No. 8 Texas Volleyball Knocks Off Kansas in Big 12 Opener

Texas hits a season-best .384 as a team and used 13 kills by Khat Bell to win its Big 12 opener.

AUSTIN, Texas – The eighth-ranked Texas Volleyball team posted a season-best .384 team hitting percentage as it opened Big 12 play with a 3-0 victory over Kansas, Saturday afternoon at Gregory Gymnasium. The 25-20, 25-21, 25-17 victory improved the Longhorns to 8-3 on the season and 1-0 in league action, while the Jayhawks fell to 11-2 overall and 0-1 in the Big 12.

Freshman outside hitter Khat Bell led all Longhorns with 13 kills and added six digs, while senior All-America middle blocker Rachael Adams connected for 10 kills on .467 hitting and freshman outside hitter Haley Eckerman pounded out 10 kills and hit at a .500 clip.

After starting strong and claiming a 21-14 lead on Eckerman’s third kill of the first set, the Horns withstood a late KU rally and closed out the frame 25-20 on a kill by Bell.

Texas fell behind early in the second, but used a late 7-0 run fueled by two Bell kills to capture a 21-17 edge before claiming a 25-21 set victory.

The Horns came out strong in the third, hitting .545 in the set and grabbing an 18-13 edge on an Adams/Bell block to take control of the stanza. Kansas was marred by errors down the stretch and Texas went on to clinch the set, 25-17 on a service ace by freshman middle blocker Madelyn Hutson.

Texas returns to action on Wednesday, Sept. 28 when it travels to No. 25 Oklahoma. First serve is set for 7 p.m. on ESPNU.


· The victory improved Texas’ all-time record against Kansas to 30-4 and 15-1 in Austin.

· Texas has now won 26 consecutive Big 12 home matches.

· Texas’ win extended its home winning streak to 21 matches.

· The Horns out-hit KU in the match, .384-to-.170, marking UT’s highest team hitting mark of the season.


Head coach Jerritt Elliott

General statement: That’s a good way to start Big 12 play. We had a good preseason and learned a lot. This team is continuing to grow. Overall, I was very pleased in terms of our efficiency, especially with some new blocking schemes that we introduced this week. I thought our team did a good job following the game plan.

On picking up the level of play in set two: What happened in game one is we allowed 12 of their 20 points on errors. We got blocked a lot and had some service errors. When you’re doing that, you keep a team in there. We challenged them to hit higher over the block. We thought we could get them out of system that way, and we did that – we eliminated the block. We steadied out overall.

On where the team can still improve: There are a lot of errors. We’re just now starting to find our rhythm. We continue to get balance, and what’s great about it is that we’re just implementing small changes – little blocking schemes or stuff out of the back court. We’re trying to be basic, so we’re not overwhelming this young group. Our ball control, if we can continue to improve that, it will be great to see. We leave a lot of points on the floor. It’s little things we can clean up, but we’ll get there, we’re confident in that. We’ll keep teaching and keep being patient.

Senior MB Rachael Adams

On picking up the level of play in set two: We were executing in the first game, but our energy wasn’t there. The little sloppy things started happening, with people not making eye contact and balls falling. After we cleaned it up, we just improved.

Freshman OH Khat Bell

On picking up the level of play in set two: The momentum of the game changed. I think we were just shaky that first set, probably just the nerves of starting Big 12 play. In the second game, everything just fell into place.

On adjustments she made after the first set: Like coach said, just started hitting over the block. I didn’t have to worry about angles anymore. I felt like I could just go over and swing free.

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