No. 4 Texas Volleyball downs LSU, 3-0

Junior All-American Haley Eckerman records her fourth double-double with match-high 15 kills and 16 digs.
Junior All-American Haley Eckerman records her fourth double-double with match-high 15 kills and 16 digs.

BATON ROUGE, La. -- The No. 4 Texas Longhorns downed the LSU Tigers 3-0 (25-12, 25-18, 25-17) Saturday afternoon at the Maravich Center behind a match-high 15 kills by junior All-American Haley Eckerman, 38 assists from freshman setter Chloe Collins and 21 digs by senior libero Sarah Palmer. Eckerman picked up her team-best fourth double-double of the season as she also collected 16 digs in the sweep.

The win marks the Longhorns’ third sweep in the last four matches, including 3-0 victories over Big 12 Conference opponents TCU (Sept. 25) and Oklahoma (Sept. 28).

Despite allowing the Tigers (10-3, 0-1 SEC) a three-point lead to open game one, the Longhorns (10-2, 3-0 Big 12) bounced back with four-straight points to take a 5-4 lead. From there, Texas only allowed its opponent one more lead in the set and used a 10-3 run to force LSU to call a timeout at the 15-9 mark. The Longhorns increased their lead to 18-10 before the Tigers used their second and final timeout, and the Longhorns cruised to a 25-12 game one victory by scoring the final six points of the set.

Down 9-13 in game two, Texas went ahead 15-14 after a 6-1 run that included kills by Eckerman, senior outside hitter Bailey Webster and sophomore middle blocker Molly McCage, an ace from Kat Brooks and an LSU hitting error. Up 16-14 off a Collins kill, Texas tacked on two more points to force the Tigers to call their last timeout. Out of the timeout, Texas put itself on cruise control and closed the match with a 7-3 run that was aided by four LSU hitting errors.

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Texas never trailed in game three, as it jumped out to a 5-0 lead with four straight kills that were capped off by an Amy Neal ace. Eckerman and freshman Chiaka Ogbogu led the Longhorns with five kills apiece in the final frame, and McCage added four.

Texas resumes Big 12 Conference action Wednesday evening when it returns home to Gregory Gym to host Texas Tech at 6:30 p.m. Central.

Post-match Notes
- Texas’ .347 (49-8-118) hitting percentage was its second best this season, narrowly missing the .357 (41-11-84) mark set against UTEP (Aug. 31) in the second match of the year.
- Texas has now won 12 straight contests against LSU.
- The Longhorns are now 10-2 on the year by way of a 4-1 record when playing three games.
- For the fifth time of the season, Texas has held an opponent to a hitting percentage under .200 … LSU hit .127 in the match.
- Junior Haley Eckerman tallied her fourth double-double of the season and the 11th of her career with 16 digs and 15 kills.
- Sophomore Sara Hattis led the Longhorns in blocks for the second consecutive match with four … previously, she co-led in the category at Baylor with freshman Chiaka Ogbugo (six blocks each).
- Ogbugo had a career-high hitting percentage of .556 while improving her career high kills to 11.
- Freshman Chloe Collins produced a career-high three kills and .250 hitting percentage while adding a match-high 38 assists.

James Schleicher

James Schleicher is the publisher of Horns Illustrated magazine. He's also a fifth generation Texan and lifelong Austinite. Follow @HornsIllus twitter to keep up with all things Horns Illustrated.