Logan Eggleston sets Texas volleyball program ace record, team sweeps Kansas State

Tori Garcia, Sports reporter

No. 1 Texas volleyball swept Kansas State on Wednesday and improved its unblemished season record to 13-0 in the Gregory Gymnasium.

The Longhorns advanced their all-time series record against the Wildcats to 49-8 and continued to expand their home dominance to a 28-3 record against Kansas State in Austin. 

Senior setter Saige Kaʻahaʻaina-Torres finished the night with 29 assists, continuing her efforts in spearheading the Longhorns’ offense. Despite it being her first year as a Longhorn, the senior has dished out 471 assists on the year, and has been one of the driving forces of Texas’ success on offense. Entering the match, the Longhorns as a team led the nation in hitting percentage and sported the fifth-most kills per set in the nation.

“She does a really good job at running the court,” junior opposite hitter Molly Phillips said.  “She’s also really responsive with feedback, which is something that is so important with the hitter and setter connections. She’s not afraid to get a little bit of positive criticism or negative criticism and takes it really well, and also gives really good feedback with us and makes it really easy to play with her.”

Sophomore outside hitter Madisen Skinner led the Longhorns with 14 of 45 kills compared to the Wildcats’ 29 kills.  

In the first set, the Longhorns jumped on the ball and took an early lead. Kansas State fought back with some long volleys, but senior outside hitter Logan Eggleston’s seven kills in the set proved to be too demanding for the Wildcats. Although the Longhorns struggled with some first touches and returns, Texas managed to maintain its dominance throughout the set and took set one 25-16

The Wildcats began the second set with more confidence and dominated defensively in the beginning of the set. Head coach Jerritt Elliott said after the match that the Longhorns needed to work on their ball control to counter the Wildcats’ defense. 

“I thought we had some opportunities with our middles, and our middles didn’t score,” Elliott said. “We challenged them to get a little bit more aggressive, and they were able to do that.”

However, Texas responded with some crucial blocks from redshirt senior middle blocker Asjia O’Neal, redshirt junior middle blocker Bella Bergmark, and Phillips that allowed Texas to gain and maintain the lead for the rest of the set. Texas closed and took set two 25-17.

The third set was more closely matched in the beginning, but four kills from Skinner and redshirt senior middle blocker Kayla Caffey carved Texas a 6-point lead. 

Deeper in the set, Eggleston broke the program record for most career service aces, ending the night with 188 across her five years at Texas, topping former Longhorn Mira Topic’s 186. 

“The way that the crowd knew what was happening, and was ready for it and got super excited for me was really awesome,” Eggleston said. “I love getting to play here and getting to leave my name in the record books. Something I wanted to do my freshman year was leave a legacy, and I think that’s one way to do it.”  

Eggleston’s ace alone gave the Longhorns enough momentum and enthusiasm to close the set and the game 25-13.

The Longhorns will play No. 18 Baylor on Saturday in Waco.

“Longhorns travel well,” Phillips said. “So we know we will have a lot of orange in the crowd, too, which is really exciting. They have a really big, nice arena so it’s always fun to get a lot of fans in there and play a really good Baylor team.”