Texas looking to continue unbeaten streak

Rachel Thompson

After clinging onto a win Saturday against Kansas, the Longhorns have 15 straight wins, the best conference start since Jerritt Elliott began his coaching tenure. They have clinched a share of the Big 12 title.

All that stands in the way of earning an outright regular season Big 12 championship is Texas Tech.

Saturday’s victory marked the strength of Texas over the then second-place team in the Big 12, while Wednesday’s game will position two very different Big 12 teams against each other. Texas Tech sits nearly at the bottom of Big 12 standings, only ranking above West Virginia.

Tech is 2-10 in conference play and 13-15 overall. Despite starting the season off strong with eight straight wins, the Red Raiders have struggled in conference play. They’ve been swept by TCU, Iowa State and Oklahoma in their last three games.

Texas has historically stifled Tech’s hopes of volleyball victories. Tech has beaten the Longhorns a mere three times since 1980, the most recent occasion being a sweep in 2000. Tech currently has a 22 match losing streak against Texas, the longest against any opponent in its school history.

Meanwhile, the Longhorns will have a spring in their steps after defeating two other commendable Big 12 power teams last week. The Longhorns swept Kansas State in Austin, then packed up and traveled to Lawrence, Kan. to defeat the Jayhawks, 3-2.

With three regular season games remaining, Texas will rely on strong blocking, teamwork and powerful assets such as Khat Bell, who tacked on a season-high 14 kills against Kansas. Sarah Palmer tied her season-high 24 digs Saturday.

Elliott has frequently emphasized the importance of working together, particularly in difficult Big 12 matches. Texas will face Texas Tech on Wednesday night, striving to lay one more brick on the path toward earning a Big 12 Volleyball Championship.

Printed on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 as: Texas facing Tech, Big 12 title in reach