Senior night success: No. 2 Texas sweeps Kansas State as Eggleston, Fields shine

Riley Glenn, Sports Reporter

Emotions poured into  Gregory Gym on Thursday night following the Longhorns victory, as seniors Sydney Petersen and Brionne Butler gazed up at a video montage of their greatest moments, grasping their framed uniforms and soaking in their senior night.

Fresh off consecutive sweeps against rival Oklahoma, No. 2 Texas kept the streak going against Kansas State, sweeping the Wildcats and winning their 21st  match of the season.

The first set started out as a pretty balanced match before the Longhorns were able to pull away and win 25-16. Five service errors killed the Wildcats, giving Texas an advantage in an otherwise evenly played set. Size played a factor all night, as the lengthier Longhorns completed seven total blocks, compared to the Wildcats’ two, and used their size advantage all night to disrupt the Wildcats attacking attempts. Junior Logan Eggleston had a big night, with four of her 12 kills coming in the first set.

Texas dominated in the majority of statistical categories, outperforming the Wildcats in kills, service aces and blocks. Junior Skylar Fields led the Longhorns in kills with 13, while junior Jhenna Gabriel led Texas in assists with 22. Kansas State sophomore Aliyah Carter was a standout, leading the Wildcats in kills with 10 but struggled with efficiency, as she had a .067 hitting percentage during the match.

The second set was fairly different from the first set, as Texas was able to get out to a big lead early. Sitting at 24 points, the burnt orange fans rose to their feet and cheered on as redshirt junior Asjia O’Neal scored the match-winning point with an emphatic kill, again winning with a 25-16 score. With a hitting percentage of .500, the Longhorns were incredibly efficient during the second set, using their plethora of creative designs to set up easy kills and dumps.

Texas’ strong ability to dig was on display tonight, as a multitude of surefire Wildcat kills were taken away due to diving efforts from the Longhorns. Gabriel led Texas with 10 kills, but Petersen drew loud applause from the crowd after making athletic plays on multiple digs. The ability to keep the ball in the air gave the Longhorn attackers extra opportunities, which they were able to convert at a very high rate.

The third set felt like an inevitable Texas victory, as the team’s  height again overwhelmed the Wildcat attackers. Fields and Eggleston combined for 11 kills in the final set, and if not for multiple attack errors, the Longhorns’ margin of victory might have been greater. Texas won 25-15, completing the sweep and moving to 21-1 on the season.

Following its only loss of the season to Baylor on Nov. 6, head coach Jeritt Elliott’s team responded with three consecutive sweeps. The Longhorns have their final home match Friday against Kansas State before heading to Lubbock to face Texas Tech to close out the regular season.