Texas returns home, completes sweep of Oklahoma

Keshav Prathivadi

Texas jumped out to 2-0 lead after two sets, but Gregory Gym grew quiet as the Longhorns found themselves in a 19-16 hole.

That’s when outside hitter Yaasmeen Bedart-Ghani and middle blocker Brionne Butler brought the crowd of 3,698 to life for the first time with a combo block. The crowd did the rest from there, and as a result, Texas toppled Oklahoma once again in a come-from-behind victory.

Eighth-ranked Texas (14–4, 9–1 Big 12) completed its second sweep in as many games on Saturday afternoon, sending Oklahoma (13–9, 5–5 Big 12) back home with a loss (25-15, 25-20, 25-23).

“We basically put our pride on the line,” middle blocker Morgan Johnson said after the win. “They’re (Oklahoma) in Austin now, they’re not gonna come in here and take us to five sets … they’re going to come in here and we’re gonna make quick work out of them.”

The first two sets swung Texas’ way, as it dictated the terms of the game throughout the entire match. Outside hitter Micaya White, Butler and Bedart-Ghani all helped pack the stat sheet in the process.

The majority of the third set was settled on Oklahoma’s terms after the Sooners jumped out to a quick 10-5 lead. After Butler and Bedart-Ghani’s combo block, the Longhorns channeled momentum from a now-raucous crowd to come back and steal the set.

“We started off well … We were pretty consistent and then we slowly lost our focus for a little bit,” head coach Jerritt Elliott said. “Our execution wasn’t as high as it could have been.”

White led the way for Texas with 13 kills and nine digs, Butler mustered up seven kills and outside hitter Logan Eggleston tallied another 10. Despite Oklahoma having more chances on the attacking end, Texas’ defense came up big both in blocks and digs.

Two combo blocks at the end of the match gave the Longhorns more opportunities to serve. And when the chance to serve for Oklahoma arrived, the crowd was ready for it and assisted the Longhorns in forcing two Sooner service errors.

However, Saturday’s game was a step forward for a Texas team looking to establish itself in conference play. After a big sweep at Iowa State last week and a couple of closely contested matches before that, Texas needed to win, and win big.

The win also meant a little more for seniors like Johnson. With this being her final year on the 40 Acres, this game ensured that Johnson and the rest of her senior class would leave the university with a perfect record against the Sooners.

“The whole focus of practice was to send me and Yaazie off perfect against OU,” Johnson said. “That was our whole goal and for us to accomplish it is awesome.”

Texas returns to the court Wednesday, Oct. 31, for some Halloween action against TCU. First serve is set for 7 p.m.