Victoria Pilar gets a kill. (Photo Jesse Drohen)
The No. 3 Texas volleyball team started slow but finished strong as it swept Texas Tech 3-0 (25-19, 25-17, 25-16) on Wednesday night at Gregory Gym.
The Longhorns (11-2, 4-0) struggled with the Texas Tech Red Raiders (7-12, 0-4 Big 12) for a bit before they could beat a team that has yet to win a Big 12 match this year. The Raiders kept it close in the first third of all three sets but Texas settled down and scored when they had to.
“You are always pleased with a win,” coach Jerritt Elliott said “I think it is important some nights you are not going to be playing your best volleyball, and our team tried to figure it out as the match went along. We worked hard on it, and I thought we got a lot better.”
Despite making 28 errors to hurt themselves, the Longhorns hit for a season high .378 percent in the match, on their way to their 25th straight Big 12 win.
“Our kill percentage was really really good,” Elliott said. “The last couple sets we were 19 of 53. It’s just all the little thing, we’re not playing very cleanly. Those are uncharacteristic errors that we’ve been making and we’ll clean that up.”
Senior Bailey Webster led the Longhorn hitters with 14 kills and a .591 hitting percentage. Middle Blockers Molly McCage, Chiaka Ogbogu, and Sara Hattis all contributed heavily with eight, eight and five kills respectively. All three of the trio of middles hit above .400 and hit above.
In the first set Texas fell behind early in the first set 11-6, but climbed back into the set to even the score at 15-15. Before going on a12-2 run to win the set 25-19.
In the second set Texas Tech took a small lead early but then the set played neck and neck for the majority as the teams tied eleven times. Texas took the lead at 15-14 and never gave it back as they went on to win 25-17.
In the third and final set the play continued similar to the first two early on, the teams tied five times before Texas took the lead at 11-10 and extended it from there. A service ace by Victoria Pilar made the score 15-11, and the freshman from Puerto Rico eventually scored the match winning kill. Pilar finished the night with six kills, an aces, and eight digs.
Texas heads to Lawrence to play Kansas on Saturday. The Jayhawks (enter the match tied with Texas for first place in the Big 12, and on a 10 game winning streak.