Slow starts for Texas

Lauren Giudice

In the Longhorns’ last two games, the team has not started out the way they had hoped.

The first set of Wednesday’s game against Baylor was a tough battle. There were eight lead changes, and Texas was down 23-21 at the end of the match. But a four-point run that included two kills by Haley Eckerman gave the Longhorns the win they needed in the first set.

Although it won the set, Texas’ numbers were not what the team has been accustomed to at this point in the season. The Horns hit .227 with seven errors.

“Our goal is to keep our errors low, and we had too many errors in game one and, therefore, went into kind of a battle,” said head coach Jerritt Elliott.

When the Longhorns were down 23-21, Elliott called a time out and was more stern with the team than usual. He was pleased with how they responded and how they came back, though.

“They were just kind of questioning themselves and questioning their commitment to doing the things that we train for every single day,” Elliott said. “We had different people missing assignments, and if we could get them on the same page and do the things the way we do it, then we’re going to be successful.”

Although the set didn’t go smoothly, the team’s winning streak continues.

Senior middle blocker Rachael Adams said the momentum the team gained from the first-set win helped the team continue for the rest of the game.

“That was really important because, obviously, we were kind of coming from behind,” Adams said. “It gave us that confidence to go into the second set and just be able to turn it around, and they didn’t have that confidence.”

In their game against Kansas last Saturday, the Longhorns dropped the first set to the Wildcats. Earlier in the season, the Longhorns defeated the Wildcats with ease, 3-0. In the first set of that game, Texas had .348 hitting.

“Our last two matches in the first game, we haven’t played well,” Elliott said. “We’ve been a little jittery and not expecting teams to be successful, and I think, in both of those first games, it’s been more about what we’ve been doing. We’ve been making a lot of errors.”

It is unclear what has caused these rough starts for the Longhorns, but with three games left in Big 12 play, including one against Oklahoma, the team’s first sets definitely have room for improvement. 

Printed on Thursday, November 17, 2011 as: Longhorns sweep Bears with balanced attack