Five Keys to Longhorns’ Win over Iowa State

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Junior outside hitter Amy Neal led the Longhorns with three service aces and eight digs in the win over the Cyclones. 

Photo Credit: Jenna VonHofe | Daily Texan Staff

It’s no secret that senior outside hitter Haley Eckerman is the biggest name on this Longhorns team and that when she’s on a roll, good things usually happen for Texas. Against Iowa State, Eckerman dominated the Longhorn attack with 14 kills and a .560 hitting percentage. Eckerman registered the final two kills of the first set and began the second set with three kills in the first five points, which helped Texas jump out to a 5-0 lead in the set which they won 25-15. Eckerman also had zero attack errors for the second time this season.

Neal’s time at the serving line

While Eckerman was dominating at the net, junior outside hitter Amy Neal helped the Longhorns in a big way from the serving line. With Texas up 10-9 in the first set, Neal scored an ace and led the team in a 5-0 run for the Longhorns while she was serving en route to a first set win. Neal then opened up the second set on a similar 5-0 run with back-to-back service aces and help from Eckerman’s three kills. Neal also added four kills and eight digs.

Lack of errors

Texas’ struggles Sept. 24 were due largely to errors. Texas posted 19 attack errors and 12 service errors in the five set win and had a .172 hitting
percentage through the first two sets of the match. But against Iowa State, those errors were much more limited. Texas had only eight attack errors and five service errors compared to Iowa State’s 15 attack errors and six service errors, and Texas posted a .350 hitting percentage in the win.

Making it a quick match

In that five-set win at West Virginia last week, Texas made the mistake of letting a team looking for a big upset hang around too long in the first two sets and paid the price. The Longhorns had multiple opportunities early in that match to put it away but failed to do so. Wednesday against the Cyclones, the Longhorns made sure that the same thing wouldn’t happen, jumping out to leads 14-9, 10-3 and 12-6 in each of the three sets. Texas also never trailed in each of the last two sets as well.

Digging it up

The Longhorn defense played a strong game with six blocks and 44 digs, giving the offense opportunities to make plays. As she has all season, freshman Cat McCoy led the way with 12 digs along with four assists and now has 145 digs this season — the most on the team by 78. At the net, senior middle blocker and outside hitter Khat Bell had five block assists, while sophomore middle blocker Chiaka Ogbogu added three block assists and a solo block.