Sixth conference sweep gives Texas separation in Big 12

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Khat Bell and Haley Eckerman defend against Kansas. The Longhorns’ 3-0 is its fifth sweep in conference play this season.

Photo Credit: Marisa Vasquez | Daily Texan Staff

Continuing its Big 12 reign, No. 9 Texas swept No. 21 Kansas in Gregory Gym on Friday, dealing Kansas its only conference loss this season.

Sweeps are swiftly becoming a pattern for the Longhorns, eight of whose last nine wins have been 3-0 against opposing teams.

“I think it helps us to have to come in and work on things in practice and let it show in the games,” Haley Eckerman said. “We worked on the things that we struggled with at Louisville and came back and tried to work on those in the game here against Kansas.”

Sophomore middle blocker Khat Bell tallied a career-high 10 blocks, while junior outside hitter Bailey Webster added 10 kills and two digs. Eckerman hit .484, earning her third straight double-double. Junior setter Hannah Allison had 28 assists and three blocks in a game that further distinguished Texas as a leader in the Big 12.

The Longhorns quickly leaped ahead in the first set, aided by back-to-back blocks by Bell and Eckerman. The Jayhawks climbed back to make it 15-11 for Texas, but the Longhorns bounced back with a 5-1 run after a timeout, concluding the set with an additional 5-1 run.

In the second set, Kansas snapped a 15-15 tie to gain a three-point lead, but two kills by Eckerman helped the Longhorns tie it up again at 19-19. Allison and Bell’s two blocks towards the end of the match allowed the Longhorns to claim the set.

Post-intermission, the Jayhawks gained a lead in the third set, keeping the game close up until match point. The set was tied at 24-24, then taken by a Texas block after a Kansas service error.

Head coach Jerritt Elliott said patience in blocking and passing efficiently were key to the victory over Kansas, the No. 2 team in the Big 12.

“I thought our passing was really good for the most part,” Elliott said. “We broke down a little in game three, but overall we were passing very efficiently and our defense was good. It’s getting closer to what we want it to look like in terms of the stats at the end of the match.”

Up next, Texas will face off against Iowa State in Gregory Gym on Wednesday, allowing further opportunity for conference success.

 

Printed on Monday, October 15, 2012 as: Texas rolls with another sweep