Offense propels Texas Longhorns in game over Texas A&M Aggies in NCAA round 2

Sara Beth Purdy

Why Texas Won: 
Texas had a very efficient offense throughout the match against Texas A&M. They were able to score well and often to secure the win. Also, the Longhorns had the ability to fight their way out of a hole after dropping the second set and narrowly winning the third. They finished the match 3-1 (25-16, 19-25, 25-19, 25-18).

By the Numbers: 
4.3: Bailey Webster’s average for kills per set over the past five games.
17: The number of kills apiece that Webster and Haley Eckerman had against the Aggies.
19: Number of times that Texas has advanced to the third round of the NCAA tournament.
71-23: Texas’ all-time record against Texas A&M.

Set by Set: 
Set 1: Everything went smoothly for the Longhorns during set one. The Aggies kept it close at first, but the Texas offense quickly picked up to secure the 25-16 win off back-to-back errors by Texas A&M.
Set 2: The second set was the opposite of set one. Everything seemed to be going well for the Aggies who were riding off the high of a spirited crowd from College Station. Although the Longhorns turned in decent offensive stats, 11 kills with only three errors and a .320 hitting clip, the Aggie offense turned in a better performance with a .387 hitting clip and 16 kills. The Aggies got out early and the Longhorns were not able to overcome the early deficit and lost 19-25.
Set 3: The Longhorns came out of the break and played a scrappy and close third set. The lead changed hands several times through the first half of the set, but the Longhorn offense pulled ahead at the end for the 25-19 set three victory and the 2-1 match advantage.
Set 4: Texas A&M got the first point of the fourth set, but was unable to prevent the swing in momentum. Largely due to the decibel levels of the crowd, the Longhorns surged ahead and cruised to the 25-18 victory. 

Stock Up: 
Khat Bell: The sophomore, who missed the 2011 post season due to a knee injury, was easily the most spirited player on the Longhorns’ sideline against their former rival. She rejoiced after scores, rallied her team during the negatives and visibly fed off the spirit of the crowd. Bell finished the match with 11 kills and three errors, right behind Webster and Eckerman. She also hit an impressive .421 for the match.