On a warm August afternoon three years ago in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the Longhorns took to the court to face Texas-El Paso.
The Longhorns swept the Miners in a comfortable victory, assisted by then-freshman libero Cat McCoy’s 11 digs. Now a senior, McCoy continues to be one of the defensive anchors of this year’s group.
“My first game was (against) UTEP in front of like 20 people,” McCoy said. “And I was still freaking out.”
Since that game, McCoy had added 1,522 more digs to her name, the fourth all-time at Texas.
McCoy was named an Under Armour All-American her senior year of high school, leading her alma mater Southlake Carroll to a 46–2 finish. And with three years under her belt in Austin, not a thing
McCoy still spearheads a Texas defense with a team-high 195 digs this season along with 50 assists, ranking second on the team in that category.
Despite the numbers and accolades McCoy has garnered during her Longhorn tenure, there’s more to her than the stat sheet shows.
First, there’s the tenacity in which she approaches a game. McCoy understands that every opponent will come at the Longhorns with added incentive to take down one of the nation’s best programs, and makes sure Texas enters with a chip on its shoulder.
“Any time we play a team in Texas, it’s just a different mindset,” McCoy said ahead of Texas’ match with Texas A&M. “We (want to) run Texas, and we’re not going to let anyone beat us.”
McCoy’s leadership extends past the court, too. She’s been an instrumental part of head coach Jerritt Elliott’s recruiting efforts, leading to two of the nation’s most touted recruits taking their talents to the 40 Acres prior to the 2017 season. And once they arrive in Austin, McCoy knows how to help them fit right in.
“These experiences are great, especially early in big environments,” McCoy said. “It shows a lot about who they are and they’re going to keep growing and it’ll be awesome to say.”
And one would be remiss to ignore McCoy’s positive attitude in every aspect of the game. Whether it be in the practice facility or right in the middle of 5,000 screaming fans, McCoy knows how to keep her teammates on the same page with a joke or smile.
McCoy’s growth as a player and locker room leader has helped Texas remain a contender throughout her time in Austin. Now, in her senior year, she looks to uphold Texas’ consistent excellence through conference play.
With the Longhorns now 4–0 in the Big 12, they’ll travel to Lawrence to face No. 12 Kansas on Wednesday, their first ranked opponent since they lost to then-No. 1 Minnesota in Austin a month ago.
Texas comes into this game on a hot streak, coming off a 3-0 sweep at TCU and a six-game win streak. Now, the burnt orange will look to continue its Big 12 dominance in Lawrence. First serve is slated for 8 p.m.