Texas takes down Minnesota volleyball 3-1 in top-10 battle
No. 1 Texas takes down No. 10 Minnesota 3-1
The No. 1 Texas Longhorns withstood the challenge and took down Minnesota 3-1 (26-24, 25-21, 21-25, 25-22) on the Gophers' home court on Wednesday night. The Longhorns won the fourth set in another close battle.
The end of the fourth set certainly had us all on the edge of our seats. The set was tied at 18, then tied at 20, before the Longhorns notched three in a row with an Eggleston block and Philips kill and to take a 23-20 lead. Philips has been an unbelievable weapon for the Longhorns tonight, posting a career high 13 kills on .458 hitting.
Minnesota responded immediately though with a Samedy kill and big time block on Eggleston to get right back into it. But a Minnesota service error and another rocket from Eggleston sealed the deal for the No. 1 Longhorns.
SOLO BLOCK! Horns lead 2️⃣2️⃣-2️⃣0️⃣!@loganeggleston_ | #HookEm pic.twitter.com/79EU6PMO15— Texas Volleyball (@TexasVolleyball) September 2, 2021
What started out as a messy match turned into a high-caliber volleyball battle that we have all been looking forward to. The Gophers rose to the challenge and improved as the match went on against the experienced Longhorns roster. The Gophers have some new components to their team, and head coach Hugh McCutcheon must be happy with the way his team battled against the No. 1 team in the nation. If anything, this proved the Gophers will be a force to be reckoned with this season. They loaded their non-conference schedule for this very reason: rising to the occasion, learning from mistakes, getting tested against good teams.
Stephanie Samedy notched 21 kills on .236 hitting. She improved as the match went on. The duo of sophomore standouts Taylor Landfair and Jenna Wenaas posted 11 kills apiece.
For the Longhorns, Eggleston led with 17 kills. Skylar Fields came up big down the stretch with 14 kills after twisting her ankle earlier, Phillips had a career-high match, and Brionne Butler added nine kills and was a crucial aspect of their high-performing offense towards the end of the match.
The Longhorns and Gophers are tied in the fourth
Nine ties and a couple of lead changes in the fourth set ... we've got a battle on our hands. Both Minnesota and Texas have cleaned it up in the fourth set and this is looking like some high-level volleyball right now. Texas is hitting over .300 and Minnesota is hitting .200 this set. The Longhorns and the Gophers both have three players in double-digit kills for the match.
The fourth set was point-for-point when Parra headed back to the service line .. she has gone on some big-time serving runs for the Longhorns all match long. But Samedy picked up a big side out and kept the match tight. A big-time block from Jenna Wenaas for the Gophers tied it up at 13.
Minnesota remains alive, wins third set 25-21 to avoid the sweep
The Gophers have forced a fourth set, taking the third 25-21. The third set was an absolute battle. Minnesota led the majority of the time, and the big question became would they be able to protect their lead this time around. Another monster kill from Samedy gave the Gophers the first set point of the match and then an Eggleston attacking error gave them the set.
The Gophers outhit the Longhorns .394 to .190 in the third with only two errors compared the Longhorn's five. Samedy is up to 17 kills, a usual stat line for the star, Jenna Wenaas is up to eight kills and Landfair chipped in nine.
CC McGraw has been a big reason for the Gophers success this match but especially in the third set. She has been keeping them alive play after play. She notched seven of her 18 digs in the third set. Melani Shaffmaster, the Gopher's sophomore setter, is up to 29 assists and one kill, but a good one. Check it out ⬇️
6'3" setter, at your service. @melshaffmaster pic.twitter.com/G4kbeuPA56— Minnesota Volleyball (@GopherVBall) September 2, 2021
Minnesota leads in third set
The Gophers are not going to go down without a fight. Minnesota leads 15-11 in the third set with a .450 hitting efficiency, a large improvement from the first two sets.
Samedy is up to 13 kills on .273 hitting. Every time she does something like this ⬇️, we get reminded as to why she won Big Ten Player of the year last season.
Speechless, @StephanieSamedy. 😱 pic.twitter.com/5mWH1PX3wU— Minnesota Volleyball (@GopherVBall) September 2, 2021
Texas takes 2-0 lead with 25-21 win in set 2
The Longhorns took the second set 25-21 to take a 2-0 lead in the match. The No. 1 team is now one set away from a sweep. The Gophers are really pushing the Longhorns, and this is an extremely competitive matchup, but Minnesota has been really struggling to seal the deal.
Texas led almost the whole way in set 2, relying heavily on their star player, Logan Eggleston. This time around they outhit the Gophers .225 to .087. Eggleston leads with eight kills and Phillips has seven kills on .462 hitting efficiency. Four Texas players have over six kills.
Samedy is up to nine kills on the match for the Gophers, but Landfair has been quiet since her hot start in the first set. She didn't notch a kill in the second.
Overall, the Longhorns are displaying a lot more depth and balance offensively, and now that they have found their rhythm a bit, they are leading the way.
Sheeeeeeesh @loganeggleston_! pic.twitter.com/jExAoWfMqN— Texas Volleyball (@TexasVolleyball) September 2, 2021
Texas leads 15-13 in the second set
The Longhorns picked up right where they left off in set 2 and utilized a tactic that they were known for last season: extremely tough serving. They proved to have a new serving weapon this year though, aside from just Eggleston. Melanie Parra has a wicked serve. She went on a 4-0 serving run to start the set before Samedy ended the run.
The Gophers stayed right there with them this set though as Samedy turned it on. They tied it up at 11, but never took the lead. Texas has kept the lead the whole set. Brionne Butler is up to six kills on .300 hitting, Molly Philips has five, and Eggleston has six kills.
Whenever they get ahead though, Samedy sends a rocket over the net. The reigning Big Ten Player of the Year is willing her team right now.
The No. 1 Longhorns rally to take set 1 26-24
It looked like it was going to be all Minnesota in set 1, but the No. 1 team in the country showed exactly that as they stormed back to take set 1 after trailing almost the entire time. Texas hit .105 on the set and still managed to win it.
The Gophers had a 23-17 lead before the Longhorns went on a 7-0 run to take a 24-23 lead. All of a sudden it felt all too familiar to Minnesota's fourth set loss against Baylor. One where they had set point leading 24-20 and allowed a massive Baylor comeback. The Longhorns turned on the jets when it mattered most at the end of the match despite struggling most of the set.
Brionne Butler came up big at the net for the Longhorns and Skylar Fields got fired up late in the set as the Longhorns found their rhythm. It was certainly strange seeing the Longhorns struggling, but it didn't last long enough for them to go down 1-0.
A big block for @ButlerBrionne & @mollyphillips_!— Texas Volleyball (@TexasVolleyball) September 2, 2021
Texas has cut it to 23-22!!! #HookEm pic.twitter.com/YebwyOfLBR
Minnesota leads 15-12
The Longhorns were able to gain a bit of momentum back, but the Gophers still lead this set 15-12. Neither team is playing at their best, it looks a little sloppy out there with a lot of unforced errors on both ends. Texas is currently hitting a low .050, and Minnesota is not that far ahead with a .100 hitting efficiency.
We haven't heard much of Stephanie Samedy's name tonight, an unusual thing for the Gophers. But Samedy just notched her first kill with a monster shot out of the back row.
Never fear, @StephanieSamedy is here! pic.twitter.com/1QdhD6QbVs— Minnesota Volleyball (@GopherVBall) September 2, 2021
The Gophers applying pressure on the Longhorns early
The Gophers are applying the pressure EARLY on the Longhorns. It looks like they didn't like the feeling of a loss and moving down in the rankings this week, because they came out tonight on fire against the No. 1 team in the country. The Longhorns scored the first two points of the match, but Minnesota went on a 6-0 run to force the Longhorns to take an early timeout. Taylor Landfair currently has three kills for the Gophers on .750 hitting.
Minnesota vs. Texas, pregame
Two of the best players in the country will be facing off tonight: Logan Eggleston for Texas and Stephanie Samedy for Minnesota. Take a look at the starting lineups for the matchup:
#Gophers kicking off the home season tonight! pic.twitter.com/OWrBVBgecK— Minnesota Volleyball (@GopherVBall) September 2, 2021
Tonight's starters!#HookEm pic.twitter.com/WCVQmShw2L— Texas Volleyball (@TexasVolleyball) September 2, 2021
No. 1 Texas vs. No. 10 Minnesota, first serve at 8 p.m. Eastern
First serve for the top 10 showdown between Texas and Minnesota will be at 8 p.m. Eastern on Big Ten Network. The No. 1 Longhorns will face their first top 10 opponent of the season after making it to the national championship match last year and returning five AVCA All-Americans. This will also be their first game on the road.
The Gophers are coming off of a 1-1 opening weekend with a loss to Baylor, and now will be looking to bounce back against the top team in the country. Minnesota is 5-5 all-time against Texas, but 2-0 at home. They last played in 2019 in Austin and the Longhorns came away with a three-set win. The Gophers last win against a No. 1 ranked team was on Sept. 14, 2019 against Stanford, a 3-1 win.
The thing about the Gophers this season is their absolutely loaded non-conference schedule. They are set to take on seven teams ranked in the AVCA preseason top-10 (second most top-10 games in the country). They already faced Baylor, now they will face Texas, and then Florida this weekend.
🚨 𝗪𝗘𝗗𝗡𝗘𝗦𝗗𝗔𝗬 | 𝟴 𝗣𝗠 𝗘𝗧 / 𝟳𝗖𝗧— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) September 1, 2021
🏐 #1 TEXAS at #10 @GopherVBall
📍Powered by Unleaded 88 pic.twitter.com/13jLaLgg8d
How to watch Texas vs. Minnesota volleyball
No. 1 Texas will take on No. 10 Minnesota in one of our top matchups of the week this Wednesday, Sept. 1 at 8 p.m. ET on Big Ten Network. We will also provide live updates during the match here.
No. 1 Texas vs. No. 10 Minnesota, previewed
The No. 1 Texas Longhorns made it all the way to the national championship match last season before falling to Kentucky. This season, they returned their entire loaded lineup, including five AVCA All-Americans, leaving all of us volleyball fans with high expectations for this star-studded team. Last season they almost went undefeated the entire season, but it was largely in-part due to mostly in-conference schedules. This season, as you all know, non-conference matchups are back, and all of the fun that comes with it. Taking on No. 10 Minnesota will be the Longhorns' first real test this season. It is also their first road game of the 2021 season.
The Longhorns have a 5-5 record all-time against the Golden Gophers but are 0-2 in Minneapolis. In the last matchup between Texas and Minnesota, Texas won 3-1 at Gregory Gym in 2019.
Texas started off the season with two wins over San Diego and UTSA. Skylar Fields led the scoring effort in both matchups along with familiar names of Logan Eggleston, Brionne Butler, Asjia O'Neal and Molly Phillips. Melanie Parra posted seven kills in the win over San Diego and will likely be a more utilized weapon in 2021. The Longhorns found a lot of success at the service line last season in the NCAA tournament, forcing their opponents off the net and out of system. They have only played two matches this season but the tactic remains: They notched an absurd number of 14 service aces against UTSA and Eggleston tied her career high with five on the match.
The Gophers come into this season without Regan Pittman and Adanna Rollins, but return Stephanie Samedy and Taylor Landfair. They opened up the season with a four-set loss to Baylor and then a sweep over TCU. Stephanie Samedy had yet another 20-plus kill match against Baylor, Landfair added 11 and Jenna Wenaas notched 11 kills as well. The match seemed to be a big loss, but it could've been a totally different story in the fourth set. Minnesota was in control for much of the fourth set and led by as many as four at 24-20. But Baylor responded with four straight points and eight of the next 10 to take the set, 28-26, and the match.
.@StephanieSamedy picked up right where she left off in 2020-21 with 33 kills, 25 digs and three blocks against Baylor and TCU.— Minnesota Volleyball (@GopherVBall) August 30, 2021
After the first weekend of play, she leads @B1GVolleyball with 5.71 points per set 💫 pic.twitter.com/qnBxQ7tGWv
The thing about this season is that good teams are going to have more losses, and this Minnesota team is still a strong group that should pose a big challenge for the Longhorns this season.
Here is a look at some of the top players to watch out for in Wednesday's matchup:
- Logan Eggleston
- Skylar Fields
- Brionne Butler
- Asjia O'Neal
- Jhenna Gabriel
- Stephanie Samedy
- CC McGraw
- Taylor Landfair
- Jenna Wenaas
Latest AVCA rankings
Power 10 rankings after Week 1
What an opening weekend of college volleyball. I would say it is pretty clear that we are going to have a really fun volleyball season. Competition is tough this year and non-conference schedules are back. Here are my Power 10 rankings following the opening weekend of college volleyball.