For the first time in conference play this season, No. 2 Texas is on its heels. TCU swept Texas just one game after the Longhorns took sole possession of No. 1 in the conference.
Now, Texas has to get back on the winning track. That starts with a matchup against Texas Tech on the road. The Red Raiders are currently on a three-game losing streak and haven’t beat Texas since 2000. But after the upset loss, the Longhorns won’t take any win for granted.
“We have to take every game seriously,” senior outside hitter Amy Neal said. “You have to take every game with the same mentality and look at every team the same because they are going to come out and play their best against us.”
When these teams played each other in the first round of conference play, Texas won in straight sets. However, the Red Raiders put up a good fight. Even so, senior middle blocker Molly McCage, Texas’ all-time leader in block assists, and other Longhorn blockers should find success against Texas Tech’s struggling offense. Neal and junior outside hitter Paulina Prieto Cerame, this week’s Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week, will lead Texas’ offensive attack.
The Red Raiders come into this game with a .221 team hitting percentage, led by junior middle blocker Lauren Douglass. Texas Tech’s defense boasts a solid block that involves multiple players. Freshman outside hitter Sarah Redding had a nice outing in the first matchup and should have another on Friday.
Head coach Jerritt Elliott said the team can’t dwell on the loss to TCU. Texas still has a legitimate shot at the conference title and will use the loss as motivation to improve.
“We need to control our mentality,” Elliott said. “A loss is a loss, and if we can use those as a learning point, that’s the key to development. We’ll go about business and
continue to build.”