Fans coming to the Longhorns’ home matchup against Texas Tech were treated to a Bevo sighting outside of Gregory Gym before the game. While the fans’ beloved Bevo got a lot of people out of the door and into Greg, the always exciting volleyball team kept them in their seats.
After taking the Oklahoma Sooners to five sets last Saturday, the team enjoyed a relatively uneventful match against the Red Raiders, winning in three sets in dominant fashion. Texas played the last two matches on the road, and has only played six matches at home so far this season.
“It was really nice being back in Gregory,” outside hitter Yaasmeen Bedart-Ghani said. “We’ve been traveling what feels like nonstop so it's nice being able to practice here all week and get acclimated back to Gregory.”
In the first set, the Longhorns forced Tech to take a timeout after getting off to a blistering 8-2 start. They extended their lead to 16-7, later winning the set, 25-13. Bedart-Ghani and outside hitter Micaya White led the team in kills with five apiece, while libero Sydney Peterson collected several key digs to keep points alive for Texas.
The second set started much differently for both teams. The Red Raiders came out strong, taking the early lead. The Longhorns tied the set up at 7 apiece before going on a 6-2 run to take a 12-9 lead. Texas continued to pull away in the set until Tech mounted a minor comeback to move the deficit within eight.
The Longhorn defense was outstanding through two sets, making it difficult for Tech to even the score. While the players themselves do most of the work, many of them say preparation beforehand is equally as important.
“I think we get a lot of great support from our coaches,” middle blocker Morgan Johnson said. “We have a scouting report ready for us, and then we have blocking schemes tailored to each team playing defense, so they make it easier for us and take that pressure off of us.”
The Longhorns won the set 25-18 on a service error by Tech, after losing several points in a row. Bedart-Ghani and White both added six more kills to the box score, demonstrating the importance of veteran leadership on the court.
The third set was also close at the start and featured four challenged calls. Tech improved as the match went on, becoming more consistent and persistent with each passing set. Tech was visibly frustrating Texas head coach Jerritt Elliott, who was waving his arms on the sideline after a particularly vicious spike.
Tech was on the Longhorns’ heel for most of the set, getting as close as two points away and never letting Texas feel comfortable. Although they were unable to pull away completely, the Longhorns held on to complete the three-set sweep, 25-21.
Texas will play its next game on the road against Iowa State this upcoming Wednesday, with a chance for the Longhorns to win their third match in a row.