Springing into the season as if bounding sky high from a trampoline, the Texas Volleyball team soared past two Top-25 teams over the weekend to kick off the 2018 season.
The Longhorns (2-0) looked sharp from the start, enjoying the trip to Nebraska for the VERT Challenge with a chance to have a few fun moments bonding together while celebrating two terrific wins.
Texas asserted itself as the top of the class early. The Longhorns locked in to beat No. 18 Oregon in four on the first day of the tournament. Then, the next day Texas was locked in a back-and-forth battle, winning in five sets (25-18, 21-25, 21-25, 25-21,15-10) over now-ranked No. 4 Florida.
Ranked No. 2 overall in the Top 25 AVCA Coaches Poll released Monday afternoon, Texas was clearly thrilled in taking the challenging match against the Gators. Though it's early, the team is already playing as if they've been doing this for months. That's exactly how they want it to look, for months to come.
Making the Longhorns look in lock-step all over the floor, Morgan Johnson's play netted her Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week honors announced on Monday. Johnson finished with the team lead in blocks in both wins over the weekend, highlighted by a dynamite career-high 11 blocks in the narrow win over Florida.
Newcomers and veterans alike looked like lifelong friends with freshman Katarina Luketic posting 14 kills and eight blocks in the win over Florida, while fellow freshman Sydney Peterson notched a team-high 19 digs.
Sophomore Ashley Shook set her teammates up for success with 47 assists in the victory, and junior Micaya White added 17 kills, 15 digs and four blocks to pace Texas.
Texas continues to play on the road at the start of the season, squaring off with another fierce foe in No. 9 Wisconsin Saturday at 7 p.m.