On Friday, Texas pushed the Louisville Cardinals to brink of elimination. Yet, the Cardinals slipped past the Longhorns in five sets (22-25, 22-25, 25-17, 25-18, 15-12) in their first Sweet 16 appearance since 2005.
Brionne Butler has had a superb year. The sophomore middle blocker has built on a shining freshman campaign by leading the Longhorns in blocks with 130 and earning All-Big 12 honors. The framework for her sophomore season started this summer when she chased a Pan-American Cup in Peru with Team USA.
For the past two years, the Texas volleyball team has finished in first place or tied for first place in the Big 12, but has lost in the NCAA Regional Final. This year, the team has accomplished the former, while hoping to avoid the latter.
Sustained success is nothing new for the top-ranked Texas volleyball team. The team has won seven of the last eight Big 12 regular season titles, and extended its win streak to 13 straight after sweeping Kansas State at Gregory Gym Wednesday night.