NCAA volleyball: Texas holds off Baylor and Pressley; Vols win; Texas St., Coastal roll on

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Troy’s Tori Hester attacks agains the App State block of Anna Kincaid, left, and Sophie Cain/Joey Meredith photo

AUSTIN, Texas — Back to back reverse sweeps?

It almost happened. A day after Texas did it to Baylor, the Longhorns took a 2-0 lead Friday night and then had to battle for a five-set Big 12 victory to stay unbeaten this fall NCAA Division I women’s volleyball season.

Texas improved to 12-0 as it won 25-22, 26-24, 27-29, 14-25, 15-6 in an up-and-down affair in which both teams hit .212. Yossiana Pressley had 32 of Baylor’s 59 kills.

Tennessee got an SEC victory over South Carolina, and Coastal Carolina continued to roll in the Sun Belt.

The recaps follow, but first a look at Saturday’s schedule and a reminder that we have a list of every match and how to watch it on our VolleyballMag.com TV and Streaming Listings.

There are three matches in the SEC featuring Alabama at Georgia, Auburn at Kentucky, and South Carolina at Tennessee.

In the Big 12, Kansas State is back at Texas Tech, and Iowa State is at West Virginia. TCU and Oklahoma were COVID-ed out.

And in the Sun Belt, App State is at Troy, Louisiana-Lafayette is at Texas-Arlington, Texas State is at Arkansas State, and Little Rock is at Louisiana-Monroe.

TEXAS PREVAILS — The Longhorns got 14 kills from Logan Eggleston, but she struggled to an .061 hitting percentage with 11 errors in 49 attacks. She had no aces and four of UT’s 18 service errors, two blocks and nine digs. Skylar Fields had 12 kills, three blocks, and three digs. Brionna Butler had 11 kills, hit .320, and had 11 blocks, one solo.

Molly Phillips got four of her seven kills in the fifth set and she finished with five blocks, and Asjia O’Neal had eight kills, hitting .462, and she had two of her team’s six aces and two blocks and two digs. Nalani Iosia finished with 23 digs and four assists.

”I don’t think it was the best volleyball we’ve played all season by any means,” Texas coach Jerritt Elliott said. “I thought we struggled, Logan had some rough spots, but that’s what makes this team great. We find ways to win.”

Elliott said he recognized his team “lacked energy” in the third and fourth sets “When our passing broke down” and said he challenged the Longhorns to step up in the fifth.

“Inhale confidence, exhale doubt right now,” Elliott said he told his team.

And, he said, “We played extremely well in game five.”

Pressley wasn’t as sharp early as she was Thursday when the Baylor star had 29 kills, but heated up as the match progressed, including getting 13 kills in the third set alone. She had 12 errors in 69 attacks, hit .290, and had an assist, two solo blocks, and eight digs as she moved into second place on Baylor’s all-time kills list.

Lauren Harrison had 10 kills and two blocks, and KJ Johnson had five kills, four blocks, and a dig. Hannah Sedwick had four kills and hit .429 and had 39 assists, six blocks, and 11 digs. Baylor had five aces — four from Emily Van Slate — and also 18 errors.

“What a spectacular performance by Yossiana Pressley,” said Baylor coach Ryan McGuyre, whose team is 11-3. “Honestly, one of the greatest individual performances I’ve seen from an athlete at a lot of different levels, a lot of different countries.

“I was just really impressed with her ability to hit outside, back row, right side, middle and manage swings against big blocks from Texas. She just really did a tremendous job.”

Also in the Big 12, West Virginia (6-5) beat Iowa State (2-7) in five.

The 25-21, 25-15, 25-27, 11-25, 15-10 victory was the Mountaineers’ first win over Iowa State since 1998.

West Virginia won despite hitting .117. Briana Lynch led with 14 kills as she hit .344 and had seven blocks and a dig. Natali Petrova had 11 kills and Kristin Lux 10.

“We kept fighting,” WVU coach Reed Sunahara said. “Our team is resilient, and Iowa State is a really good team. We knew that they weren’t just going to back down. We had our backs against the wall. The fourth set was a little dicey there. We got squirrelly. We fought through the fifth though, and I’m glad we won.

“I’m proud of the way they fought back, and I told them that in the locker room. After the fourth, I said ‘Hey, it’s 0-0 now.’ They did a nice job of siding out and making some plays down the stretch.”

Eleanor Holthaus had 12 kills and Candelaria Herrera 11 for Iowa State, which hit .146. Herrera had six blocks, one solo.
TENNESSEE TOPS USC — The Vols (2-3) routed visiting South Carolina (3-2) in the first set, 25-7 — “You don’t see many sets like that in volleyball,” Tennessee coach Eve Rackham Watt said — and then lost the second 25-20 before winning in four with back-to-back 25-20 set scores.

Lily Felts led Tennessee with 19 kills as she hit .375 and added two assists, two blocks, and 19 digs. Danielle Mahaffey and Jasmine Brooks had 11 kills each. Mahaffey hit .346 and had four blocks and 14 digs, while Brooks had three blocks and two digs. Ava Bell had eight kills with no errors in 17 swings and eight blocks, one solo. Natalie Hayward had two kills in seven errorless attempts, 42 assists, a block, and eight digs.

South Carolina, which hit .116, got 16 kills from Mikayla Robinson, who hit .433 to go with a dig and four blocks, one solo.

SUN BELT — Coastal Carolina (14-0) is off to the best start in program history. The Chanticleers won their first match Friday over Georgia Southern (2-9) 25-18, 25-16, 25-21 in the morning and then in the evening came away with a 25-15, 25-19, 25-23 victory.

In the opener, Anett Nemeth led with 16 kills, hitting .375, and she added an assist, a block, and six digs. Ani Bozdeva had 13 kills, hit .444 after having one error in 27 attacks, and added a solo block and four digs. Brigette Petrenko had two kills, 25 assists, a solo block, and 11 digs. GSU hit .074.

In the nightcap, Nemeth had 16 more kills and hit .448 to go with a block and eight digs. Coastal hit .314, while GSU hit .116.

Texas State (18-1) extended its winning streak to 15 with two victories at Arkansas State (8-7), taking the first match in the morning 25-20, 25-13, 25-20 and the nightcap 25-21, 25-18, 25-15.

Lauren Tesla led Texas State with 15 kills and hit .406 in the opener, adding an assist, eight digs, and three blocks, one solo. Janell Fitzgerald had 19 kills kills and hit .444, and had a dig, and three blocks, two solo. Emily DeWalt had three kills in six errorless tries, 30 assists, and 16 digs. Madison Brown had 16 kills for ASU, which hit .096.

In the rematch, Fitzgerald led with 18 kills as she hit .382 and had three digs and four blocks. ASU hit .000.

Louisiana-Lafayette (17-4, 11-3 SBC) came back from losing the first two sets at Texas-Arlington (8-7, 7-5) in their first match Friday, winning 24-26, 19-25, 25-19, 25-22, 15-10 as Hali Wisnoskie had 24 kills and Kelsey Bennett 20. Wisnoskie hit .377 and had an assist, an ace, and 15 digs. Bennett had two aces and 16 digs. Kara Barnes and Lauren Tishkoff had 10 kills each.The Ragin’ Cajuns hit  .312.

Brooke Townsend led UTA with 14 kills and Brianna Brown had 10. Michaela Wright had nine kills and four solo blocks.

Later Friday, Louisiana won 26-28, 25-17, 25-20, 26-24 and the outside hitters led again, this time with Bennett getting 17 kills and Wisnoskie 10. The Cajuns, however, hit .092 and UTA .050.

Troy (8-4) took the first of two over App State (1-9) the hard way, hitting .094 while winning 25-19, 21-25, 25-22, and — yes, 37-35. Tori Hester led with 16 kills and had three of her team’s 14 aces, a block, and five digs. Hailston Hillier had 11 kills, four blocks, and four digs. App State, which hit .146, got 15 kills from Lexi Kohut and 10 from Grace Morrison. Kara Spicer had eight kills and eight blocks, two solo. In the fourth set, App State came back from a 20-15 deficit and then fought off four match points to tie it 24-24. The set ended on a service error and an attack error.

In the second match, Troy won 25-22, 20-25, 25-23, 25-22 as Julia Brooks led with 15 kills and five blocks, one solo. Hillier had 12 kills six blocks, and Caitlin Cooper had 10 kills. Amara Anderson had five kills in seven errorless tries, 45 assists, an ace, and eight digs. Kohut led App State with 19 kills, two assists, five blocks, and 11 digs.

Little Rock (3-13) swept Louisiana-Monroe (1-19) 25-12, 25-8, 25-14 Friday morning and then 28-26, 25-22, 25-19. Little Rock hit .351 in the first match as Nicole Merlin had 12 kills and Laura Jansen had eight kills and five aces. ULM hit .037.

In the nightcap, five LR players had kills, all with six or more, led by Janae Thurston, who had 10. Haley Coulter had 12 kills for ULM.

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