Before Thursday’s match against Texas Tech, the Texas volleyball team listened to Drake on a boombox in the locker room to get in the zone.
Junior outside hitter Logan Eggleston, who had 20 kills in three sets on Thursday, said one player becomes the designated DJ before matches and chooses one artist to play on the locker room speaker. The players get their energy up while they read over their scouting reports and remind themselves of the opposing team’s hitting patterns.
The Longhorns’ pregame playlist did its job, as they swept the Raiders in front of the 1,472 fans at the Frank Erwin Center to remain undefeated at home. Although tonight’s win raises their record to 9–0, Texas Tech exposed areas the Longhorns need to improve before their next match Friday.
“I didn't think we were as clean as we could have been in the first two games,” head coach Jerritt Elliott said. “We had some opportunities to get some real distance and just had some simple touches that we didn't take care of, and we're struggling with our blocking a little bit, giving them some outs … But I thought as the match went along, we got a lot better, and we played a lot smoother obviously in Game 3 and played steady enough to put it together.”
Texas was shaky in controlling Texas Tech’s hitting patterns in the first two sets, and it was especially evident in the second. Texas led Texas Tech 12-8 until a series of errors from the Longhorns and kills from the Red Raiders culminated in seven unanswered points that set Texas back 15-12.
During timeouts, Elliott said he tells the players to remember what they learn in practice.
“I just told them to go back to what we do when we train,” Elliott said. “We got to rely on that and we got to be in that situation, and it's great that we got a great server putting some heat on us. That's not the first time it's going to happen. Let’s see how we'll respond here, coming out of the timeout.”
The Red Raiders did not maintain the momentum for much longer; a kill from sophomore middle blocker Molly Phillips revitalized Texas and led to five kills that gave them back the lead and another set win. Texas suffocated Texas Tech in the last set with 14 kills and a final score of 25-12.
They are the only undefeated team in the Big 12, but the Longhorns have not let their nine-match win streak get to their heads. Eggleston said the team doesn’t think too much about the fact that they are undefeated and goes out every match to play their best game.
“It feels really good,” Eggleston said. “Every single week we go in, not with the intentions, ‘Oh, we're not gonna let teams beat us.’ We're going in making sure we're competing at the highest level. … We're not going to let (being undefeated) define us. Every single game is a new game, and every single night, a team's going to come in and compete with us, so we come in every night with a new mentality.”