Longhorns sweep Baylor, continue home success

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Senior outside hitter Paulina Prieto Cerame helped fuel the burnt orange to a three-set win over Baylor on Wednesday night, marking the Longhorns’ eighth sweep of the season.
Photo Credit: Joshua Guerra | Daily Texan Staff

The brooms were out and the dust pans were filled as No. 5 Texas (19–3, 11–1 Big 12) swept Baylor (18–8, 6–4 Big 12) at Gregory Gym in Austin on Wednesday night. The victory marked the Longhorns’ eighth sweep of the season and their third against Big-12 opponents.

“It’s great to get a good rhythm and winning in three [sets],” head coach Jerritt Elliott said. “I like their composure … We gave up some errors, but we kind of kept going and went on to the next point.”

Texas seemed to have control in the first set, but Baylor stayed within reach. The Bears relied on star outside hitter Katie Staiger to make up the ground after falling behind by four points.

Staiger notched nine kills in the set to help the Bears claw into the 20s. But at 23-22, the Longhorns called a timeout to calm down and regroup. The stoppage paid dividends as freshman Micaya White sealed the frame for the burnt orange a few points later. 

“I have to give a lot of credit to our coaching staff,” senior setter Chloe Collins said. “Those are critical moments to be focused on the little things and making sure we’re doing things right in those moments. During that time we need to just come together and lately we have been.”

The Bears took an early lead in the second set, leading the Longhorns 4-1. But that would be the largest point gap of the match as Texas went back and forth with the Bears. The two teams tied 14 times over the course of the set, with neither squad able to establish a serious edge throughout. 

Both Baylor and Texas’ hitting percentages went by the wayside while errors piled up. But Texas ultimately overcame the sloppy play to take the set 26-24 off a White kill and a Baylor error. 

Miscues by the Bears were a theme throughout the evening. Baylor gifted the Longhorns 22 points over the course of the match on errors, six of them coming on block attempts. 

And while the Longhorns continued their trend of compiling service errors — they racked up nine on Wednesday — the green and white outpaced them in that category as well, adding ten service errors to a sloppy scorecard.

With a sweep in sight, the Longhorns ran out to a 12-7 lead in the third set, seizing the momentum created from the first two sets. The Bears struggled to stay within reach of the burnt orange, falling behind by eight points
at 20–12. 

A three-point run by the Bears triggered a Longhorn timeout at 20-15. But superb blocking from sophomore outside hitter Yaasmeen Bedart-Ghani brought the Longhorns ahead. They would win the final set 25-16 to seal the sweep. 

The Longhorns next take the court on the road for the last time this season on Saturday against Iowa State in Ames, Iowa. They return to Gregory Gym on Nov. 16 for a matchup against Texas Tech.