The top-ranked Texas volleyball team beat No. 13 Kansas State 3-2 in a five set thriller Friday night to remain undefeated this season.
Texas survived its first true test of the season on the road, coming back from a 2-1 set deficit. The Longhorns extended their winning streak against the WIldcats to 34 matches and pushed their season record to 7-0.
The match was contested from the first set. Junior setter Jhenna Gabriel dished out 15 assists in the opening set that Texas took 25-19, aided by a service ace from junior outside hitter Logan Eggleston. Gabriel went on to tie her career high with 58 assists.
Eggleston continued her strong start in the second set, reaching double digit kills for the seventh time in as many matches. She finished with a team-high 20 kills. However, Kansas State pulled away later in the set, taking it 25-19 and tying the match at one set each.
In recognition of her strong play to start the season, Eggleston was named Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week for the third straight time last week, becoming the first Longhorn in program history to accomplish that feat.
The Longhorns responded well early in the third set, but costly mistakes let Kansas State creep back and tie it at 10-10. It was at that point in the match that Gabriel made a diving save to set Eggleston up perfectly for a kill to provide Texas with a little bit of energy. Kansas State, led by freshman outside hitter Aliyah Carter, responded and held off Texas to take the third set 25-20.
The Wildcats’ offensive attack was led by Carter and Brynn Carlson, redshirt junior outside hitter, who combined for 46 kills.
The Longhorns found themselves in their first hole of the season but responded with a dominant fourth set, led again by Eggleston, to force a fifth set. Sophomore opposite hitter Skylar Fields and Asjia O’Neal, redshirt sophomore middle blocker, each set season highs in kills in support of Eggleston.
Texas burst out of the gates in the deciding set, winning four of the first five points. Senior setter Ashley Shook entered the match and recorded a kill in her first real playing time of the season. The Longhorns held on to the lead the rest of the way, taking the fifth set 15-7 to earn the comeback victory.
Texas will face Kansas State again Saturday night at 6:30 p.m.