In its third game in five days, No. 2 Texas (12-0, 4-0 Big 12) received a challenge against Texas Tech but managed to sweep the Red Raiders (25-19, 25-17, 25-19) to remain undefeated this season.
“Texas Tech played extremely well,” head coach Jerritt Elliott said. “I was excited during the match that we were getting pushed. We had to be good with our routines. I thought our team, first of all, showed up and was ready to compete.”
The Red Raiders gave the Longhorns trouble right out of the gate, as they battled back-and-forth early in the first set. But it appeared as if Texas was prepared to separate itself from the Red Raiders when it went on a 7-1 run and took a 15-10 lead.
However, Texas Tech wasn’t ready to back down, as it went on a run of its own and eventually tied the set up. The Longhorns allowed Texas Tech back into match, thanks to five attack errors, but were able to overcome those errors after back-to-back kills from senior outside hitter Haley Eckerman and sophomore outside hitter Paulina Prieto Cerame.
“I thought we did some good adjustments [in the first set],” Prieto Cerame said. “We have to do the same things overtime, and that’s what’s going to outlast the other teams.”
The Longhorns were able to settle down in the second set, as they only committed three errors. Texas opened up a 4-0 lead and never looked back, winning the set 25-17.
However, the Red Raiders gave the Longhorns a scare in the third set, as they opened up a 9-5 lead early in the game. Texas had five errors but was eventually able to right the ship and even the set at 17. The Longhorns fought past the Red Raiders to win the third set 25-19 and secure a victory.
“I think this team is building confidence,” Elliott said. “I think they’re getting better in the routines. I thought we performed with great balance again tonight. It was a good test tonight. I was very, very pleased.”
With the win, Texas extended its winning streak to 13 games and have yet to drop a set in Gregory Gym this season.
The Longhorns will take the next week to rest and will resume Big 12 play against Kansas State (16-2, 3-1) in Manhattan, Kansas, on Oct. 18. Elliott said he wants to use the break between games to allow his team to mentally and physically recharge.
“The next few days, I want them to be college students,” Elliott said. “This is our midseason emotional break. We will get back at it on Sunday morning. And get back after next week as we prepare for Kansas State.”