Texas surges past Colorado State, Wichita State

Steve Helwick

The momentum keeps on rolling for No. 3 Texas.

The Longhorns (7-1) swept Colorado State, 3-0, on Friday night at the Rams Volleyball Classic. They completed the tournament with a 3-1 victory over Wichita State on Saturday, extending their win streak to six.

Freshman outside hitter Micaya White, the reigning Big 12 Freshman of the Week, lead Texas’ close victories in Fort Collins. The outside hitter excelled throughout the weekend, attaining a game-high and career-high 21 kills versus Colorado State.

“I feel like I am improving with every game because I am learning how to take what the coaches are telling me and applying it on the court,” White said. 

Excelling at the net, the freshman is rapidly emerging as a team leader and recorded the most kills for Texas in its four straight sweeps. She also added four digs, four blocks and two service aces to her stellar performance Friday.

While White’s play lifted the Longhorns over the upset-minded Rams, Colorado State never lost a set by greater than five points in the match. The team consistently hung around, keeping the game within five points after the first set. 

The initial set in the Colorado State match may have been the strongest performance this weekend. After a quick 6-5 deficit, Texas never relinquished the lead again, powering to a 25-20 victory.

But the Rams elevated the difficulty with each set.

In the second set, Texas jumped to a 22-17 lead, the largest lead for the Longhorns for the remainder of the contest. Colorado State generated four consecutive points and eventually tied the game at 23. However, Texas would execute the finishing blows with consecutive kills by White and senior outside hitter Paulina Prieto Cerame.

Texas entered an unfamiliar situation in the final set. After the Rams arose to a 4-0 lead, the Longhorns found themselves playing from behind. Texas culminated their run by countering with two 5-0 surges of its own, putting the finishing touches on its fourth straight sweep.

Against Wichita State, Texas never held the Shockers opponent to under 20 points. This match also snapped the Longhorns’ 15-set win streak dating back to Sept. 1. Wichita State tallied more kills, assists and digs than Texas in the match but were only able to steal one set from the Longhorns.

Despite losing the third set, Texas continued its theme of rebounding to win the fourth set. The Longhorns are 3-0 in fourth sets this season.

“It felt good,” White said. “I fed off the energy of the crowd.”

Texas returns to Gregory Gym on Wednesday night, looking to extend its win streak against rival Texas A&M at 7 p.m.