Longhorns tame LSU Tigers in Baton Rouge in last non-conference game

Evan Berkowitz

Behind a match-high 15 kills by junior outside hitter Haley Eckerman, the No. 4 Longhorns swept the LSU Tigers 3-0 (25-12, 25-18, 25-17) in Baton Rouge on Saturday afternoon.

Despite big wins in all three sets, they weren’t all easy.

In the first game, Texas (10-2, 3-0 Big 12) conceded three-straight points to LSU (10-3, 0-1 SEC) to open the match. But the Longhorns bounced back with four straight points to gain a 5-4 lead, after which they ran away with the set. Texas would allow the Tigers just one more lead in the frame, but a 10-3 run followed by a game-ending 6-0 run led to the largest margin of victory the Longhorns have had.

In Game 2, Texas was down midway through the match at 9-13. But a 6-1 run, sparked by kills by Eckerman, senior outside hitter Bailey Webster and sophomore middle blocker Molly McCage, quelled the Tigers hopes. Like the first game, Texas put itself on cruise control at the end, closing the match with a 7-3 run that was aided by four LSU hitting errors.

Texas never trailed in third game, as the Longhorns opened the set with four straight kills and an ace to jump out to a 5-0 lead. Eckerman and freshman middle blocker Chiaka Ogbogu carried the Longhorns in the last frame to their 12th straight win over LSU with five kills apiece.

The match was Texas’ second-best offensively this year, just behind the match against UTEP on Aug. 31, boasting a .347 hitting percentage. On the other side, LSU hit just .127, marking the sixth time this season Texas has held an opponent to a hitting percentage under .200.

Outside of Eckerman, sophomore middle blocker Sara Hattis led the Longhorns in blocks with four, Ogbogu had a career-high hitting percentage of .556 and freshman setter Chloe Collins added a match-high 38 assists.

Texas resumes Big 12 Conference action Wednesday evening when it hosts Texas Tech at 6 p.m. at Gregory Gym.