Following two consecutive 3-0 sweeps to open up Big 12 play, the Longhorns will seek continued success against Baylor on the road Wednesday night.
In front of a packed house for the fourth time straight, No. 5 Texas dispatched Oklahoma in three sets Saturday. Defense was the key for the Longhorns once again as they held Oklahoma to a .179 hitting percentage, just a few days after holding TCU to the lowest percentage of any opponent this season.
“I thought we did a really good job with the game plan,” head coach Jerritt Elliott said. “I think they were a little timid coming in here and we just kept up consistency throughout.”
Outside hitter Haley Eckerman, who was named preseason player of the year, has led the offensive charge for the Longhorns this season with 134 kills and a team-high 13 service aces. The junior struggled towards the end of the matchup with the Sooners and was benched in the final set to give time to younger players.
“She was struggling,” Elliott said. “It gave us a chance to get [freshman middle blocker Chiaka Ogbogu] a little more involved, and we need people to challenge each other day in and day out to get better.”
Ogbogu has come on strong in her increased playing time over the last few games, notching a career-high nine kills against Oklahoma after tallying six against TCU. Ogbogu was named Big 12 Conference Volleyball Rookie of the Week and is proving that pressure is not an issue for her.
With younger players stepping up, the Longhorns possess a depth of talent to control any match on the offensive side of the net. And, after outblocking opponents by a combined 10 blocks to open conference play, Texas’ defensive dominance at the net is a nice complement.
“That freshman group, they’re all very talented and we’re seeing a lot of players that are pushing each other,” Elliott said. “What it does is it elevates our team.”