Volleyball No. 1 from Texas to Rice
Texas: 8-0 | Rice: 5-4
Wednesday, Sept. 22 – 6 p.m. CT
Tudor Fieldhouse | Houston, Texas
Texas continues its two-game swing, facing Rice in Houston. The Longhorns lead the all-time series with Rice 36-2, but the Owls have won the last two games. Last season, Rice won a five-set game at the Erwin Center and before that the Owls won by five at Tudor Fieldhouse in 2019.
Texas enters the week as the No. 1 team ranked in the 2021 American Association of Volleyball Coaches (AVCA) poll, which returns almost the entire roster of the team that finished as runners-up in the NCAA last season. Texas, which was first chosen in the AVCA preseason coaches poll, is one of two big teams in the top 12, as Baylor ranks No. 10.
CLASSIFICATION AND FILE
UT has a record of 127-55 (.696) against ranked opponents over the past 18 seasons (2004-21) and has a local record of 59-12 (.829) against ranked opponents at the Gregory Gymnasium (56-12) and at the Frank Erwin Center (3-0) during that period. So far this season, Texas is 3-0 against ranked opponents with wins over San Diego, Minnesota and Stanford
AS IN THE HOLE
The Longhorn service game has been lethal earlier this season, currently ranking fourth in the country with 2.32 aces per game (65 aces in 28 sets). Logan Eggleston leads the way with 17 aces while Melanie Parra has 16 i Asjia O’Neal has 11. In total, Texas has six players with five or more aces so far this season.
Logan Eggleston i Skylar camps were the consecutive recipients of the Big 12 Conference Offensive Player of the Week award on September 7 and September 14. He had 30 mats total (4.29 mats per game) and finished with 17 excavations, six blocks and one service ace. Fields won the award after winning over Texas State, Arizona and Notre Dame, in which he added 43 murders and a .380 percentage.
Logan Eggleston he was named the best player of the year in the preseason and teammates Brionne Butler, Jhenna Gabriel, Skylar camps i Asjia O’Neal joined her on the preseason team. The Longhorns were first selected in the Big 12 preseason poll for the 11th consecutive season and the 14th time in program history.
After winning the 2020 Big 12 title, the Longhorns have won 26 conference championships, including 13 Big 12 titles and 13 Southwest Conference Championship titles. The 2020 title was the fourth consecutive Big 12 championship for the Longhorns, who have won or shared nine of the last 10 league championships and 12 of the previous 14.
FIVE ALL AMERICAN
Texas returns five players who landed the American AVCA teams in 2020, led by first teams Logan Eggleston i Brionne Butler. Besides, Jhenna Gabriel was named to the third team and Skylar camps i Asjia O’Neal received praise for Honorable Mention throughout America. Eggleston and Butler received their third U.S. recognition, after being named second-team All-Americans in 2019 and receiving an honorable mention as freshmen in 2018.
With five strikers reaching a very high level last season, the Longhorns created a balanced offensive attack. Setter Jhenna Gabriel was an important part of that, leading the Big 12 and ranking 10th nationally with 11.26 assists per set. Twice last season he reached the top run with 58 assists in a game.
Last season, the Longhorns finished second in the nation in blocks and led the Big 12 Conference with a total of 282. Brionne Butler led the nation with 147 blocks in total, while Asjia O’Neal (113 blocks) ranked 10th nationally and third in the Big 12 Conference i Molly Phillips (88 blocks) ranked sixth in the conference. Butler led the Big 12 conference and was eleventh nationally with an average of 1.48 blocks per game. O’Neal was sixth in the conference with an average of 1.13 blocks per set and Phillips was 10th with an average of 1.01 blocks per set. As a team, the Longhorns ranked 11th in the country with 2.76 caps per set.
As a team in 2020, Texas reached .334 of the season to finish third nation. This brand was also the fourth best in the history of Longhorn. The Longhorns have achieved more than a .300 clip over the past six seasons, ranking in the top 10 in the show’s history. The 2019 team led the nation with a score of 0.325, which is the fifth-best in Texas history. The duo of Brionne Butler i Asjia O’Neal they were the top two hitters in the Big 12. Butler hit .430, while O’Neal hit a .411 clip. Besides, Molly Phillips hit .347 i Skylar camps was at .313, while Logan Eggleston cop .321. All five players ranked in the top eight in the Big 12.