No. 1 Volleyball record remains unblemished with eighth sweep of season against TCU


Kara Hawley

Sophomore outside hitter Madisen Skinner goes up to hit the ball against Denver on Sept. 9, 2022. Texas won 3 sets and took the win.

Tori Garcia, Volleyball reporter

No.1 Texas volleyball picked up its 12th win and eighth sweep of the season on Wednesday, demolishing TCU 3-0 in Gregory Gym.  

Texas totaled 44 kills to TCU’s 33. Sophomore outside hitter Madisen Skinner led the night with 15 kills and a .480 hit percentage. The Longhorns completed their 13th consecutive win and seventh consecutive sweep against the Horned Frogs while expanding their all-time series lead over TCU to 23-1.

On Tuesday, Skinner was named Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week and continued to prove her dominance on Wednesday against TCU.

“It motivates me,” Skinner said. “It’s kind of a good pick-me-up just to know that my hard work is paying off and knowing I have amazing teammates to support me, and they are happy for me.”

In the first set, Skinner came out swinging and tallied nine kills. Skinner and senior setter Saige Ka’aha’aina-Torres’ connection at the net proved to be the factor that closed set one at 25-20. 

“Saige and I are super close off the court, obviously, and that translates onto the court,” Skinner said. “We have really been working on our connection, kudos to her, all of our sets are very different from each other and she’s able to place them in a perfect spot every time.”  

TCU looked drained in the second set while Texas seemed to get a quick jump on the ball from the start. The Longhorns took an early lead and managed to maintain their dominance throughout the set regardless of some miscommunication errors on Texas’ side of the court.  

The Horned Frogs centered their play on senior outside hitter Audrey Nalls and senior outside hitter Julia Adams, but the Longhorns responded with important blocks from redshirt junior Bella Bergmark, which ultimately led Texas to take set two at 25-15.  

“I think our touches need to be a little bit cleaner,” head coach Jerritt Elliott said.  “I think we passed a lot of balls to the right pin and we had a hard time siding out, so I think if we can get more balls high on the center, we need to keep getting the middles involved more and more.”

The Horned Frogs struggled at the start of the third set with communication errors and out of bounds kills. A substitution of sophomore outside hitter Melanie Parra mid set to appear at the service line caused the Longhorns fans to erupt with enthusiasm. She went 0-for-2 on her serves in the third set, but that didn’t stop Skinner from praising the energy Parra brings with her serve when she’s on her game.

“Mel is an amazing player and she hits so hard with so much depth on our bench,” Skinner said.  “We have, genuinely, 18 people that can start on our court, so we’ve been battling out in practice and it’s super exciting when she gets to come in and serve. Her serve is absolutely insane, it puts a lot of pressure on the other side.”

Texas’ offense mainly centered on kills from Parra and Skinner the majority of the third set.  Kill after kill, TCU’s defense was no match for the Longhorns’ swings at the net and Texas took the third and final set 25-17. 

Texas volleyball has the upcoming weekend off and Elliott emphasized that both him and his players will be able to enjoy the Red River Rivalry game on Saturday in Dallas.  

“We are trying to keep them emotionally fresh, physically fresh and put a smile on their face,” Elliott said. “There’s a lot of stuff that’s going on with them and (we want to) let them be college students with degrees.”  

The Longhorns will be back on the court next Wednesday with a matchup against Kansas State in Gregory Gym.