Texas takes on Stanford in Palo Alto

Wills Layton

The Longhorns are hitting the road again, this time heading out to Palo Alto, California.

Texas will be playing No. 2 Stanford on Tuesday, marking the No. 3 Longhorns’ fifth ranked opponent inseven matches.

The Longhorns are no stranger to being on the road, having traveled over 4,000 miles since the season began. The trip to California will add another 3,400 miles to the ledger. Tuesday’s match against the Cardinal will be the final away nonconference match of the season, and the team looks to capitalize on the opportunity.

“It’s a little different schedule for us with all the traveling we’ve been doing,” head coach Jerritt Elliott said. “I think everyone is pretty excited.”

So far, the results against ranked opponents have been strong, coming away with a 3–1 record against those opponents thus far in the season.

With title aspirations this season, the Longhorns realize playing the best in the country is a good way to test where the team is early in the year.

“I think it’s been great for our team to be out on the road,” senior outside hitter Yaasmeen Bedart-Ghani said. “The coaches do a great job of challenging us early to kind of get us ready for the season.”

As the season progresses, working quality players into the lineup will become an important priority for any team. For the Longhorns, Bedart-Ghani’s presence in the lineup is a happy sight.

Bedart-Ghani, a senior from Los Angeles, was held out of the lineup for the first two matches of the season before making her season debut at Wisconsin. She had several aces at her home debut against Texas State, but also struggled with consistency.

“Serving has been in the works for a while,” Bedart-Ghani said. “Just getting it more consistent was our biggest thing. Also me getting more confident that I could do it, so it’s still in progress, but the coaches have been amazing in helping me get it under control and effective.”

While the inconsistent serves must improve in order for Bedart-Ghani to be a regular on the court, the benefits to having her playing regularly seem to outweigh the issues.

“We knew that she would have a couple of errors, but we knew she could get us a couple of aces,” Elliott said. “When you have a player that can go on two- or three-point runs, it changes the game. The risk versus reward is worthy of something like that. It’s really important. She’s one of the best right sides in the country, and she’s got the capability of taking over matches and putting up big numbers. It’s great to have her back in the lineup.”

First serve for the top-five matchup between No. 3 Texas and No. 2 Stanford is set for 9 p.m.