18 Dec

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Longhorn Volleyball Blocked by BYU on Path to National Championship

The Texas volleyball team huddles at the NCAA National Championship Semifinal Game (Photo: courtesy Texassports.com).

The Texas volleyball team huddles at the NCAA National Championship Semifinal Game (Photo: courtesy Texassports.com).

Controversial changed call creates final momentum swing in Texas’ four-set loss to BYU in national semifinals

By Steve Habel/Associate Editor

OKLAHOMA CITY – The least correlated statistic in college volleyball remains the impact of the block to both to the bottom line in the box score and the psyche the team getting a ball back in its face.

But don’t try to tell Texas coach Jerritt Elliott that blocking doesn’t make a huge difference in winning matches at the highest level of the collegiate game – he preaches the importance the block in every practice.

Blocking, and just the thought of being blocked, was the key factor Thursday as BYU used its massive front line to dispatch second-seeded and sixth-ranked Texas 25-23, 25-16, 17-25, 26-24 in the semifinals of the NCAA championship tournament at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

With the loss, the Longhorns fell in the semifinals to

Steve Habel is a senior contributing writer for Horns Illustrated. He has covered Texas sports since 1989 and was this magazine’s senior editor for 24 years. You can follow him on twitter @stevehabel .