Texas’ volleyball season got off to a promising start in the Burnt Orange Classic, with wins against Pepperdine and Ole Miss.
But the Longhorns then ran into an older and more experienced Israeli national team in exhibition play on Saturday and fell in five sets 12-25, 25-22, 25-18, 20-25, 13-15.
The loss was in spite of stellar play from senior All-American Rachael Adams, who led the team with 12 kills on 19 swings and hit .579. Texas also received strong performances from freshman Khat Bell who had 14 kills, five blocks and 6 digs.
Sophomore Bailey Webster chipped in a big way as well, with eight kills and a .375 attack percentage.
Coming into the season, the team had a very new mix of players, with three freshmen expecting to see significant playing time, and multiple players coming off of injuries that forced them to miss most of the 2010 season.
So it was known that chemistry would be a work in progress for the team, and in the weekend tournament, that proved to be true, with multiple lineups seeing the floor. Going into today’s game, the team will look to establish a steadier lineup, but it will continue to be a work in progress.
“We’re still unsure of what our lineup is going to be,” Elliott said. “We want to make sure we have the right group of players who can work together. Ultimately, the tough teams are the great teams, and that’s attitude and heart.”
Texas showed plenty of attitude and heart in its first game against Israel after quickly dropping the first set 12-25, which included a 16-1 run for Israel.
After that set, though, the Longhorns clawed back, winning the next set in close fashion. They took advantage of the momentum to take the third set as well.
Even though Texas wasn’t able to capitalize on that lead and take the match, it can take a lot of positives the loss and will use the experiences to make them better. That can start today against Israel, where the knowledge gained will be quickly put to the test.