Longhorns fall to Horned Frogs in season’s first Big 12 loss

Michael Shapiro

For the past six weeks, No. 2 Texas looked unbeatable. The Longhorns (18–2, 8–1 Big 12) rattled off 14 consecutive wins as they climbed to the top of the Big 12. It seemed as though Texas’ path to its fifth-straight Big 12 title would be clear as the season approached its final month.

The momentum came to a halt after a 3-0 road loss to unranked TCU on Wednesday. The Longhorns are now once again in jeopardy of losing their grip on the Big 12 title. It’s the first time Texas has lost in straight sets since Oct. 25, 2014 against Oklahoma.

“I give a lot of credit to TCU,” head coach Jerritt Elliott said. “Ultimately, they just wanted it more.”

Texas’ takedown of Kansas on Friday was a tour-de-force performance at Gregory Gym, with the team’s passing and blocking in prime form. But Wednesday’s performance against the Horned Frogs was nothing of the sort. The Longhorns passing and kills were far from crisp, with Texas registering a kill percentage of .183.

“We made a lot of mental errors tonight, and it’s hard to come out on top when you do that,” Elliott said. 

The Horned Frogs took it to Texas from the first serve Wednesday, locking the Longhorns down with superb defense throughout the night. Each set seemed to mirror one another on Wednesday, with the first two ending 25–19, while the third set concluded with a 25–20 TCU victory. The Longhorns managed to register 39 kills on the evening, but they complied 20 errors compared to TCU’s 12.

Texas can no longer afford to have another hiccup in its performance after Wednesday’s loss. The Longhorns are neck-and-neck once again with Kansas atop the conference standings with seven conference matches left in Big 12 play. 

The Longhorns continue their fight for the Big 12 championship against Texas Tech on Friday at 6 p.m. in Lubbock.