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

No. 6 Texas volleyball beats Rice for consecutive sweep victories at home

Eva Asfahani
Junior Madisen Skinner hits the ball over the net durig the game against Rice on Sept. 11, 2023.

No. 6 Texas swept the Rice Owls, defending its home court yet again in sweeping fashion after its previous sweep against Florida Gulf Coast University, improving to 4–2 on the season. This win marks the Longhorns’ third straight and 39th all-time victory against the Owls. 

Junior Madisen Skinner led the Longhorns to their victory with her best performance of the season, tallying 19 kills on a season-best .417 hitting percentage. Freshman setter Ella Swindle dished out 33 assists as she continues to grow as an offensive leader.

Texas dominated the first set behind Skinner’s seven kills and a .700 hitting percentage. The Longhorns started the set trading points but quickly got out to an early 8-2 run, forcing Rice into a timeout as Texas led 12-6. Another quick burst of three straight points from the Longhorns grew the lead to 15-6, forcing Rice into another timeout. The Longhorns never looked back, winning the set 25-16. 

Texas kept up the pressure into the second set, establishing an early 11-3 lead, but the Longhorns were met with more resistance. Rice responded with its own run, outscoring Texas 11-5 to bring the set within two at 16-14, resulting in a Texas timeout. Rice continued to claw at the Texas lead but could not close the gap as Texas took the set at a much closer 25-21. 

The Longhorns quickly established themselves in the third set with a 7-1 lead. Texas never let Rice close the gap and finished the match with the Longhorn faithful on their feet with their horns up as sophomore Devin Kahahawai got the last kill to finish the set 25-15. 

“It’s great to have energy, and we love our fans,” Skinner said. “They’re fantastic, and their energy contributes so much it’s awesome.”

The Longhorns will face another big, early season test at home as their next two games are against two top 25 opponents, No. 19 Ohio State and No. 11 Washington State. Skinner emphasized the mindset of the Longhorns as they continue to find their footing with a young team.

“Next ball mentality: You’re going to make a great play, and then you might make an error,” Skinner said. “Making sure we can be good at bouncing back and keeping a calm mindset. Next ball mentality is the key for us.” 

Head coach Jerritt Elliott is also focused on honing the team’s mentality as their season progresses and hopes to continue toward improvement and victories.

“We’ve got a really tough stretch here,” Elliott said. “It’s a grind mentality, trying to get in there and get better and just keep pushing.”

The Longhorns’ next chance to take the court and continue their win streak will be against Ohio State at Gregory Gym on Thursday at 7:00 p.m.

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