Cool heads prevailed in Lubbock on Wednesday night. After a rough start to the match, the Longhorns finally hit full stride in the latter sets, conquering Texas Tech on the road, 3-0.
Both teams exchanged blows in the first set. The Red Raiders went on a 5-2 run to start, and Texas responded with a 6-2 run. The two teams went back and forth throughout the frame.
The tug-of-war battle dragged on until Texas Tech eventually backed the Longhorns into a corner down the stretch, pulling away for a 24-20 lead and forcing set point. The 1,500 fans at United Supermarkets Arena rose to their feet, eager to see their team finish it off.
But the Longhorns didn’t break. Texas dug deep, rallying behind three kills by sophomore outside hitter Micaya White and a crucial block by senior middle blocker Chiaka Ogbogu to come back for a 27-25 win.
“Our conversations were just about staying calm and making sure we weren’t frantic,” Ogbogu said. “This year we’ve been really good about coming back from behind, so there wasn’t a lot of stress.”
With the fans silenced and the Red Raiders still reeling, Texas kicked things into high gear in the second set, jumping out to a quick 12-3 start. Texas Tech had no answer for the downpour of kills by senior hitter Ebony Nwanebu, who totaled five during the run.
Ogbogu sent back every would-be response from the Red Raiders, recording three blocks as Texas coasted to a 25-12 win.
The Longhorns held tight to the lead in the third set, closing Texas Tech with a 25-18 victory to complete the sweep. White finished the night with a team-high 15 kills with a hitting percentage of .424, and Ogbogu chipped in with a well-rounded stat-line of 11 kills and seven blocks.
Winning on the road has become the norm for the Longhorns. The victory marks their third away win of the month.
“This year has definitely had some of the most away games since I’ve been at Texas,” Ogbogu said. “It’s pretty challenging missing school and being away from home, but we’ve gotten used to it.”
The victory also preserves Texas’ undefeated conference record, increasing the total to 7–0. The Longhorns are the last remaining unbeaten team in Big 12 conference play.
“We’ve done a very good job every single day of coming in and improving,” Ogbogu said. “That’s been helping us go into each game with some confidence.”
Texas will now pack its bags once again, as the Longhorns shift their focus to a road match against the Sooners in Norman, Oklahoma. First serve on Sunday is slated for 3 p.m.