Texas volleyball topples West Virginia in 4 sets

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Photo Credit: Jack Myer | Daily Texan Staff

The Texas volleyball team beat the Mountaineers 3-1 Thursday in Morgantown, West Virginia, to remain undefeated. In their first match of the doubleheader, the No. 1 Longhorns lost the first set but quickly dominated the match to win back-to-back-to-back sets. 

No. 13 West Virginia came out hot with three straight aces. Texas was able to stifle West Virginia’s early momentum and battled at the onset of the game, holding the Mountaineers to an 8-7 lead. But a kill from junior outside hitter Kristin Lux catalyzed three kills for the Mountaineers. 

The Longhorns rallied at the end of the first set and were within a point of catching up to West Virginia as the game sat at 21-20. But again, three straight kills from the Mountaineers put them over the edge.  When middle blocker Asjia O’Neal committed an attack error, it squandered Texas’ chances of taking the first set.

However, West Virginia would be hindered by its own errors, giving up 30 points to the Longhorns throughout the match. The Mountaineers opened up the second set with an error and would go on to commit 13 throughout the set that allowed Texas to truly dominate. Sophomore opposite hitter Skylar Fields and junior middle blocker Brionne Butler aided Texas with three kills apiece. The set would end with back-to-back errors from West Virginia that gave the Longhorns a strong 25-15 win. 

The third set began as a highly contested matchup, but Texas quickly took a lead. Down 6-7, Fields wound up for a kill and tied the game. Then, back-to-back errors from West Virginia catalyzed a seven-point streak for the Longhorns. Down 17-8, the Mountaineers scrambled to get points on the board and slightly cut away at their nine-point deficit. However, the Longhorns’ momentum was too much to overcome, and Texas took the set with a 25-17 win that was capped off by a service ace from graduate student libero Morgan O’Brien. 

By the fourth set, West Virginia had fallen from being a contested opponent to just another school to beat for Texas. The Mountaineers committed four errors to open the set and were not able to recover from them. Texas stormed out and took a quick 10-3 lead, led by three kills from junior outside hitter Logan Eggleston. 

West Virginia didn’t quit easily; the team attempted a comeback and were at arm’s length from the Longhorns at 11-7. But its momentum wouldn’t hold, and the Mountaineers only scored eight more points and gifted Texas 13 points throughout the set. The Longhorns would end the match with a kill and huge blocks from Butler, Fields and sophomore middle blocker Molly Phillips. 

Texas is set to play West Virginia again Friday at 5 p.m.