Texas remains perfect in first contest against West Virginia

Sara Beth Purdy

No. 2 Texas rolled into West Virginia and came out with a win in its 2012 Big 12 season opener and first match against the conference newcomers. The team took the match in straight sets (25-15, 25-18, 26-16), improving to 4-0 on the season after last weekend’s tournament.

The Longhorns, who have not dropped a single set all season, handed head coach Jerritt Elliott his 200th career conference win with the sweep against West Virginia.

The match marked the first-ever matchup between the two teams and the first Big 12 contest for West Virginia. The Mountaineers showed up in full force, registering a crowd of more than 3,000, a record for the University.

At the start of the match, the Mountaineers used the energy of the crowd to keep the game close at a 5-5 tie during the first set. However, a 6-1 surge set off by sophomore outside hitter Haley Eckerman brought the score to 11-6 in favor of the Longhorns. The Mountaineers were not able to recapture any momentum while Texas logged 12 kills with two errors and turned in a .400 hitting average during the first set.

The Mountaineers took an 8-7 lead in the second set, their first lead of the night, but another 6-1 run by the Longhorns — this time sparked by sophomore middle blocker Khat Bell — put the game at 13-9. Eckerman finished for the Longhorns as they claimed the second set.

Junior outside hitter Bailey Webster led off the third set with three kills. The Longhorns took an early 6-3 lead in the third set to remain perfect on the season.

Eckerman and Webster each registered double-digit kills for the Longhorns — Eckerman with 15 kills while hitting .538 and Webster with 13 kills while hitting .522.

Arielle Allen led the West Virginia effort with 10 kills with a .318 hitting average.

As a team, the Longhorns hit .363, almost three times the West Virginia hitting average of .137.

Printed on Thursday, August 30, 2012 as: Sweep gives Elliott 200th Big 12 Victory