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Texas outside hitter Ebony Nwanebu is killing it on her web series, too

While Texas is once again a serious contender to win a national title, Ebony Nwanebu keeps the mood light with #EbbOnTheWeb. Courtesy Texas

No matter how many times they tried, Texas All-American hitter Ebony Nwanebu and setter Ashley Shook could not get it right. So they brought in teammate Natalie Gilbert to provide an assist.

"Me and Shook -- fun fact -- cannot give each other high-fives," Nwanebu said. "I don't know if you all notice in a game. ... We're going to see how many perfect high-fives we can get in 10 seconds."

Gilbert was the judge. She counted 24. Problem solved, and that's a wrap for another edition of #EbbOnTheWeb, hosted by Nwanebu, the Longhorns' engaging and outgoing senior outside hitter.

The weekly video feature, running 60 seconds or less and shared via Texas' social media channels, peeks inside the volleyball team. And, no, we're not talking about numbers and name-dropping.

Here's a sampling from the show's archives:

• Nwanebu and assistant coach Rachael Kidder embroiled in a game of PIG using volleyballs and a 2-foot hoop. "It was tough to fit that into a minute because nobody wanted to lose," Nwanebu said.

• Nwanebu introduced freshman Brionne Butler, goading her with this ask: "Who's your favorite 6-foot-4 redshirt senior?" After reflecting for a few, Butler shrugged, "Is it Ebony?"

"Oh, my God!" Nwanbeu shrieked. "You're so sweet!" The video ended with an extension of a locker room shenanigan: Butler struggling to catch a grape in her mouth. Nwanebu didn't make it easy.

• You know those round mops that soak up the sweat between volleyball points? Nwanebu and sophomore Autumn Rounsaville think they look an awful lot like curling brooms. The teammates grabbed a pair prior to their match at Oklahoma and did their best imitation of the quirky Olympic sport.

• Nwanebu interviewed teammate Claire Hahn prior to the spring game only to inadvertently bash her in the mouth with the microphone. "That was not planned ... " Nwanebu noted.

Very little is planned on #EbbOnTheWeb.

"I literally think about what I'm going to do five seconds before filming," said Nwanebu, a native of Fairview, Texas, and a youth and community studies major. "Everybody just goes with it."

Even coach Jerritt Elliott. He was a guest last season after Nwanebu and libero Cat McCoy lost a sand practice match to teammates Chiaka Ogbogu and Olivia Zelon.

"Who really should have won that match?" Nwanebu asked.

"Chi and Olivia," he deadpanned.

The series originated after Nwanebu was sidelined for all but one game of the 2015 season with a back injury. At the final four that year, the Texas sports information department turned its volleyball Twitter account over to her for a day. She solicited requests for a hashtag.

"Someone sent out 'EbbOnTheWeb,'" she said. "That's perfect."

Afterward, a star -- or, better yet, a ham -- was born, along with weekly episodes that allow Nwanebu to show off her whimsical personality and cast a spotlight on fun-loving teammates. Social media analytics speak to #EbbOnTheWeb's popularity, particularly on Instagram.

"A lot of times on the court, people see us so serious," Gilbert said. "This gives fans a chance to see our real personalities a little more, so I think it's fun."

It helps that Nwanebu, a first-team All-American, isn't afraid to poke fun at herself in addition to jabbing her teammates. Although Gilbert is game to do anything in the spirit of #EbbOnTheWeb, senior middle blocker Mirta Baselovic isn't exactly enthused. "I avoid it at all costs," she said.

But the Croatian did team with Nwanebu for an episode to help her cause: relief for Syrian refugees. Baselovic tweeted that she would relent and appear on the series if she could raise $219 -- a dollar amount that matched the number of likes on one of Nwanebu's episodes -- for the humanitarian aid organization International Rescue Committee.

Overnight, more than $800 was collected, and a day later, the total hit close to $1,000.

"I have to admit, that was awesome," Baselovic said.

ESPN's Holly Rowe has guest-starred on the series, talking about the essay she wrote as a little girl detailing her ambitions to be a broadcaster. That touched Nwanebu, who penned her own essay about her career goals as a 9-year-old.

"It was cool to hear her dreams and what she aspired to be when she was younger and how she fulfilled them now," Nwanebu said.

Nwanebu said her dream guest is Ellen DeGeneres: "She'd be hilarious."

There's still time for that, but not much. #EbbOnTheWeb is winding down. Nwanebu graduates in December and plans to play professionally before tackling a list of goals that range from doing social media for Disney to being a television broadcaster.

She'd like to see one of the Longhorn underclassmen pick up the series for a third season. Nwanebu nominated sophomore Orie Agbaji, whose enthusiasm on the bench keeps everyone loose. Or maybe super frosh Lexi Sun could do #NextWithLex?

For now, there's the series finale to think about.

"#EbbOnTheWeb at the national championship," Nwanebu said.

Now that would be #MustSeeTV.