Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Texas Volleyball has solid new additions after losing prominent players

The Texas Volleyball Team in a celebratory huddle at last years game in Gregory Gym.

While Texas volleyball had to say goodbye to many outstanding players last spring, the team added several new players to the roster which makes the upcoming season seem promising. 

“They’re just a good group of young players right now that are kind of developing and meshing and learning in our gym every day,” Texas volleyball head coach Jerritt Elliot said about his new additions.

Texas held a five set scrimmage in Gregory Gymnasium against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, with Texas taking all five sets against the Islanders.

The matchup did more than just get fans excited for the upcoming season but also showed that the team can still be successful without prominent graduated players like outside hitter Logan Eggleston.

The starting lineup for the scrimmage consisted of returners junior outside hitter Madisen Skinner, senior opposite hitter Molly Phillips, senior middle blocker Bella Bergmark and sophomore libero Emma Halter. New additions, including junior outside hitter Jenna Wenaas and redshirt freshman middle blocker Marianna Singletary, rounded out the starters

The first set started off slow for the Longhorns with poor communication at the net, but with Skinner’s strong outside kills and Wenaas’ and Singletary’s blocking, they were able to take the set 25-20.

There was a better rhythm for the rest of the scrimmage with more communication and fluidity between the Longhorns. Freshman setter Ella Swindle showed promise with consistent solid sets to the outside. Redshirt senior libero Carissa Barnes also debuted her talent in Gregory Gymnasium with some digs. 

“The atmosphere is so awesome,” Barnes said. “Honestly, it makes me nervous, especially playing here for the first time. I’m like, ‘Oh my God, there’s so many people. It’s so loud. I can’t even hear myself speak.’ So just that settling down with the nerves, but I love Gregory. I love playing here. It’s fun.”

By the fourth set, Texas was playing with almost all new players on the court. They seemed to have already developed a strong team dynamic and were able to take the final two sets. 

Freshman outside hitter Jordyn Byrd had several strong kills and redshirt freshman outside hitter Kenna Miller had two back-to-back single blocks in the fourth set that got the crowd excited.

Redshirt freshman setter Mariana Crownover, junior libero Reilly Heinrich and freshman opposite Auburn Tomkinson are other new additions to Texas’ roster that were able to see playing time for their first time in Gregory Gymnasium.

Not only are the new players adjusting to the new environment, but older Texas players say they can feel a difference in the team from last year’s group of national champions as well.

“This season, it’s just a matter of us adjusting,” Skinner said. “You’re playing next to new people, but everyone’s been great. They’re just kind of making adjustments when necessary and learning when to take which ball, but it’s obviously a brand new team. We’re gelling so quickly, which is not normal, but that’s just testament to the girls and their work ethic. It’s been great so far.” 

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