Texas saw and conquered Wednesday. The Longhorns continued their dominance against the Horned Frogs earning their ninth win in Fort Worth. Texas is now 17 for 18 against TCU in all time match-ups. They beat TCU in straight sets (25-19, 25-20, 25-21) and got their third straight win in Big 12 play.
The Longhorns arrived sitting at the top of the Big 12 with two straight conference wins out of the gate and an 8–2 record overall. TCU has talent with the fifth-best recruiting class in the country according to volleyballmag. Yet, that talent still needs time to come together and is shown in their then-5–7 record this season.
Despite their woes, TCU attempted to take the lead against the Longhorns by using a frenetic pace. The opening set resulted in a 5-5 tie early on, thanks to both teams trading points back and forth. But, TCU started to slip and made multiple service errors that eventually bolstered Texas a 10-6 lead.
The Horned Frogs called a timeout to regain their composure but still struggled in limiting Texas hitting power and were never able to cut the lead below three. Texas would ultimately win the set 25-19.
It was hard to combat three players hitting .500 or better. Freshman Skylar Fields, senior Micaya White and sophomore Jhenna Gabriel all achieved this mark during the first set. Sophomore Brionne Butler also joined the offensive mix in her third game back from injury and registered two kills.
“It feels amazing to finally play again,” Butler siad. “It’s been frustrating, but I’m excited to finally get back at it.”
Freshman middle blocker Asjia O’Neal kept the Longhorns flowing by knocking down three kills and forcing an attack error, planting the seeds for an early Texas lead at 7-4 in the second set. Outside hitter sophomore Logan Eggleston launched an attack with a kill and service ace giving Texas a 10-7 edge.
After three more points by the Longhorns, TCU started to gain their footing again. The lead gradually dwindled from six as senior Ashley Waggle recorded two quick kills. White, Eggleston and O’Neal recorded three kills getting the lead back to six again. Then, the Horned Frogs launched an offensive attack, as freshmen outside hitters Julia Adams and Audrey Nalls seized two kills forcing Eggleston into an attack error slashing the lead to three.
Eggleston quickly bounced back and clenched a kill, followed by a Butler slam a mere moments later putting Texas up 20 to 16. This prevented the Texas boat from tipping over as the Longhorns sailed to a second straight win 25-20.
The offense was showing why it was among the nation’s best with a hitting percentage of .336.
TCU placed all of their chips on the table racing to a 3-1 lead at the beginning of the third set. Texas came back quickly, thanks to a kill from White and two attack errors by the Horned Frogs. Nonetheless, TCU was a thorn in Texas side as they tried to hold on down the stretch.
Both teams traded points with the score swinging back and forth. In spite of the fast pace, Texas finally delivered finishing with a White kill to clinch the set at 25-21.
“I’m proud that we were able to bounce back in the third set,” Butler said. “Sets one and two were really good. We let off in the third a liitle bit but we didn’t let it get past three which was good.”