Faucette leads way as Nebraska match looms

Shabab Siddiqui

The Longhorns keep rolling, if not in the prettiest fashion.

Texas won its sixth straight match in a sweep of Kansas State 25-19, 25-23, 25-19 on Friday at Gregory Gym.

The atypical Friday game meant the Longhorns had to respond to a quick turnaround, as they arrived back in Austin late Wednesday night after their match against Kansas. Playing on Friday also meant that the team got its first weekend off since late September, which will prove handy as Texas prepares for a much-anticipated rematch with third-ranked Nebraska on Wednesday.

“It’d be our first two days off in some time and the girls are definitely deserving of that,” said head coach Jerritt Elliott. “Nebraska’s a very good team and one of the teams that are in contention for a Final Four and a national championship, so we’re going to have to be efficient in all areas.”

A loss to the Cornhuskers — who remain undefeated in conference play and 19-1 overall — in Lincoln on Oct. 2 is the only blemish on the Longhorns’ record in the last ten games. Texas started off the match with energy and good hitting but hurt itself with six serving errors in the first set and 10 in the match, resulting in a 20-25, 25-20, 19-25, 20-25 loss.

Elliott said the team will need to be better on both sides of the ball this time around.

“We’re really going to have to produce on our serve-receive so we can run a good offense and put up some good numbers,” Elliott said. “Our defense is going to have to improve from tonight’s performance [against Kansas State]. We’re going to have to be able to shut them down a little better than we did [tonight]. Overall, we’re going to have to do really well from our serve-receive and from the service line against a team that can put a lot of pressure on you.”

Nebraska and Texas are two of only three teams to have won a national championship east of California and have battled for Big 12 supremacy for the greater part of the last two decades. Because of the upcoming conference realignment, this will be the last conference matchup between the two traditional powerhouses.

The match also carries heavy implications in the Big 12 standings. Texas sits at second in the conference, one game ahead of Oklahoma and Iowa State, both of whom they play later this season.

Game time is set for 8 p.m. at Gregory Gym on Wednesday.