No. 1 Texas volleyball tops rival Texas A&M Aggies in 3-1 instant classic

Jordan Mitchell, Sports Reporter

In an electric Texas-Texas A&M showdown, a record-breaking crowd attendance of 6,822 spectators at Reed Arena greeted the Longhorns.

While the crowd noise proved to fluster the Longhorns, Texas pulled out a dramatic win in the fourth set to win the match 3-1 and extend its undefeated season to 8–0.

Outside hitter and team captain Logan Eggleston attributed the win to the Longhorns’ ability to keep composure under the hostile conditions.

“(It was) definitely super hard just to stay focused on the game when they’re chanting and just screaming at us,” Eggleston said. “I think we did a really good job of hearing it, blocking it out and focusing on the game and coming up with a win.”

After losing the third set to the Aggies, Texas kicked off the fourth set with a dominant 5-1 rally, but A&M remained competitive by overwhelming at the front line and capitalizing on two attack errors from Skylar Fields. The Aggies’ efforts were successful, and they brought the set to an even 8-8.

The rest of the set resembled a game of pingpong, as no team trailed by more than one point until the buzzer rang. Eggleston recorded 10 kills in the fourth set, while A&M outside hitter Morgan Christon recorded 7 kills and led the Aggies to a set point opportunity leading 24-23.

A critical kill by opposite hitter Skylar Fields tied the set 24-24, throwing both teams into a frantic game of cat and mouse. Advantage was stripped away from Texas in an overturned call during a set point, while A&M made critical attack errors to even the playing field.

The Longhorns proved they had the grit to survive the Aggie comeback. Just as the game began with an Eggleston kill, it ended with one, breaking the hearts of Aggie fans and putting another dramatic win under Texas’ belt.

While Eggleston recorded her sixth double-double of the season, other Texas players stepped up, too. Redshirt junior Asjia O’Neal recorded 7 kills and a service ace, while All-American middle blocker Brionne Butler recorded a hit percentage of over .500 for the third time this season.

Head coach Jerritt Elliott is proud of his team. While he acknowledges the No. 1 Longhorns still have things to improve upon, his team showed perseverance against a competitive Aggie volleyball team on the road.

“It is hard to win in today’s age,” Elliott said. “There’s a lot of good volleyball players, and they are still winning in this environment. It’s really, really good. I am proud of them.”