Haley Eckerman

Although she posted a strong first season in the fall, freshman libero Cat McCoy might not see action this spring after re-aggravating a foot injury during the USA Volleyball tryouts.
Photo Credit: Marshall Tidrick | Daily Texan Staff

When Texas takes the court Friday against SMU, the team will be missing four players.

Freshman libero Cat McCoy is day-to-day after re-aggravating a foot injury during the USA Volleyball tryouts. McCoy was the team’s starting libero in 2014 and didn’t play at the team’s season opener in Hawaii on March 19.

Sophomore utility player Nicole Dalton is out for the spring as she rehabs an injury in order to be fully prepared for the fall season.

Texas lost junior middle blocker Sara Hattis after she decided to join the women’s basketball team full-time. The Longhorns will also be without junior outside hitter Tiffany Baker, who plans to take a medical redshirt to recover from an ongoing knee injury. Baker played sparingly in 2014.

For the first time in four years, Texas volleyball will also take the court in Gregory Gym without Haley Eckerman and Khat Bell.

Eckerman and Bell finished their four-year careers at Texas with four Big 12 championships, three NCAA Final Four appearances and an NCAA Championship.

Eckerman was a two-time AVCA First-Team All-American, named the 2013 Volleyball Magazine National Player of the Year and a two-time Big 12 Conference Player of the Year. Bell was the 2012 COBRA Magazine Defensive National Player of the Year, a two-time AVCA All-America honorable mention and a three-time All-Big 12 First Team honoree.

The Longhorns began their first spring season without the duo in early March. Texas dropped the game against the Rainbow Warriors 3–1 (25–15, 20–25, 15–25, 23–25). 

Outside hitters junior Amy Neal and sophomore Paulina Prieto Cerame led Texas with 12 kills. Junior libero Kat Brooks also led the team with 23 digs. Texas’ middle blockers, junior Molly McCage, sophomore Chiaka Ogbogu and freshman Mirta Baselovic, had eight blocks each. Sophomore setter Chloe Collins amassed 34 assists.

The Longhorns take on SMU at 6 p.m. on the Longhorn Network. Texas will continue spring play in Houston at the F.A.S.T.  Tournament, followed by the Collegiate Showcase in Dallas, and will conclude the spring season with a game against UTSA on April 24.

OKLAHOMA CITY–The most overused cliché in sports is the David vs. Goliath story, where the underdog team finds a way to win against a team they weren’t supposed to beat.

It’s a feel good, Cinderella story that almost everyone roots for—everyone that is, except for the team that is looking to win and advance.

Headed into its national semifinal match, Texas finds itself in this very situation facing a BYU team that almost no one outside of Provo, Utah, would have picked to make it this far.

“We’re ready to play,” senior outside hitter Haley Eckerman said. “It doesn’t matter who it is. We’re just ready to battle.”

While Texas spent the entire season ranked inside the top ten in the AVCA coach’s poll, BYU fluttered in and out of the top ten. Despite finishing the year with a 25-4 record, the Cougars ended up 17th in the RPI and had to travel for the first and second rounds.

Along the way to the Final Four, BYU sprung upset after upset, taking down No. 11 Arizona, No. 6 Florida State and capping it all off with a dominant 3-0 sweep of No. 14 Nebraska in the Seattle Region final on Saturday.

“Now, we're just in a position that these kids, there's some sort of confirmation of their hard work in terms of they're the ones that put out this goal,” said BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead. “To be able to actually see a plan in place in life and here it is and here's what we've got to do to get there, I mean, that's pretty darn remarkable.”

On the other hand, Texas breezed through its first three matches of the tournament, including wins over Arizona State and No. 15 Colorado State while not dropping a single set; however, the Longhorns met a formidable opponent in North Carolina in the Minneapolis Region final.

After taking the first set, the Longhorns struggled against the Tar Heels as North Carolina rolled off point after point en route to a 25-18 set win to take all of the momentum into intermission. But Texas rolled out in the second half of the match taking the third set and then surviving a marathon fourth set to advance to its third-straight Final Four.

Eckerman, who was triple-block most of that night by the Tar Heels, said that there are a number of things they can take from that match over to their semifinal meeting with BYU, especially not underestimating any team.

“North Carolina played amazing against us and challenged us,” Eckerman said. “It showed that when we are challenged, in the fourth set especially, if we look each other in the eyes and know we can do this, then we can come out and win.”

But BYU isn’t planning on backing down now that they’ve made it this far and they’re not necessarily taking on that underdog role.

“Honestly I haven't thought too much about it,” Olmstead said. “These kids haven't worried too much about that either.”

The Cougars bread and butter this season has been their block. BYU led the country with 441 total blocks and 3.87 blocks per set and posted 12 blocks in the win over Nebraska. Up front the Cougars are led by a trio of blockers in sophomores Whitney Young and Amy Boswell and senior Jennifer Hamson who each have 1.35 blocks per set or more this season.

But Eckerman said that North Carolina trying to block her with three people has helped her prepare for BYU’s block.

“It showed on the last kill I got that I had to take different swings,” Eckerman said. “That’s the thing about being an outside hitter is that you have to manage.”

Hamson has also been great for the Cougars on the attack as well, posting 3.75 kills per set, including nine against Nebraska. Texas head coach Jerritt Elliott said that they have to make sure they contain her.

“She can play at a very high above the net,” Elliott said. “She can pretty much go over us if she's in rhythm and able to score. And when she's on fire, she's one of the best players in the country.”

If Texas were to win the semifinal match, a difficult match in the championship would await with Stanford and Penn State squaring off in the other semifinal Thursday night.

Stanford comes into its semifinal match after being the top team in the coach’s poll since Sept. 8, the first poll after they defeated Penn State on Sept. 5 in a five-set thriller. The Cardinal come with the second-highest hitting percentage of the four teams remaining at .316 and junior setter Madi Bugg leads the nation with 12.11 assists per set.

“We had a great match with them and one of our goals certainly this year is to be one of the teams that works to get better every week,” Dunning said.

Penn State comes in looking to score a championship in the home area of senior setter Micha Hancock, who’s from Edmond, Oklahoma. Hancock, who leads the fifth-seeded Nittany Lions 11.53 assists per set and leads the country with 1.03 aces per set, said she was initially excited to play the Final Four in her home state, though it has come with distractions.

“When I found out it was here I was like, no way, it’s my senior year and there’s nothing more to get back here to have a chance to compete for the championship,” Hancock said. “It’s one game at a time for me and my team to see what we can do.”

But the task at hand for the Longhorns is to beat an unseeded BYU team. In each of the last two trips to the Final Four, Texas is 1-1 against unseeded teams in the national semifinal—beating Michigan 3-2 in 2012 and losing 3-1 to Wisconsin last year. And with the goal seeming to always be to get to the Final Four, Elliott said they’re ready to get another shot at winning it all.

“We've got another great opportunity in front of us with BYU,” Elliott said. “And hopefully we can make our university proud by the way we fight and get out there and compete.”

Until this point, the road for the Longhorns in the postseason had been relatively easy. Texas survived a slow start against Northwestern State, then easily dispatched Arizona State and No. 15 Colorado State to get to the Minneapolis Region final.

But against North Carolina, the Longhorns had to dig deep.

Texas bounced back after a rough second set, which North Carolina lead from start to finish, and then survived a tenacious Tar Heel attack in the fourth set to take the match 3-1 and advance to the national semifinals for the third-straight year.

After both teams traded points to start the match, the Longhorns finally broke free with a 3-0 run to take an early 5-2 lead. North Carolina would fight back numerous times to close the gap to 6-7 and then later to 15-17, but Texas would follow with a 4-0 run to take a 21-15 lead and close out the 25-21 set win with two kills from senior outside hitter Haley Eckerman.

The second set, however, would be one that the Longhorns would rather forget.

The Tar Heels came out on fire, taking a quick 5-0 lead, which included back-to-back service aces by junior outside hitter Leigh Andrew, and set the tone for how the set would be played. Texas would manage to pull back to within a point three times, but North Carolina held off those runs and then went on runs of 5-1 and 6-1 to level the match with a 25-18 set win.

After the 10-minute intermission break, the Longhorns came back out more composed, taking an early 6-3 lead. The Tar Heels continued to battle back, answering every Texas run with a run of their own. However, with a 21-20 lead, Texas finished off the set with a 4-0 run, including two Tar Heels hitting errors to take a 2-1 match advantage.

But it would be the fourth set that would be the most competitive set.

Texas grabbed a quick 7-4 lead only to see North Carolina take over a few points later with an 11-10 lead. The Longhorns then responded with a 5-0 run with Eckerman at the line to take a sizeable 15-11 lead; however, once again the Tar Heels clawed back into the set, eventually taking a 24-22 lead as they tried to extend the match.

But Texas managed to stave off three set points thanks to a Tar Heel service error, a block and a kill by senior outside hitter Khat Bell, then took a 26-25 advantage with another block. North Carolina, as it had all match, continued to fight, keeping Texas from getting the two-point advantage it needed to end the match until an attack error gave the Longhorns the 31-29 set win and a spot in the Final Four.

Four Longhorns finished the night with double-digit kills as the team combined for a .272 hitting percentage. Eckerman led the team with 14 kills, despite the Tar Heel’s strategy of trying to put a triple block on her, and drilled two aces. Junior outside hitter Amy Neal posted 11 kills and lead the team with 15 digs.

The Longhorns advance to the Final Four for the third-straight year and the sixth time in the last seven years. Texas will take on the winner over BYU vs. Nebraska, who played late Saturday night, in Oklahoma City on Thursday.

If there were any doubts that the six-day layoff between the second-round win over Arizona State would hurt the Longhorns, they were put away pretty quickly on Friday.

Behind three kills by senior outside hitter Haley Eckerman in the first seven points of the match, No. 2 seed Texas set the tone of the regional semifinal early on and kept pouring it on against No. 15 seed Colorado State for the sweep to advance to the regional final with a chance to get back to the Final Four.

After taking the quick 6-1 lead in the first set, the Longhorns survived numerous attempts by the Rams to get back into the set. Colorado State initially answered with a 3-1 run to cut the deficit to 10-8. Then after Texas went on a 3-1 run, the Rams answered with a 5-2 run to get the Longhorn lead down to 21-19. However, following a timeout, Texas rolled on with a 4-0 run, including two aces by sophomore setter Nicole Dalton, to take the set 25-19.

The second set started out in similar fashion as the Longhorns jumped out to a 5-2 lead, but the Rams immediately answered with a 4-0 run to take their first lead at 6-5. After going back-and-forth for a few points, Texas broke away with a 9-3 run to take a 19-13 lead en route to a 25-18 set win and a 2-0 match lead.

The third set followed a similar path as the Longhorns broke out of the intermission break with a 6-2 lead, only for the Rams to answer with a 6-0 run to take an 8-6 lead. But the Texas came right back with a 4-0 run of its own to take a 10-8 lead.

The Longhorns would never trail again in the set, finishing off the set with a 25-17 lead.

Eckerman played a critical role in helping her and fellow senior outside hitter Khat Bell’s Texas career alive, drilling 16 kills and posting a .364 hitting percentage. Dalton finished the night with three service aces and 18 assists. On the offensive end, the Longhorns posted a .327 hitting percentage.

On the defensive end, junior outside hitter Amy Neal lead the team with 14 digs while freshman Cat McCoy came up big with 12 digs. The Longhorns outblocked the Rams eight to three and held Colorado State to a .175 hitting percentage.

Texas advances to Saturday’s regional final for the ninth straight season and will face No. 7 seed North Carolina, who beat Oregon 3-1 Friday

Photo Credit: Daulton Venglar | Daily Texan Staff

For senior outside hitters Haley Eckerman and Khat Bell, the upcoming NCAA tournament will be a bittersweet moment.

On the one hand, the duo is ready to get going on another run toward a national championship; however, they know that any game from here on out could be their last in a Texas uniform.

“We want it to start, but then we don’t want it to,” Eckerman said. “We just know that we have to go in one game at a time.”

The Longhorns’ road back to the Final Four will go back through Austin and then through Minneapolis. Sunday, Texas was announced as the No. 2 overall seed in the tournament.

Joining the Longhorns in Austin for the first and second rounds, respectively, is Northwestern State, Texas’ opponent Thursday,  and then either Arizona State or Texas A&M — the third-straight year the selection committee has tried to put the two rivals against each other in the second round.

If another edition of the instate rivalry occurs, Bell said it would be like playing Oklahoma.

“Texas is our home state, and we want to own our home state as well,” Bell said.

For the second time in the past three years, the Longhorns enter the tournament off of a loss in the regular season finale after losing a difficult five-set match to Florida on Saturday afternoon. In the loss, Texas failed to capitalize off of 16 Florida
service errors.

Still, the last time Texas entered the tournament after a loss in 2012, the Longhorns went on to win the national championship. Eckerman said the loss to Florida refocused them and motivated them not to let that losing feeling occur again.

“That’s what happened in 2012; we didn’t want to feel that feeling of sitting in the locker room knowing that we had just lost,” Eckerman said. “So that gave us some motivation to change and move forward.”

Although Texas will face a difficult challenge in the second round — no matter whether the opponent is Texas A&M or Arizona State — the Longhorns’ path to get back to the Final Four in Oklahoma City is considered by many to be the easiest of the top-four overall seeds.

The next highest seeded team in Texas’ region is No. 7 North Carolina, which Texas would possibly face in the “Elite Eight.” The Longhorns have a potential “Sweet 16” matchup with tournament dark horse No. 15 Colorado State.

Even with a “weaker” regional bracket, head coach Jerritt Elliott said their focus is on their first two rounds.

“Both Arizona State and Texas A&M are very, very good,” Elliott said. “They’re both a threat.”

But, looking ahead toward her final games as a Longhorn, for Bell, it would mean everything to go out as a two-time national champion.

“To end my senior season with that win would be great,” Bell said.

Photo Credit: Daulton Venglar | Daily Texan Staff

With 18 kills and four aces, senior outside hitter Haley Eckerman propelled No. 5 Texas volleyball (19-1, 11-1 Big 12) to a sweep against West Virginia (13-12, 3-8) on Wednesday night.

“The biggest thing [about tonight’s game] is [West Virginia] was playing a different defense every time,” Eckerman said. “So a lot of the time, the sets were great; Chloe [Collins] and Nicole [Dalton] were both on, and they were leading me and giving me a chance to just swing.”

Eckerman’s 18 kills were the most kills she had in a three-set game this season. Alongside Eckerman’s masterful performance, the team finished the game with a .512 hitting percentage, its highest hitting percentage this season.

“It was a good result for us,” head coach Jerritt Elliott said. “We were basically firing on all cylinders. I liked our personality out there today; I thought it was good. I think we got a good rhythm going.”

Although it was a sweep, West Virginia challenged the Longhorns. After struggling in their first set against Kansas State on Friday, the Longhorns made it a point to open up the first set hot. Texas set out to an early 3-0 lead, but West Virginia edged its way back into the set, tying it at three. The two teams battled throughout the opening set, but Texas was able to separate itself late in the match with back-to-back aces by Eckerman. The Longhorns took the first set 25-20.

The second set played out much like the first set as both West Virginia and Texas refused to give in. But after a tie at 10, the Longhorns were able to pull away from the Mountaineers as they went on a 15-7 run to close out the set and win 25-17.

After the intermission, Texas continued to play well as it opened up an early 4-2 lead. But the Mountaineers kept pressing and were able to get themselves within one. In the end, Longhorns were too much for West Virginia to handle. Texas won the set 25-18 and claimed the match 3-0.

While Eckerman put together a strong performance against West Virginia, junior outside hitter Amy Neal had 16 digs and nine kills, and junior
middle blocker Molly McCage and sophomore outside hitter Paulina Prieto Cerame each added seven kills to the Texas total.

With the win, the Longhorns will now prepare for No. 24 Oklahoma (17-7, 8-3 Big 12), who swept them earlier this season. Texas and Oklahoma will square off Saturday at 7 p.m. A victory over the Sooners would clench at least a share of the Big 12 title for the Longhorns.

Photo Credit: Ethan Oblak | Daily Texan Staff

Texas volleyball left no doubt who the better team was in Lubbock on Wednesday night.

Texas dominated almost every statistical category — including posting a .262 hitting percentage to the Red Raiders’ .000 — en route to an easy sweep of Texas Tech.

Texas wasted no time asserting itself as the dominant team in the match, jumping out to a 4-3 lead and then going on a 7-0 run behind the serving of senior outside hitter Haley Eckerman. Eckerman racked up a service ace and a kill during the run, while senior middle blocker Khat Bell logged three straight kills during that stretch.

The Longhorns finished out the set with two scoring runs of 5-0 and hit .435 to the Red Raiders’ -.103 to win the set 25-10.

The second set proved to be a slightly more difficult set for the Longhorns. Texas jumped out to leads of 6-2 and 15-7, but Texas Tech hung around and managed to close the gap to as close as 18-15. However, kills by Bell and junior outside hitter Amy Neal, as well as a couple errors by the Red Raiders, allowed the Longhorns to win the set 25-18 going into the intermission.

The third set, by comparison, was much easier for the Longhorns. Texas again jumped out to an early 11-3 lead over Texas Tech behind the serving runs of Neal and sophomore middle blocker Chiaka Ogbogu. Ogbogu also added two kills during that run.

The Red Raiders tried to close the gap from there, going on a 6-2 run to trim the Longhorns’ lead to 13-8. But that would be as close as it would get. Texas fired back with a 5-2 run of its own on its way to a 25-13 set win to finish off the sweep.

Texas finished the night with the edge in every statistical category except attack attempts, which Texas Tech led 107 to 103. The Longhorns posted 39 kills, five service aces and eight blocks while the Red Raiders managed 24 kills, one service ace and two blocks.

Eckerman led the Longhorns with 10 kills, while Ogbogu and sophomore outside hitter Paulina Prieto Cerame each had seven kills. Cerame and junior middle blocker Molly McCage each posted five blocks, and freshman libero Cat McCoy led the team with 15 digs, as she has all season.

Texas shut down Teas Tech junior outside hitter Jenna Allen — who came into the match sixth in the conference in kills — to only nine kills in the match and held sophomore middle blocker Lauren Douglass to just a .200 hitting percentage after she came into the match with a .334 season hitting percentage. The Longhorns also forced four Red Raiders into negative hitting percentages.

Texas returns home to play Kansas State on Friday at 7 p.m.

Senior outside hitter Haley Eckerman, an Iowa native, tallied 14 kills and four digs against Iowa State on Sunday to help the Longhorns record their eighth conference win of the season.

Photo Credit: Daulton Venglar | Daily Texan Staff

After Oklahoma snapped Texas’ 23-game Big 12 winning streak Oct. 25, the No. 5 Longhorns returned to conference action Sunday and defeated Iowa State 3-1 (25-21, 20-25, 25-13, 25-14) in Ames, Iowa.

“I thought it was a good situation for us to be in,” head coach Jerritt Elliott said. “This is a tough gym, and we were a little uncomfortable at first. … After the break, we kind of calmed down and found our unit and groove and played a lot better.”

The Longhorns were able to settle down thanks to solid play by senior outside hitter Haley Eckerman and junior outside hitter Amy Neal. Neal had 14 kills and 16 digs in her first game since Kansas State on Oct. 18. Eckerman, a Waterloo, Iowa, native, recorded 14 kills and four digs in a homecoming game. Elliott said he liked Eckerman’s play against the Cyclones.

“This is her home state, and I know she had a big crowd here tonight,” Elliott said. “She wanted to play extremely well. Her game is continually improving as the season goes along, and it’s great.”

Eckerman started her dominating performance early with seven kills in the first set. The Cyclones managed to keep the set close throughout, but Texas was able to separate itself from Iowa State after a 9-9 tie, and although the Cyclones tried to fight their way back into the set, Eckerman and the Longhorns pulled off a 25-21 win.

The second set was a different challenge, as the Longhorns committed a handful of errors early in the set that allowed the Cyclones to build a 15-13 lead. The errors set the tone for the Longhorns, who were unable to recapture the lead and lost the set 20-25.

“We were still pressing a lot, trying to find our rhythm and making a lot of errors [in the second set],” Elliott said.

The Longhorns, however, were able to find their rhythm in the third set, as they jumped out to an early 5-2 lead and never looked back. Texas took the third set, 25-13, and took a commanding 2-1 game lead.

With momentum on their side, the Longhorns came out strong in the fourth set, taking a 9-3 lead. Texas finished the set on a 7-2 run and won the set, 25-13, and the game, 3-1.

Alongside Eckerman and Neal’s performances, sophomore middle blocker Chiaka Ogbogu recorded 11 kills and tied her career-high in blocks with nine. Freshman libero Cat McCoy posted a team-high 19 digs. Texas also out-blocked the Cyclones, 30 to eight, as junior middle blocker Molly McCage and sophomore outside hitter Paulina Prieto Cerame blocked seven a piece.

The Longhorns will return to action against Texas Tech in Lubbock at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Senior outside hitter Haley Eckerman battles against Zhejiang, a Chinese club team. Eckerman and the Longhorns outlasted their opponent through five sets to win their second straight match.

Photo Credit: Rachel Zein | Daily Texan Staff

The fifth set between Texas and Chinese club team Zhejiang was all about survival.

The two sides, almost deadlocked through the four prior sets, still couldn’t get themselves enough breathing room in the deciding set. Even with three match points, the Longhorns struggled to put away their guests.

But in the span of a couple of seconds, senior outside hitter Haley Eckerman won the match for Texas in a win that felt more like an NCAA Tournament match than an exhibition match.

“You don’t get many opportunities to recreate the urgency and the ability to execute and make some big plays,” head coach Jerritt Elliott said.

The first set saw a bit of a role reversal from Monday night’s match, with Zhejiang jumping out to a quick 10-4 lead and never looking back en route to a 25-20 set win. Texas only managed to hit .048 in the set with 11 attack errors.

“We thought that [Zhejiang] would play better, and we told the team that,” Elliott said. “They controlled the ball better. They’re a good volleyball team.”

Zhejiang took a 12-8 lead in the second set, but Texas then went on a 5-0 run anchored by Eckerman at the serving line. After Zhejiang tied the set at 14, the Longhorns closed out the set on an 11-4 run.

In the start of the third set, neither team was able to grab more than a 2-point lead, but Zhejiang went on a quick 5-1 run to take a 19-15 lead and eventually won the set 25-21.

Needing to force a fifth set, the Longhorns managed to take a 13-8 lead in the fourth and were eventually able to pull off a 25-19 set win.

The fifth set was another tight, back-and-forth affair. The Longhorns took a 13-10 lead but allowed Zhejiang to tie the set four more times before finally winning 18-16.

Eckerman, who was out of Monday night’s game because of a violation of team rules, said that the 3-0 loss to Oklahoma on Saturday helped the team win against Zhejiang.

“The loss to Oklahoma left a bad taste in our mouths,” Eckerman said. “We just need this to know that no matter what lineup is out there, we were going to compete.”

Texas resumes conference play with a trip to Ames, Iowa, to play Iowa State on Sunday. 

Junior middle blocker Molly McCage and Texas overcame five suspensions Monday and swept Chinese club team Zhejiang in its first of two exhibition games against the squad.

Photo Credit: Marshall Tidrick | Daily Texan Staff

The Longhorn team that came out against the Chinese Club team Zhejiang on Monday night was much different than the team that lost 3-0 to Oklahoma on Saturday.

For one, Texas was without five of its usual starting lineup because of a violation of team rules. But even with key players, such as senior outside hitter Haley Eckerman and senior middle blocker Khat Bell, out, the Longhorns came out with a seemingly strong mentality, winning the first set easily and staying focused in the face of adversity.

In the end, the result was a 3-0 win for a Texas team looking to get back on the winning track.

“I thought we played more relaxed, and we were more steady,” head coach Jerritt Elliott said. “We played as a unit.”

The Longhorns jumped out to a quick 10-4 lead in the first set over the defending champions from China’s National League, thanks in large part to two kills from junior middle blocker Molly McCage and Texas’ blockers. Texas then hung on with a .407 hitting percentage to win the set 25-15.

The second set, however, would prove to be a much tougher fight for Texas. After the Longhorns jumped out to a 5-2 lead in the set, Zhejiang fought back to tie the match at 14, thanks to a 5-1 run, and then took a 20-17 lead trying to even the match.

But the Longhorns fought back with a 6-3 run to tie and then took the set 26-24. Elliott said the most impressive thing at the end of the set was the team just sticking with it.

“I told them at the break that we were down 20-17, and side out, and get some points, and give ourselves a chance and not to get too anxious,” Elliott said.

In the third set, Texas again jumped out to an early 6-2 lead and, while Zhejiang managed to tie the set twice, closed out the match with relative ease with a 25-20 set win.

The Longhorns played the match without five of their usual starters because of a violation of team rules. Eckerman, Bell, freshman libero Cat McCoy, sophomore setter Chloe Collins and sophomore middle blocker Chiaka Ogbogu each were held out of the match. Elliott said the players made a mistake but they are moving forward.

“It’s important for us to set the standard of what it is,” Elliott said. “This program has been built over a period of time, and that was my point — that we have to follow the rules.”

The suspensions proved beneficial for players who have struggled to see the court since conference play began. Junior middle blocker Sara Hattis scored six kills, while junior outside hitter Tiffany Baker added five kills and two aces, and junior libero Kat Brooks had 14 digs.

“It says a lot about the program that we have to be able to count on these players and the players that came in and got a chance,” Elliott said.

Texas and Zhejiang will square off again Tuesday at 7 p.m., and, while he said he’s not planning on making many adjustments, Elliott said they will have a better idea of what they did.

“We’ll have a longer look and understand their tendencies,” Elliott said. “We’ll give Mirta [Baselovic] a good shot tomorrow and some different players and take a look at that and go from there.”