It was the fifth exchange in the rally. The ball flew in between the two banners above Gregory Gym, and then promptly saved at the scorers’ table.
An already-noisy crowd then almost blew the roof off of Gregory Gym, following a kill by senior outside hitter Ebony Nwanebu.
It was that kind of night for the No. 3 Longhorns, who swept West Virginia to extend their season-high win streak to 11 games.
“We did well responding and just fighting,” senior middle blocker Chiaka Ogbogu said. “(Despite the fact that) all of our touches weren’t the cleanest.”
Texas started the first set off on a quick 4-0 run and never looked back. A 25-19 win in the first frame was highlighted by four kills from sophomore outside hitter Micaya White.
The second set was more contested, as each team had at least two set points. But after a couple of exchanges across the net, a kill by freshman outside hitter Lexi Sun sealed the 28-26 win for the Longhorns.
“Our talk has just been staying calm in those pressure situations,” Ogbogu said. “Remembering our routines and just going back to the basics has helped us not be frantic.”
The Longhorns cruised through the final set 25-17 to complete the night’s sweep.
Ogbogu led the way for Texas, adding 11 kills and seven blocks. This marks Ogbogu’s third straight game with over 10 kills and five blocks. Her strong effort was complemented by White, who recorded nine kills and 11 digs on the night.
“Just getting more practice and getting more comfortable (is key),” Ogbogu said. “It’s helped us get more comfortable with things we’re struggling with.”
One of the Longhorns’ defensive pillars, senior libero Cat McCoy, closed in on a milestone achievement on Saturday night, tying the school’s all-time record for digs. McCoy recorded 12 digs on the night and proved instrumental in stopping the Mountaineers’ consistent attack.
Texas’ all-around effort was evident not only on the stat sheet, but also on the floor. The Longhorns spent their evening diving on the hardwood, into the stands and on the scorers’ table saving balls as the match went on, highlighting the intensity that the Longhorns play with.
That intensity was matched by Texas’ fans. The Mountaineers accrued nine service errors as a consistently loud crowd contributed to Texas’ home-court advantage.
“It’s awesome playing at home in front of this crowd,” Ogbogu said. “It was just cool to see our fans come out and support us.”
As the second half of Big 12 play commences, the Longhorns will spend the majority of their time in the friendly confines of Gregory Gym, where they will play four of their next six games.
Texas travels to Manhattan, Kansas, to take on Kansas State on Wednesday. First serve is set for 8 p.m.