Longhorns beat Bears in Big 12 victory

Michael Shapiro

No. 2 Texas (14-1, 4-0 Big 12) left the friendly confines of Gregory Gym on Wednesday to face No. 32 Baylor at the Ferrell Center in Waco.

Continuing their dominance in pursuit of five consecutive Big 12 titles, the Longhorns defeated the Bears in straight sets. The win marked Texas’ 27th consecutive victory over the Bears.

“We’ve been playing very consistently as a team,” head coach Jerritt Elliott said. “We had a lot of strong contributions tonight and I’m happy with how we’re playing.” It was more of the same for a Texas team that has quenched opponents this season both in the Big 12 and nonconference. The Longhorns scored their 10th victory in a row and fourth-straight win against Big 12 opponents.

“Our defense has been really good these past couple weeks,” senior middle blocker Molly McCage said. “We’ve been converting points and we’re moving in the right direction.”

Many of the usual suspects came through for Texas, with big contributions from senior outside hitter Amy Neal and junior outside hitter Paulina Prieto Cerame. Cerame registered 10 kills on the evening while Neal had a double-double with 12 kills and 10 digs.

In addition, freshman middle blocker Morgan Johnson notched a strong performance in her first appearance since Sept. 19. The freshman racked up six kills and posting an impressive .714 kill percentage.

“Coming back from injury, it’s always nice to contribute,” Johnson said. “I want to come back to this team and do whatever I can to contribute.”

After dismantling Baylor, Texas hopes to roll through the rest of its Big 12 schedule this year, but Texas’ goals are loftier than just a conference title. However, Elliott said he won’t let his team think too far in the future just yet.

“Our goal is always to win the Big 12,” Elliott said. “That’s always our regular season goal and we hope to accomplish that.”

The Longhorns return home Saturday to face off against unranked Oklahoma. First serve will be at 1 p.m. in Gregory Gym.

Correction: This story appeared in the October 8, 2015 edition of The Daily Texan with a Waco dateline. The story was filed from Austin.