Texas volleyball beats Texas State in fourth sweep of season

Hannah Williford

Texas volleyball is busy.

On Saturday, the team joined the rest of the Longhorn students to watch Texas football beat Louisiana and were recognized on the field for winning the Big 12 title last year. On Sunday, the Longhorns entered the gym to sweep No. 20 Stanford. And on Tuesday, they returned again to take care of business against Texas State.

Texas swept the Bobcats, just like the Cardinals. But while the stands were shoulder to shoulder on Sunday, today, fans gathered in groups of four or five, spread throughout the stadium. While Texas State doesn’t represent the same competitive challenge as Minnesota or Stanford, setter Jhenna Gabriel said they tried to treat tonight’s game the same.

“Especially in the preseason we have a lot of big matches,” Gabriel said. “So it’s really important for us to try and go in and play every single match the same exact way.”

Gabriel said through a combination of the cheerleaders, band and their own spirit, Texas kept the energy alive. It certainly did not stop the Longhorns from putting forward a strong performance. In the first set, offensive hitter Melanie Parra showed off her serving skills with a service ace that caught the net before falling to the other side. Skylar Fields put up seven kills in just the first set, helping the team to a 25-18 win.

“Skylar was her best that she’s been all season long,” head coach Jerritt Elliott said. “She scored from the left and the right, had great energy and even got some opportunities to serve at the line.”

The second set was a second beating, with Texas coming out on top 25-13, and the third ended the same way.

As Texas entered the third set, even with a close start, they were in control. While a few volleys caused a scramble for Texas, the Longhorns still sent Texas State players diving across the court to keep the ball alive.

“I think our serving continued to be overwhelming for them,” Elliott said. “I wish our passing tests were a little bit better. So we’re gonna continue to work on that to be a little bit more on point but besides that, we did a really nice show.”

Offensive hitter Logan Eggleston, who was named Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week, had not only 15 kills in the match, but 12 digs and two service aces.

Six players had service aces by the end of the night, and six had at least one kill, including libero Nalani Iosia. By the end of the night, Fields racked up 14.

After a long weekend of play, Texas will be on the court again Friday and Sunday to play Arizona and Notre Dame. While players will get a day off of practice tomorrow, they will still be in class. Gabriel said although the schedule can be rigorous, especially returning to in-person classes, the team supports each other along the way.

“I think it’d be really easy right now to just lean back on the fact that we’re so tired and use that to make excuses for the way we’re playing,” Gabriel said. “I think that we haven’t done that at all. I think it says a lot about our team and the way we’re there for each other.”