No. 1 Volleyball keeps clean record with road sweep against Texas Tech

Katie Borchetta, Sports Reporter

No. 1 Texas volleyball kept its winning streak and unblemished record alive as the Longhorns defeated Texas Tech in Lubbock on Sunday for their seventh sweep of the season.

Sophomore outside hitter Madisen Skinner provided the bulk of offensive output for the Longhorns, finishing with 19 kills for the match. Skinner had a hitting percentage of .529 and had just one attacking error out of 34 hits. Along with Skinner’s success, fifth-year outside hitter Logan Eggleston followed close behind with 17 kills.

Senior libero Zoe Fleck also assisted heavily in the victory. Fleck had a number of impressive digs on defense, which helped out in the transition play to senior setter Saige Ka’aha’aina-Torres. 

Dishing out 40 total assists throughout the match, Ka’aha’aina-Torres also had a strong game passing to Eggleston and Skinner to set up their kills. She also added two kills herself, which she cleverly disguised as sets before she quickly dumped them over the net. 

Redshirt senior middle back Asjia O’Neal and junior opposite hitter Molly Phillips helped the Longhorns on the defensive end with their blocking efforts. O’Neal led the Longhorns with five total blocks and while Phillips added one herself, her presence on the defensive end helped deter some of the Red Raiders’ attacks. 

The first set of the game started strong for the Longhorns with a .429 average hitting percentage for the team. A large number of Texas’ points came from Tech errors resulting in a 25-17 set win. 

The second set was a tighter affair between the Longhorns and Red Raiders thanks to Texas Tech senior outside hitters Regan Cooper and Kenna Sauer. Cooper and Sauer led the Red Raiders in kills with 10 and 12, respectively. Junior setter Reese Rhodes also had an impressive game dishing out passes to her teammates, and she even added a kill herself.

The second set had fewer service errors from Texas Tech and saw a much more advanced offensive and defensive attack, which made it difficult for Texas to put the ball away. However, Texas still prevailed 25-19, with the Longhorns’ offensive movement on the court and their blocking game helping them pull away.

The third and final set initially appeared to be a difficult one for Texas to overcome. The Longhorns had a number of service errors that weren’t as common in the previous two sets. Texas Tech also greatly improved its blocking game, leading to several points for the Red Raiders.

Texas being down on the scoreboard for a majority of the first half of the set forced head coach Jerritt Elliott to take a time out. After the time out, the Longhorns appeared to find their mojo again with the next five plays resulting in four kills from Skinner which ultimately tied the set 17-17. Texas Tech stayed close behind with a kill from Sauer to knot the score at 24-24, but Skinner recorded two kills on the next two points to win the set.

With No. 1 Texas being one of just four remaining unbeaten teams left in the country, the Longhorns will take on TCU at home for their next match on Wednesday.