Sophomore Micaya White posted a team-high 13 kills to lead No. 2 Texas (26-2, 16-0 Big 12) past NC State (20-12, 15-5 ACC) 3-0 (25-18, 25-15, 25-21) to advance to its 30th NCAA Regional semifinal on Saturday night at Gregory Gym.
The Longhorns will face No. 13 Utah on Friday, Dec. 8 in Palo Alto, Calif.
White’s 13 kills came on 34 swings and only one error for a .353 efficiency, also adding nine digs and three blocks.
Senior Ebony Nwanebu also finished in double-digits with 12 kills, also committing only one error on 24 swings at a .458 clip to lead UT to a strong .366 attack efficiency as a team.
Defensively, Texas turned to the block of junior Morgan Johnson combined with a stalwart backrow paced by senior Cat McCoy. Johnson boasted a match-high seven blocks while libero McCoy tallied 18 digs to lead the Longhorns and hold the Wolfpack to a .132 clip.
Senior Chiaka Ogbogu added nine kills, six digs and three blocks, putting her within one of tying the Texas all-time blocks record. Freshman Lexi Sun joined her with eight kills and three blocks.
Freshman Ashley Shook spun 36 assists, seven digs, two kills, and two blocks in a rounded effort pacing the Longhorns attack.
Texas fought off the Wolfpack early, going up 6-3 on an explosive kill by Ogbogu that brought Gregory Gymnasium to its feet. NC State drew within one point at 15-14, but Texas forced an error and delivered a sharp kill from Sun to widen the score 18-15, forcing an NC State timeout. Following the break, Texas embarked on a dominant 7-3 run to take the set, 25-18, on a double block from Nwanebu and Ogbogu.
NC State battled to record the first three points the second set, but Texas fought back to tie 6-6 on kills by Sun and Ogbogu. The Longhorns took their first lead of the set at 9-8, but wouldn’t lead by more than one until Sun delivered a booming 14-11 kill. Kills from Nwanebu and White propelled the Longhorns on an 11-4 run to finish the set, 25-15.
The third set began with more back-and-forth play before a kill by Sun tied the score 5-5. After falling behind 10-13, Texas found its first lead of the set at 17-16 on a kill by Nwanebu. Match point came on a 24-19 kill by White, and Texas sealed the set 25-21 on a kill by Ogbogu.
With the win, the Longhorns own a 91-31 record in the NCAA Tournament.
Time and television information for Friday’s match will be announced later in the week.