Eckerman solid in rematch against Gophers

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Eckerman looks on as her teammate sets in the Longhorn's 3-1 victory against the Minnesota Gophers Friday night. The Longhorns were out for revenge after dropping Thursday night's contest which snapped a 33-game home winning streak.

Photo Credit: Nathan Goldsmith | Daily Texan Staff

Sophomore All-American Haley Eckerman had a season-high 19 kills against Minnesota Friday night, also recording a service ace. The outside hitter from Waterloo, Iowa, was the leading scorer in the victory, contributing 22.5 points for the Longhorns — another season high. She bested her previous kill count of 16 against Florida at the Nike Big Four Volleyball Classic last weekend.

Eckerman hit .289 Friday evening with an assist, three blocks and two digs.

Eckerman was joined at the top by junior outside hitter Bailey Webster who also recorded double-digit kills against the Gophers with 14.

No harm done to Horns

Senior outside hitter Katherine Harms was once again the top performer for Minnesota. She registered 12 kills and hit .357 for the Gophers in game two Friday night. Low production for the senior Friday contributed to the Gophers’ loss.

Harms logged 24 kills Thursday, twice as much of her production in game two Friday.

The difference for the Gophers between first game and the second one was a vast difference in hitting percentage. During Thursday’s win, the Gophers hit .327 with 71 kills compared to the Texas average of .170 and 47 kills.

The Longhorns rebounded Friday and hit .216 compared to the Gophers’ .149.

Overall, Minnesota logged just seven team blocks although they edged Texas in kills with 51 compared to the Longhorns’ 49.

“She is good and we knew that,” Texas head coach Jerritt Elliot said of Harms. “I thought we were a little bit calmer, our formations were better, we gave us some more opportunities.”

Bell absent during second game against the Gophers

Sophomore middle blocker Khat Bell, who played Thursday night in the loss to Minnesota, was absent from play Friday night for game two. Bell, who didn’t dress out, stood and cheered her teammates from the bench in gray warm ups.

Last season, Bell suffered a season-ending knee injury against Kansas in early November. Before her injury, she was a powerful force for the Longhorns registering 184 kills and nine assists with a .243 hitting percentage.

So far this season, Bell has played in seven games and started five. She has 42 kills on the season and a .283 hitting average.

In game one against the Gophers, Bell hit .292 with nine kills and contributed 11.5 points for Texas.