13 Oct

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No. 3 Texas Volleyball improves to 5-0 in Big 12 action with 3-1 road win at Kansas

Senior Bailey Webster led the Longhorns offensively with 20 kills, just one shy of her season-high performance.

Senior Bailey Webster led the Longhorns offensively with 20 kills, just one shy of her season-high performance.

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- No. 3 Texas Volleyball claimed a 3-1 (25-17, 24-26, 25-20, 25-15) road victory at Kansas Saturday evening and improved to 5-0 in the Big 12 Conference. With the win, the Longhorns took sole possession of first-place in the league standings.

Senior outside hitter Bailey Webster recorded a match-high 20 kills, while juniors Haley Eckerman and Khat Bell also reached double-figure kill production with 11 and 10, respectively.

Texas (12-2, 5-0 Big 12) broke away in the first set on a 4-0 run to take a 13-7 lead. From there, Kansas (14-4, 4-1 Big 12) was unable to close the gap as UT increased its lead to 16-8 after back-to-back Jayhawk errors and a subsequent kill by sophomore middle blocker Molly McCage. Despite trading points for the remainder of the game, the Longhorns outhit the Jayhawks .483-.200 en route 25-17 win and 1-0 advantage.

Texas strung together an early 4-0 run in game two to go ahead 8-3 and force Kansas to use its first timeout. Following the break, the Jayhawks began to inch back with back-to-back points, but it wasn’t enough to stave off an 8-4 Longhorns’ run for a 16-9 lead, and Kansas called its final timeout. The Jayhawks came out of their second timeout with a 10-4 run and pulled within one of the Longhorns, 20-19, to force Texas to call its second timeout. Kansas tied the match at 20-all on a Texas attack error, and took its first lead of the game, 21-22, on another Texas hitting error. The Longhorns were the first to attempt set point, 24-23, but Kansas’ Tayler Soucie tied the game at 24-all on her second kill of the set and Sara McClinton ended the game with back-to-back kills to tie the match.

The Longhorns jumped out of the gates in game three and doubled up the Jayhawks, 14-7, before KU called a timeout. Texas continued to control the game and held a 21-14 lead before Kansas crept within four, 22-18, and UT paused to regroup. Despite a pair of points for the Jayhawks following the timeout, the Longhorns went up 24-20 and ended the match on Webster’s match-leading 17th kill of the evening.

Although the final game saw four ties early on, Texas broke a 6-all tie with a 10-4 rally and put the set out of reach for Kansas.

McClinton led the Jayhawks with 16 kills and Erin McNorton recorded a match-leading 42 assists.

Following a midweek bye, Texas resumes Big 12 Conference action Saturday, Oct. 19 at 6:30 p.m. Central when it hosts Iowa State in the annual Volley for a Cure match. A sellout crowd is expected and fans are encouraged to purchase tickets early by visiting the Tickets section of TexasSports.com or by calling the UT Athletics Ticket Office at 512-471-3333.

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James Schleicher is the publisher of Horns Illustrated magazine. He's also a fifth generation Texan and lifelong Austinite. Follow @HornsIllus twitter to keep up with all things Horns Illustrated.