Horns sweep Kansas

Lauren Giudice

Texas began Big 12 volleyball competition exactly how it wanted to: with a 3-0 sweep of Kansas.

The Longhorns started out strong in the first set and a kill by freshman outside hitter Khat Bell ended the set. Bell had 13 kills and six digs in the game.

“What happened in Game 1 is we allowed 12 of their 20 points on errors,” said head coach Jerritt Elliott. “We got blocked a lot and had some service errors. When you’re doing that, you keep a team in there.”

The beginning of the second set was not what the Longhorns were hoping for, and they fell behind. But a seven-point run led by Bell’s two kills gave the Longhorns the upper hand and the win.

Senior middle blocker Rachael Adams had 10 kills and a .467 hitting percentage in the game.

“We were executing in the first game, but our energy wasn’t there,” Adams said. “The little sloppy things started happening, with people not making eye contact and balls falling. After we cleaned it up, we just improved.”

Bell said the momentum changed in the second set.

“I think we were just shaky that first set, probably just the nerves of starting Big 12 play,” Bell said. “In the second game, everything just fell into place.”

Kansas’ errors aided the Longhorns in their third set win. The set and game ended with a service ace by freshman middle blocker Madelyn Hutson.

The 25-20, 25-21, 25-17 win gives the No. 8 Longhorns a 8-3 record.

Although the Longhorns were pleased with their sweep, there is always room for improvement and Elliott said he believes the team needs to decrease the amount of errors.

“We continue to get balance, and what’s great about it is that we’re just implementing small changes — little blocking schemes or stuff out of the back court,” Elliott said. “We’re trying to be basic, so we’re not overwhelming this young group. Our ball control, if we can continue to improve that, it will be great to see.”

Printed on Monday September 26, 2011 as: Horns defeat Jayhawks, 3-0