The Texas volleyball team swept the Iowa State Cyclones Friday night at the Frank Erwin Center. For the fifth time this season, the Longhorns did not allow their opponents to tally any set wins. Following the game, players spoke about their personal lives off the court.
Head coach Jerritt Elliott was happy with Texas, who went 25-22, 25-22 and 25-21 in the three sets. The Cyclones fought until the end, but the Longhorns were able to come out on top.
“It’s hard winning 3-0 in this sport,” Elliott said. “And I thought they did a really nice job and fought hard together and ended up the right way. I think there’s a lot more calmness right now with our team. I think they're confident in what we can do.”
Libero Morgan O’Brien had 10 digs against Iowa State and has become an integral part of Texas’ game this season. The graduate student from the University of Illinois was not planning to play volleyball when she arrived at Texas. Although she said she missed the sport and was giving private lessons, she was hesitant to return because she had just rescued a pitbull-hound mix she named Luna. O’Brien even put her coaching skills to the test and taught Luna how to pass back and forth. They got eight passes in a row one time.
O’Brien said adjusting to Texas hasn’t always been easy.
“It definitely was really hard because right when I got here,” O’Brien said. “I couldn’t hang out with everyone like you would going on to a regular team just because of the (COVID-19) pandemic and having to be separated a lot of the time. But being together in the gym and in those times, we’ve gotten to know each other a lot better, and I'm adjusting well, and I feel like I really fit in.”
Junior outside hitter Logan Eggleston, who grew up with cats, said O’Brien is always coming to practice with stories about Luna. Eggleston admitted she is not much of a dog person but has to become one for the sake Luna and O’Brien. Their connection and friendship on and off the court grew quickly, Eggleston said.
“It really feels like (O’Brien) has been on our team since I’ve been here,” Eggleston said. “Instantly when she got here, the connection passing with her has just been so easy, and the communication has been so easy. Off the court, she’s such a great friend and amazing person.”
Eggleston has been focusing on school and outdoor activities to keep herself occupied. She said midterms and online school has kept her busy, and the transition from in-person classes to online has been difficult. She said she has also been exploring Austin and getting to know the city safely.
“(I’ve) just (been) trying to find ways to be around Austin … while also being safe, so getting to-go food at different places, eating outside, going to different parks, getting coffee, things like that,” Eggleston said.