No. 6 Texas (23-2, 15-1)
Gregory Gymnasium (4,000) – Austin, Texas
NCAA Championships First and Second Rounds
Thursday, Dec. 4 – 7 p.m. (or 30 minutes after first match)
Friday, Dec. 5 – 8 p.m.
Live Audio: texas.leanplayer.com
Match #26: Northwestern State (16-16, 6-2) at Texas (23-2, 15-1)
All-time Series vs. Lady Demons: Longhorns lead, 1-0 (N:1-0)
Last Meeting & Texas Win: Oct. 12, 1975 (2-0)
Last Opponent Win: N/A
Match #27: winner of Arizona State (19-13, 9-11) vs. Texas A&M (21-8, 13-5)
All-time Series vs. Sun Devils: Longhorns lead, 6-2 (H: 1-0, A: 0-0, N: 5-2)
All-time Series vs. Aggies: Longhorns lead, 72-23 (H: 37-5, A: 23-13; N: 12-5)
- Texas is making its 31st NCAA Tournament appearance...the Longhorns are a perfect 27-0 in first round matches and 56-9 all-time in NCAA matches played in Austin...Texas sports a 75-28 (.728) mark in NCAA Championship matches...this marks the 11th-straight year that the Longhorns have hosted the NCAA Tournament...In total, Texas has hosted an NCAA first round match 24 times in program history.
- Senior outside hitter Haley Eckerman made Texas history once again on Monday after she was named Big 12 Player of the Year for the third-straight year, a feat that no player has accomplished in program history...Head Coach Jerritt Elliott was named Big 12 Coach of the Year for the fifth time in his career at Texas...Senior Khat Bell and sophomore Chiaka Ogbogu were named All-Big 12 First Team...Junior Amy Neal was named All-Big 12 honorable mention...Freshman Cat McCoy earned All-Big 12 Freshman Team honors.
Media Availability Quotes
Head Coach Jerritt Elliott
On getting ready for NCAAs: This is obviously a special time of year. We’ve been working to get to this point and it will give us a chance to put ourselves in a position to be successful. We could feel ityesterday in practice—just a little more energy at practice, we were a lot more crisp. I think they are genuinely excited about this opportunity.
On what they learned from the loss to Florida: Well, we learned through all the film that we watched after the game. I think the great lesson we learned is that it was a wake-up call and we had an opportunity to win. But it’s one match at a time for us right now. We have the ability to win every single match.
On upsets in the tournament: You start seeing it more and more each year. A&M is a great team and was almost got a top seed. Arizona State is a very good team. They played 13 five-set matches and went to five with Stanford, so they have shown that they are able to play at a very high level. It’s exciting, it’s what you want to be a part of and this should be a great weekend.
On the team’s mentality going into the tournament: They understand. Their comments have been, ‘it’s not about wins and losses, it’s about ending peoples’ seasons—whether it’s our season or it’s their season. So the urgency and focus, in terms of the preparation, have to be there. We saw that yesterday and we will see how it goes today.
On if the loss to Florida raises concerns: There are always concerns from the coaching staff. Any coaching staff that relies on just being good and relaxes are setting themselves up for failure. It’s about teaching moments—these players are still really young and we utilized that as a teaching moment and feel like we can get better from it. At the end of the day, we potentially still have three more weeks to improve. That’s what our goal is—is to get better every day in practice and build our trust in our systems.
On having the home crowd: It’s very important. Unfortunately, we haven’t really packed this place during first and second rounds. We need people to come out and be a part of it and create some momentum for us. It’s nice, because we are home and we can continue with our routines. Academically, it’s a busy week, so there are a lot of benefits.
Senior Haley Eckerman
On the team’s mindset: I think the biggest thing is just taking it one game at a time. In conference, we knew that we had a set amount of games. Now, we just need to take it one game, one point, one set at a time.
On playing Florida: Having that game at the end of the season helped us, it gave us that refocus and helps us with what we need to clean up before the tournament starts.
On the loss: Everyone is upset about a loss, but I think it was more of a wake-up call for us. We realize that we can’t just walk in and expect teams to lie down for us. Teams are going to give us their toughest match, especially in tournament play, because no one has anything to lose now. Everyone is going to be playing the best that they can against us, so we need to be better ourselves.
On the parity in the tournament: Jerritt talks about it all the time. There are so many good teams. When we were watching the Selection Show, we were trying to figure out who was going to win where and it was so hard, especially during tournament time. Anyone can play any way at any time. You don’t know who is going to show up one day and who isn’t. It will be exciting to see the upsets in the tournament.