Top-seeded Texas (26-2) overcame a rare postseason deficit to advance to its eighth consecutive NCAA Regional Final with a 3-1 victory over American on Friday in a Regional Semifinal match at the Bob Devaney Sports Center in Lincoln, Neb.
With the win, Texas advances to Saturday’s NCAA Regional Final vs. Nebraska (26-6) at 8 p.m. CT on ESPNU.
Kansas (25-8) saw its season come to a close with a 3-0 loss to third-seeded Washington (29-2) in the Los Angeles Regional.
In advancing to a regional final for the eighth straight year, Texas had to come from behind, something the Longhorns have only needed to do twice during their school-record nine-match postseason win streak. After American won the opening set 27-25, Texas cruised to an 11-point victory in set two (25-14) and a nine-point win in set three (25-16). The Longhorns then pulled away late for a 25-20 victory in set four.
Texas featured a balanced attack against the Patriot League champions, as four Longhorns produced double-digit kills. All-American Bailey Webster produced 18 kills, while Khat Bell totaled 16 kills and Haley Eckerman and Chiaka Ogbogu each added 11 kills. Bell’s 16 kills were a season high while the freshman Ogbogu tied her season and career highs with 11 kills. Setter Hannah Allison recorded 54 assists while directing a Longhorn offense that hit .324 in the match, including above .350 in each of the final three sets. Texas also added 14.0 blocks, including seven from Bell. Sarah Palmer produced a season-high 25 digs from her libero position, as UT out-dug American, 77-63.
Texas will take a 22-game win streak into the Longhorns’ eighth consecutive NCAA Regional Final. UT’s win streak is tied with Penn State, a 3-1 winner over Michigan State on Friday, for the nation’s longest win streak.
With a win on Saturday, Texas advances to national semifinal action in Seattle, Wash., held Thursday, Dec. 19, at 6:30 or 9:30 p.m. CT at the KeyArena. The national championship match will be played at 8:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, Dec. 21. Both the national semifinal and national championship will be on ESPN2/ESPN3.
BIG 12 IN THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP
Thursday, Dec. 5
No. 1 Texas 3, Texas State 0
Oklahoma 3, Alabama 1
Friday, Dec. 6
Colorado 3, Iowa State 1
No. 14 Kansas 3, Wichita State 1
Friday, Dec. 6
No. 1 Texas 3, Texas A&M 1
No. 7 Stanford 3, Oklahoma 0
Saturday, Dec. 7
No. 14 Kansas 3, Creighton 1
Friday, Dec. 13
No. 1 Texas 3, American 1 - Lincoln Regional
No. 3 Washington 3, No. 14 Kansas 0 - Los Angeles Regional
Saturday, Dec. 14
No. 1 Texas at No. 8 Nebraska - 8 p.m. CT - ESPNU - Lincoln Regional