No. 4 Texas dismantles No. 1 Baylor in top-five showdown


Some members of the No. 4 Texas volleyball team were just as amped as the sold-out crowd to welcome No. 1 Baylor to Gregory Gym on Wednesday night. Others were more even-keeled.

The Longhorns handed the Bears - the last undefeated team in the nation - their first loss of the season, sweeping the Bears 3-0 (25-19, 25-10, 25-19) and improving to 44-0 at home against their Big 12 rivals.

"We balance each other out," senior Micaya White said. "We have players that are always amped no matter what game. I'm probably the more calm one."

It was a dominant performance on all levels.

Texas committed just eight attacking errors in the entire match. By contrast, Baylor had eight attacking errors in each set.

The Longhorns combined for 12 blocks as a team, led by sophomore and Brionne Butler with eight. Butler led the team in that stat last year but has been working her way back from an injury this season.

Butler led the team with 12 kills, while White added seven to go along with a team-high nine digs. Sophomore Logan Eggleston tied a career-high with five aces to go along with five kills and seven digs.

On her 20th birthday, Asjia O'Neal finished with five kills and three digs.

"We did a good job of focusing on our side of the net," setter Jhenna Gabriel said. "All those little plays kept adding up and getting the other team a little tired and frustrated because we're scooping balls and everything. It was great to see everything we've been working so hard on actually pay off in a game."

The biggest turning point was a dominant second set in which Eggleston had three aces, Butler had four kills, and Baylor committed more errors (eight) than they had kills (six). Texas won 19 of the first 26 points.

"There's a lot of things we've been working on, and you're starting to see it come through a little bit," Texas head coach Jerritt Elliott said. "What really changed the match tonight was our serving. We spent a lot of time on that in the spring, and tonight we hit all cylinders with that."

Texas has won eight matches in a row and has only dropped one set in that span. The Longhorns have ranked wins over USC, Minnesota and now Baylor so far this season.

But they didn't go out Wednesday night feeling like the underdogs.

"We always try to come out and be the hunter, not the hunted," White said. "No matter if we're ranked higher or lower, we're going to come at you no matter what."

Texas is on the road for its next two matches, beginning Saturday against Kansas and continuing Wednesday at Texas Tech. The Longhorns return to Austin to face West Virginia on Nov. 3 at noon.

"We're focusing more on our side of the net and the little things," White said. "I think little by little we're getting better. That's what you want. You don't want this drastic increase and then drop. Hopefully, by tournament time, we're at 100 percent."

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