The Texas volleyball team continued its home dominance over Iowa State on Thursday, sweeping the Cyclones for its fourth sweep in five matches.
The Longhorns have never lost to the Cyclones in Austin and haven’t lost in the series since 2016. Sophomore middle blocker Molly Phillips attributed their success at home to the comfort level they have playing in Austin despite the change in venue for this season.
“It’s always been the Gregory experience,” Phillips said after the match. “Switching to playing in Frank Erwin (Center) has obviously been a huge difference, but I think our fans, season ticket holders, our families still show out.”
Junior outside hitter Logan Eggleston began the match with a kill, similar to what she’s done all season. Eggleston once again led the Longhorns with 14 kills on the night. Iowa State fought hard in the first set, but ultimately Texas pulled away, taking it 25-19.
“She’s got a lot of experience, but she’s got great composure,” head coach Jerritt Elliott said. “She just plays the game at a high level.”
The Iowa State bench brought the energy in the second set, filling the Erwin Center with noise after a key block from their teammates. However, after an inconsistent outing last Friday, Phillips found a groove and led the Longhorns to the 25-22 second-set victory.
Phillips said her success was due to the sets she received from junior setter Jhenna Gabriel, something she said the two have been working on a lot in practice.
“All props to her,” Phillips said. “She put me in such good positions to put the ball away.”
Elliott said he thought it was Gabriel’s best night setting behind in terms of location. He said he was really happy with the way his team played tonight.
“We’re getting that ball closer to the pin,” Elliott said. “It’s opening things up down the line, and now it’s really hard to pick spots on it. When those two are together with the way our left sides are playing and with Asjia (O’Neal) scoring, it’s obviously potent.”
Texas opened up a double-digit lead in the third set and held on to it the rest of the way to complete the sweep over Iowa State.
The Longhorns all stood with locked arms and horns raised at chest level for the playing of “The Eyes of Texas” following the match. Last week, the Texas players remained huddled during the playing of the school song.
The Longhorns will look to win again Friday night in the second match of the season series against Iowa State.
“I think we’re just excited to get to play at home against a good, physical Iowa State team,” Phillips said. “We have such big goals coming into games and not letting up, and I think that’s something we want to prove to ourselves.”