26 Sep

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No. 5 Texas Volleyball Sweeps TCU in Big 12 Conference Opener

Haley Eckerman led the Longhorns with a match-high 13 kills in the win.

Haley Eckerman led the Longhorns with a match-high 13 kills in the win.

FT. WORTH, Texas – The No. 5 Texas Volleyball team began the 2013 Big 12 Conference season with a 3-0 (25-19, 25-16, 25-15) sweep against TCU Wednesday evening at University Recreation Center. Junior All-American Haley Eckerman led the Longhorns with a match-high 13 kills in the win, while seniors Hannah Allison and Sarah Palmer added a match-high 25 assists and 10 digs, respectively.

Texas (7-2, 1-0 Big 12) broke a 5-all tie in the first set with a slight 3-1 run spurred by a stuff by sophomore middle blocker Molly McCage. The Longhorns narrowly sustained their lead over the next few rallies, but the Horned Frogs came back to tie the match at 11 after a pair of hitting errors by Eckerman and a service error from Kat Brooks. Texas climbed back on top for a 15-13 lead after a three-point rally of its own that included an ace and kill by Khat Bell and a block from McCage and Allison. The Horned Frogs answered the rally with their own 4-0 run for a 17-16 advantage, but the Longhorns shut down their opponent with a 9-2 finish to take the first set.

UT never trailed in game two and built a five-point lead near the halfway mark of the set, 14-9. TCU (11-4, 0-1 Big 12) closed the gap to 14-12 with a three-point rally that included two kills and a block, but Texas came out of a timeout and took advantage of a pair of TCU hitting errors to build its lead back to 16-12. The Longhorns cruised to a 25-16 game two victory while hitting 41.7 percent (12-2-24) to the Horned Frogs’ 16.1 (11-6-31).

Game three was much of the same story for the Longhorns as they jumped out to a 8-2 lead. Down 11-4, TCU clawed its way to a three-point deficit at 11-8 before Texas called timeout. Following the timeout, TCU closed the gap to one, 13-12, but that’s as close as the game would get as Texas put the match out of reach for its first conference opponent.

Texas returns home for its Big 12 Conference home opener Saturday afternoon when it hosts Oklahoma at 3 p.m.Central.  Fans are encouraged to come out early to Gregory Gym and celebrate “Texas Traditions.” As part of the celebration, Bevo XIV, the Longhorns famed mascot, will be on hand for photo opportunities in addition to Smokey the Cannon, Big Bertha (the world's largest bass drum), Texas Cheer, and Hook 'Em. Don't forget to bring your camera as these traditions will be available for photo opportunities before the match from 1:30-2:45 p.m.(weather permitting).

#HookEm

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.