No. 1 Texas proved they are here to stay as the top team in the nation. The Longhorns took down the No. 4 Minnesota Gophers in four sets in front of a sold out crowd in their home opener, and they look like they are going to be a really special team this season. The Gophers put up an incredible fight to stay in that match despite a lot of errors, but Texas would have never allowed it.
SET-BY-SET RECAP: Here's how the Longhorns got the win
It looked like it might be an easy sweep when the Longhorns went up 2-0, but Minnesota made things really interesting in the third set. Suddenly it felt like we were watching postseason volleyball, when every single point matters, in just the second weekend of volleyball. Minnesota has one of the best freshman classes in the nation this season, and two of them showed up big late in the match. Julia Hansen was a huge spark for the Gophers, and she and the usual duo of Jenna Weenas and Taylor Landfair kept the Gophers in the match. It seemed they were trying to beat Texas at their own game —serving aggressively and getting the other team out of system — but it mostly resulted in a lot of service errors. They made up for it here and there with some great blocking, but it was ultimately not enough.
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Texas came alive in the back half of the fourth set. And when a team as deep as the Longhorn gets some wind underneath their wings, it is pretty unstoppable. Logan Eggleston is a phenomenal athlete and leader, perhaps looking like the best player in college volleyball right now. She was able to give her team a lot of runs from behind the service line, and then they were able to go to their bench to get some offensive production. Even freshman, Devin Kahahawai, came in late in the fourth set and had two monumental points in a crucial moment. Texas has SO much depth, that All-American transfer Kayla Caffey didn't even see the court in the win.
Texas moves to 3-0 on the season, and Minnesota is now 2-1. Overall, though, I only see promising signs for the Gophers moving forward. Competing with a team like Texas this early in the season will take them far later on. I don't imagine they will drop much in anyone's eyes after that performance. What a match!
Whaaaaaaaaaattttt 🤯🤯🤯 pic.twitter.com/RH58kLZh4T— Texas Volleyball (@TexasVolleyball) September 1, 2022