MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (Nov. 12, 2020) – The No. 13-ranked West Virginia University volleyball team was unable to overcome offensive struggles, as the Mountaineers suffered a 3-1 loss against No. 1 Texas on Thursday evening, at the WVU Coliseum, in Morgantown. The Longhorns (13-0) took the match from the Mountaineers (7-6) in set scores of 21-25, 25-15, 25-17 and 25-15.
WVU took a set away from the No. 1 team in the nation for just the fifth time this season, playing in a four-set match with UT for the first time since Sept. 23, 2017, when the Mountaineers took the Longhorns to five sets in Morgantown.
“Texas is a good team,” sixth-year coach Reed Sunahara said. “They are a great team. It’s tough. We were trying different things, and we were trying to find different ways to score. They are physical, and they present a lot of problems for their opponents.”
Junior outside hitter Kristin Lux finished the match a team-high 13 kills, followed by senior middle blocker Briana Lynch with 11. Lynch recorded just one error on 24 total attacks for a team-best .417 hitting efficiency.
Redshirt senior middle blocker Audrey Adams registered seven kills to go along with a pair of block assists on the evening, while junior outside hitter Natali Petrova and junior setter Lacey Zerwas each had one.
Additionally, Zerwas dished out 33 of the team’s 38 assists. She also notched eight digs in the match and was two digs shy of her 20th career double-double.
Senior libero Alexa Hasting dug a team-high 14 balls in the match to led WVU’s floor defense, while classmate Lindsay Proctor and freshman outside hitter/defensive specialist Skye Stokes added 11 digs apiece to round out the Mountaineers in double figures.
Stokes also served up a career-high four service aces to go along with a trio of kills.
WVU finished the match hitting .088 with 43 kills and two team blocks.
Stokes got the Mountaineers going in set one, serving up a trio of service aces for an early three-point advantage. Consecutive kills, followed by a bad set from Texas, put West Virginia up four at 11-7. UT took a timeout, but WVU continued to roll, scoring four of the next six points for the 15-9 lead. The Longhorns did not back down though, eventually knotting the score at 21 points apiece down the stretch. Adams and Stokes each put down a kill, as Texas burned its second timeout, down 23-21. Adams came out of the stoppage with another huge swing to put West Virginia at set point, as the Mountaineers used a Longhorn attacking error on the next serve to claim the 25-21 first-set victory and 1-0 match lead.
Texas used a series of 3-0 scoring runs to jump out to a 20-14 lead in set two and never looked back. West Virginia called a timeout to regroup, but back-to-back errors out of the break increased the Longhorns’ lead to eight at 22-14. Petrova found the floor to put the Mountaineers on the board, but it wasn’t enough, as UT rattled off three straight points to capture the 25-15 second-set victory.
With the overall match tied at one set apiece, the Mountaineers couldn’t keep the momentum going in sets three and four, falling by a score of 25-17 and 25-15, respectively.
West Virginia returns to the court on Friday for another match against Texas. First serve is set for 6 p.m. ET inside the WVU Coliseum. The contest will be carried live on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.