Offensive potency has buoyed Texas vollyeball’s win streak

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Red Raiders beware, the Longhorns are coming for lucky number seven.

No. 4 Texas (10-2, 3-0 Big 12) will host Texas Tech on Wednesday night, riding a six-game winning streak, including three-straight wins in conference play. After outhitting non-conference opponent LSU .347-.127 this past weekend, the Longhorns’ offense has found its stride.

During its current win streak, Texas has 323 total kills compared to just 269 for its opponents. The Longhorns increased their hitting percentage from .250 to .260.

Head coach Jerritt Elliott has preached the importance of attack efficiency all season, stressing the need for Texas to improve its hitting percentage every time out. Texas has not been outhit since dropping a game to Arizona State on Sept. 13, which bodes well moving forward.

Freshman Chiaka Ogbogu has come into her own during the Longhorns’ winning streak, claiming her second-straight Big 12 Rookie of the Week honor last week with a .514 hitting percentage that was the highest of any player in the conference.

Although Ogbogu has only appeared in 23 of the Longhorns’ 47 sets this season, her .433 hitting percentage leads the team and her 52 kills are fifth-best.

“I feel like I have to come in and be really confident,” Ogbogu said. “If I keep swinging, and they [teammates] keep swinging, then we’ll get in our rhythm [and] get back to our own personal game.”

All-American outside hitters Haley Eckerman and Bailey Webster have more than delivered on their expectations heading into the season, compiling a team-leading 164 and 149 kills, respectively. Eckerman’s 3.49 kills per set is, by far, the best on the team.

The Texas offense appears to be clicking on all cylinders after sweeping LSU. But Texas Tech can’t seem to find its way.

The Red Raiders (7-11, 0-3 Big 12) will enter Gregory Gym Wednesday night carrying a .181 hitting percentage. Their leading hitter has only 22 more kills than Texas’ leading player while playing six more matches.

The numbers seem to indicate Texas has a solid chance to rack up its seventh consecutive victory against Texas Tech, though, the team has found it needs to be resilient in battling adversity, even against lower-ranked opponents.

Despite dropping the third set to a weaker Baylor team last week, the Longhorns dug deep to find ways to keep up the attack. That set was the only one Texas has lost in its last
four matches.

“The third set was probably one of our worst all season,” Elliott said. “I thought they rose to the challenge and they competed, and that’s part of the game. It’s unfortunate, but you have to be perfect on both sides of the ball.”

All things considered, the Texas offense has proved its potency and will need to continue to perform well for the Longhorns to further their win streak.

“We just need to stay consistent,” Elliott said. “But I think we’re doing things better for longer stretches of time than we’ve done earlier in the season.”