’ 34-match regular season winning streak, 34-match home winning streak and 44-match Big 12 home winning streak, all three of which were program records. The loss also marked the first time the Longhorns were swept at home since losing to then-No. 5 Illinois on Sept. 3, 2010 — a 63-match streak.

“[This is] a wake-up call,” sophomore setter Chloe Collins said. “Like [Elliott] says, we need perspective that every team is going to play their best, and we need to be ready. As a team, we just need to get back in practice and prepare.”

Elliott said the team can still accomplish its goals despite the loss.

“We have to get back and get better,” Elliott said. “It’s a long season and at the end of the day, we still have an opportunity to win the conference, and that’s what our first goal is. We have to get back to the drawing board.”

Texas returns to action in two exhibition games against Chinese club team Zhejiang on Monday and Tuesday, both at 7 p.m. at Gregory Gym.