MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - The West Virginia University volleyball team dropped its first Big 12 match to No.2-ranked Texas 3-0 (25-15, 25-18, 25-16) tonight, at the WVU Coliseum.
Even with a crowd of 3,112, the largest in WVU volleyball history, the Mountaineers (2-2, 0-1) could not contain the Longhorns (4-0, 1-0) offensive attack as Texas hit a team hitting percentage of .363 and totaled nine team blocks.
“It was great and I was so impressed with everyone that came out to cheer us on,” coach Jill Kramer says. “I felt like the crowd was playing with us point for point. I felt like they were not looking at the scoreboard, they were right in there point for point with us and that is the way it is going to be in this league, point for point and we are going to need everybody. It made huge difference.
“The first point that we won was a swing out of bounds and that was the crowd. We put some points on the board because of them and that is going to make a huge difference. Every place that we go to in the Big 12, it is going to be like this except cheering against us. We needed to have that same thing for these teams coming in and it makes such a huge difference.”
WVU and Texas battled back and forth in the first few points of the match with freshman outside hitter Hannah Sackett
and sophomore middle blocker Evyn McCoy
putting up kills and a service ace to start the match tied at 5-5. The Mountaineers would keep it close until too many errors gave the Longhorns an 18-10 advantage. WVU would hold off set point twice before a kill from Bailey Webster gave Texas the first set 25-15.
The teams continued to battle for points in the second set until a kill from Khat Bell put the Longhorns on a 4-0 run. The Mountaineers attempted to close the gap with a strong offensive attack from junior outside hitter Arielle Allen
who scored six kills in the set, but errors near the end of the set gave Texas the advantage.
With the momentum on their side, Texas used seven kills, with no errors from Webster to take the third set and the match.
“I am pleased with our overall performance tonight,” Kramer says. “Our girls fought hard. We did some pretty good things numbers wise but we stayed as a team and played as a team the whole time and that is what we were really focused on.”
Allen led the Mountaineers with 10 kills and seven digs while Sackett chipped in nine kills and six digs.
The Mountaineers return to action on Sept. 1-2 when they travel to George Mason for The Mason Inn Patriot Invitational. WVU will face South Carolina and Navy on Saturday at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m., respectively. The team will wrap up the tournament on Sunday when they play host George Mason at 1 p.m.