Longhorns hope to punch ticket to Kansas City with win over TCU

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Junior outside hitter Ebony Nwanebu and the Longhorns will travel north to Lawrence, Kansas, to play the Jayhawks this weekend. No. 6 Kansas ranks second in the Big 12 standings.
Photo Credit: Joshua Guerra | Daily Texan Staff

Before their match with Texas Tech last Friday, the Longhorns knew what was at stake for them moving forward.

With three games left on the schedule, Texas (8–8–1, 1–5–1 Big 12) could control its own destiny if it wanted to solidify its spot in the Big 12 tournament. The team couldn’t afford to look ahead and lose track of where it was.

“I think we did a really good job of it starting last week,” senior defender Isabelle Kerr said. “We told ourselves [last] Friday our season is 90 minutes tonight. Sunday, our season is 90 minutes today. So [Friday], our season is 90 minutes, and we got to go get a W.”

The Longhorns beat the Red Raiders last Friday and lost a close match with No. 1 West Virginia on Sunday. 

Texas still controls its own destiny with a win over TCU in Fort Worth on Friday. Texas is currently tied for No. 7 in the Big 12 standings, and the top eight teams make the tournament in Kansas City. 

The Longhorns hope to solidify their fate in the Big 12 tournament with a win over the Horned Frogs.

“But that only happens by everybody doing their role, believing and staying motivated,” Kerr said. “So that’s our focus right now.”

It’s no secret Texas likely needs to win the Big 12 tournament to make the NCAA tournament.

But the Longhorns’ confidence has not wavered.

Last Sunday’s match against No. 1 West Virginia, in which the Longhorns outshot the Mountaineers in the first half 6-3, proved to the team that it can hang with the best of the best.

“We played them really tough,” senior midfielder Julia Dyche said. “That’s the level that we know that we can play at, and that’s what we expect.”

If the Longhorns do beat TCU and punch their ticket to Kansas City, they likely won’t see the No. 1 Mountaineers again until the Big 12 title match — if they happen to make it that far. However, if Texas ties TCU and Texas Tech beats Oklahoma on Friday, then the Longhorns would face the Mountaineers in the opening round.

Either way, the Longhorns are preparing for a deep postseason run. 

“I think that just this [past] weekend, it shows the power of when we all believe,” Kerr said. “We can go toe-to-toe with the No. 1 team in the nation. I look forward to beating them in the Big 12 tournament.”