No. 5 Texas sweeps TCU in first conference game

Matt Warden

After a gauntlet of challenging preseason matches, the Longhorns cruised to a three-set victory in their conference opener. 

Fifth-ranked Texas (7-2, 1-0 in conference play) established its offensive presence early on en route to a 25-18 victory in the opening frame. The set was a back-and-forth battle for dominance with five lead changes as both teams tried to find their grooves. 

The Longhorns went on a 9-2 run after trailing 17-16, taking the set behind five kills by junior outside hitter Haley Eckerman and three blocks by senior setter Hannah Allison. Texas notched just a .194 hitting percentage in the opening set, but its play at the net forced TCU into a .026 hitting percentage on seven total errors. The second frame was all Texas as the Longhorns ended the set on an 11-4 run to take their lead to two with a 25-16 victory. Senior outside hitter Bailey Webster and freshman middle blocker Chiaka Ogbogu produced four and three kills respectively in the set as Texas outhit TCU .417-.161 while only committing two errors. 

Entering the third set the Texas offense and defense were working in perfect harmony, forcing the Horned Frogs into 13 errors while only surrendering 19 kills to that point. 

The Longhorns opened the final set on an 11-4 run with four early kills and two blocks before the Horned Frogs fought back to bring the score to 14-13 in favor of Texas. Eckerman notched a kill on the very next play and the Longhorns never looked back, ending the set and game on an 11-2 run. 

Eckerman led the offensive charge for Texas with 13 kills in the match to go along with 10 digs. Webster and Ogbogu added eight and six kills respectively while Allison amassed a team-high 25 assists.

Texas stifled the Horned Frogs and forced them into 23 attack errors to go along with a .030 hitting percentage — the lowest total for any opponent all season. The win also marked the second shutout for the Longhorns in 2013.

With every part of their game firing on all cylinders, the Longhorns will ride this momentum into a weekend tilt at home against Oklahoma.