Texas dominates tournament

Lauren Giudice

The No. 8 Longhorns returned to Gregory Gym over the weekend and had dominating performances over Santa Clara, SMU and UTSA.

They began the weekend by sweeping Santa Clara in three sets. Texas dominated the first set 25-13. But the second was much closer and the Broncos took a 20-18 lead at one point. After a time-out, the Longhorns focused and won the set 25-23. Texas boasted a 68 percent side-out rate and 11.5 team blocks in the game.

“The blocking has really steadied out, and I thought our blocking in the first set was awesome. I think that’s why we went on such a big run,” senior libero Sydney Yogi said. “Passing is more finesse than anything, so I think the key is just staying calm.”

On Saturday, the Longhorns took on SMU and won the game in three sets, with scores of 25-20, 25-21, 26-24.

Freshman outside hitter Khat Bell, who was the tournament MVP, had 17 kills and .452 hitting. She also had ten digs.

In the first set, the Longhorns struggled for a bit and SMU led 20-15. But, the Longhorns won the set after going on a 10-0 run. In the second set, the Mustangs led 19-18, but a 5-0 run gave the Longhorns a 25-21 win.

In their final game of the tournament, UTSA forced a fourth set with Texas. The Longhorns had a 27-25, 19-25, 25-22, 25-18 victory.

Senior Rachael Adams had thirteen kills and Bell had 12 kills and nine digs. Bailey Webster had a career best eleven kills.

In the final set of the game, the Longhorns found their rhythm and hit .433. Freshman middle blocker Madelyn Hutson and senior outside hitter Amber Roberson both had two aces.

“I think there’s a lot of positives,” head coach Jerritt Elliott said. “I thought this morning we did a great job of getting our back row attack involved for the first time in system. And Khat Bell put up numbers that she hasn’t been able to put up all season long.”

He said the team is continuing to grow and get better, but more middle blocker production is needed.

“We’ve just got to become a little more steady,” Elliott said. “We’ve got to buckle down on our serve, and see patterns, and be able to get a little more kill production.”