Tough schedule continues for Longhorns this weekend

Rachel Thompson

Big 12 play continues Wednesday night as No. 8 Texas faces No. 22 Iowa State in Gregory Gym.

The Longhorns are no strangers to ranked opponents, completing nine matches against Top 25 teams this season. They’re also on a roll, hitting .295 on their current nine-match win streak.

Valuable Texas assets include sophomore All-American outside hitter Haley Eckerman, who is currently third in the nation for points per set, sixth in the nation in kills and leads the Big 12 in points and kills. She was also named Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week this week for the third time this season.

Junior outside hitter Bailey Webster ranks fourth in kills for the Big 12, while sophomore middle blocker/outside hitter Khat Bell comes in at third in blocks.

Despite the Longhorns’ strong points, head coach Jerritt Elliott said the competition intensifies during this point in the year.

“This is always a tough time for all teams,” Elliott said. “The beginning of the year is kind of a warm-up. The NCAA tournament is kind of getting closer, but it’s also midterms, and players get a little bit more exhausted. It doesn’t get any easier in this conference with Iowa State. It’s a big match for us.”

Iowa State junior libero Kristen Hahn was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week four straight weeks earlier this season, making her the first to win the honor that many times in a row.

The Cyclones are coming off of two consecutive wins against West Virginia and Texas Tech, and they are 10-6 overall, 4-2 in Big 12 play. 

Printed on Wednesday, October 17, 2012 as: Texas in tough stretch, will face No. 22 Cyclones