The No. 13 West Virginia volleyball team was defeated by the No. 1 Texas Longhorns on Thursday night by a final score of 3-1 after great play by WVU early on.
Freshman Skye Stokes stunned the Longhorns (13-0, 13-0 Big 12) serving three-straight aces to begin the first set. Through great offense and defense, the Mountaineers (7-6, 7-6 Big 12) held the lead throughout the first set and took the set 25-21.
WVU coach Reed Sunahara has been impressed by Stokes stepping up in moments like Thursday night’s against the Longhorns.
“She’s come a long way, and I’ve said she’s a baller,” Sunahara said. “She brings a lot of positive energy to our team and for what we’re trying to do; she has been a great addition.”
Texas was able to fix its struggles that it had in the first set and take the second set fairly easily 25-15.
The Longhorns continued their domination from the second set leading mid-way through the third set. Texas was able to cruise to a third set win taking it 25-17.
In control of the match, Texas was able to roll past West Virginia in the fourth set 25-15 to take the match 3-1.
The Mountaineers were led by Kristin Lux who had 13 kills in the four sets. The junior from Nebraska continues to creep up on Natali Petrova for the No. 1 spot in kills on the team.
Briana Lynch was right behind Lux with 11 kills. Lynch only had one error on 24 total attacks.
A problem for the Mountaineers was hitting errors, tallying 30 errors on the night. For perspective, the Longhorns only had nine errors in the match.
Sunahara noted that the hitting errors were one of the problems that need to be fixed by Friday night.
“They (Texas) are a physical team, and they don’t make a whole lot of mistakes,” Sunahara said. “They just apply the pressure and they make you work and work until you crack.”
The redshirt senior Audrey Adams accounted for the only two blocks that the Mountaineers put on the board against the Longhorns.
Texas outscored West Virginia in blocks 13-2.
“We have got to position ourselves better. They’re just going over us,” Sunahara said. “They jump high and they hit hard. If we can’t block, we have to descend more.”
The West Virginia Mountaineers and Texas Longhorns will return to the court again on Friday night to finish their doubleheader matchup. Coverage will begin at 6 p.m. on ESPN+.