Volleyball looks to improve in road match against Kansas

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Senior outside hitter Khat Bell blocks Iowa State in Texas’ first Big 12 home game of the season. No. 2 Texas looks to continue its 19-game conference winning streak Saturday.

Photo Credit: Jenna Von Hofe | Daily Texan Staff

The Texas volleyball team (10-0, 2-0 Big 12) hasn’t been a stranger to the road this season. Coming off of their first home game in nearly three weeks — a sweep of Iowa State — the No. 2 Longhorns will once again play a road game against the Kansas Jayhawks (12-4, 0-2 Big 12) on Sunday.

The Longhorns, who have played six of their 10 games away from Gregory Gym, have already faced two ranked opponents — No. 8 Nebraska and No. 9 Florida — and were given a stout challenge in a five set match against West Virginia on the road. 

“[Being on the road] did a lot,” senior outside hitter Haley Eckerman said. “It showed that even when we are down, we can come back if we do the right things, if we focus in on what we need to focus on, if we don’t let the crowd get into our head, if we play basic volleyball. It showed that we can do what we need to do and that we should start the way we ended up finishing.”

Eckerman and the team hope to use their experiences on the road to help get by a challenging Kansas team that was picked to finish second in the Big 12 preseason coaches’ poll. Head coach Jerritt Elliott believes the team must play better than it did Wednesday if they want to win Sunday.

“Kansas is a big-time match for us,” Elliott said after Wednesday’s game. “They’re playing at the highest level, along with Kansas State, so we’re going to have to play better than we did tonight to come out with a [win]. I think there’s got be some urgency. I think we can continue to get better. We just got to be more efficient.”

The Longhorns will look to remain undefeated with a win against the Jayhawks. They will also have an opportunity to extend their Big 12 winning streak to 19 games, a streak that has continued since last season. Most importantly, Texas will try to make improvements from their game against Iowa State.

“For whatever reason, we haven’t been starting games [very well],” Elliott said. “So we need to come out a little stronger and be a little bit more narrowed in.”

The match against Kansas can be seen on Fox Sports Southwest at 1 p.m. Sunday.