The Texas Longhorns No. 1 reached the national championship game last season before falling to Kentucky. This season, they returned all of their loaded training, including five American AVCAs, leaving all volleyball fans high expectations for this star-studded team. Last season they went almost undefeated all season, but it was largely partial due to most of the schedules at the conference. This season, as you all know, the non-conference clashes and all the fun it brings are back. Taking on Minnesota’s No. 10 will be the Longhorns ’first real test this season. It is also his first road game of the 2021 season.
The Longhorns have a historic 5-5 record against the Golden Gophers, but are 0-2 in Minneapolis. In the last clash between Texas and Minnesota, Texas won 3-1 at Gregory Gym in 2019.
Texas started the season with two wins over San Diego and UTSA. Skylar Fields led the scoring effort in both clashes along with well-known names Logan Eggleston, Brionne Butler, Asjia O’Neal and Molly Phillips. Melanie Parra posted seven kills in the victory over San Diego and will likely be a more used weapon in 2021. The Longhorns found much success on the service line last season in the NCAA tournament, forcing their opponents out of the net and exit the system. They’ve only played two games this season, but the tactic holds: they got an absurd number of 14 assists against UTSA and Eggleston tied his career with five in the game.
The Gophers enter this season without Regan Pittman and Adanna Rollins, but Stephanie Samedy and Taylor Landfair are back. They opened the season with a four-set defeat against Baylor and then a tackle on TCU. Stephanie Samedy had yet another match of more than 20 kills against Baylor, Landfair added 11 and Jenna Wenaas also killed 11 kills. The match looked like a big loss, but it could have been a totally different story in the fourth set. Minnesota controlled almost the fourth set and led up to four in 24-20. But Baylor responded with four points in a row and eight of the next 10 to get the set, 28-26, and the game.
.@StephanieSamedy picked up where he left off in 2020-21 with 33 dead, 25 excavations and three blocks against Baylor and TCU.
– Minnesota Volleyball (@GopherVBall) August 30, 2021
What happens this season is that good teams will have more losses and this Minnesota team remains a strong group that should be a big challenge for the Longhorns this season.
Here’s a look at some of the best players to keep in mind in Wednesday’s game:
- Logan Eggleston
- Skylar camps
- Brionne Butler
- Asjia O’Neal
- Jhenna Gabriel
- Stephanie Samedy
- CC McGraw
- Taylor Landfair
- Jenna Wenaas