Amber Roberson and the No. 11 Longhorns are on a tear, winning their fourth-straight match Saturday against Texas Tech 3-0 and looking more and more like the Texas team many expected to see before the season.
Roberson was the featured player for the Texas offense in the 25-13, 25-14, 25-14 victory, notching a career-best 17 kills. She added six digs and two blocks while finishing with a .500 attack percentage to round out her best performance of the season, the latest in a string of impressive play by the junior outside hitter during Texas’ hot streak.
The Longhorns (12-5, 7-2 Big 12) looked for Roberson early and often as she had a team-leading 28 attacks and was active from start to finish as the Red Raiders (3-15, 1-8) had no answer for her.
“They were definitely looking for me, especially in the back row because we have been practicing that,” Roberson said. “The practice that we have been doing really helped tonight.”
Roberson carried the load offensively for Texas with the usual suspects, senior outside hitter Juliann Faucette and junior middle blocker Rachael Adams, deferring to Roberson’s hot hand.
“It is nice to be able to count on different people every night and see Amber Roberson’s game continue to step up as the season progresses,” said head coach Jerritt Elliott.
Roberson was dominant in all three sets, with five kills in each of the first two sets before finishing the match strong with seven in the final frame, including four kills during an early 10-1 run by Texas that effectively sealed the win for the Longhorns.
The Longhorns were without the services of freshman setter Hannah Allison, who wore a boot on her left leg as she cheered on her teammates from the sideline, but Texas turned to Michelle Kocher and she filled in nicely with a game-high 33 assists.
“I thought our team flowed really well with Michelle stepping in to set and getting the quarterback duties tonight,” Elliott said.
Texas’ rhythm did not skip a beat with the junior from Wheaton, Ill., distributing the ball and getting a host of players involved.
“Since our middles have been doing really well in the recent games, I think that Texas Tech had their eye out for them,” Kocher said. “What I saw open was the pin players and working around the middles because they had been doing such a great job. Really, the middles were doing the work opening up for everyone else.”
The Longhorns won in straight sets for the third time in their last four matches. The game was never in question as the heavily favored Longhorns dispatched Texas Tech in front of a season-high 3,113 fans at Gregory Gymnasium for their 19th straight win over the Red Raiders in the Elliott era.
Texas sits behind Nebraska atop the Big 12 standings with the Longhorns returning to action Wednesday as they travel to Kansas to take on the Jayhawks at 6:30 p.m.