With the lack of pivotal graduated seniors following their 2022 Nationwide Championship title, head coach Jerritt Elliott wanted to make some essential changes to the Texas volleyball program.
“Yearly you have got totally different personnel,” Elliott mentioned. “You need to discover the strengths and superpowers. Now we have a number of nice gamers coming again, and we attempt to fill these footwear fairly quick.”
Outdoors hitter and 2022 AVCA Nationwide Participant of the 12 months Logan Eggleston, libero Zoe Fleck and setter Saige Kaʻahaʻaina-Torres have been probably the most influential parts in taking house the fourth title in Texas volleyball program historical past and a 28–1 total 2022 season report. Eggleston’s management, Fleck’s back-row defensive quickness and Texas’ in-system offense quarterbacked by Kaʻahaʻaina-Torres proved to work cohesively. Nonetheless, with the shut of their collegiate careers final season and their skilled volleyball journeys starting, the Longhorns have main footwear to fill.
“They’re an enormous a part of Texas,” Elliott mentioned. “They left it higher than they discovered it, and so they’re watching from afar, and it’s nice.”
On Wednesday, Texas volleyball stepped foot in Gregory Fitness center with a spring matchup in opposition to Baylor and showcased some new additions to the roster. The Longhorns ran the scoreboard with a 3-0 sweep on the match 25-21, 25-10 and 25-20 respectively. Whatever the outcome, two extra units have been performed. Texas took management of the fourth set, 25-23 however dropped 10-15 within the fifth.
Freshman setter Ella Swindle changed Kaʻahaʻaina-Torres within the beginning setter place to start the sport. Though she struggled with minor ball placement points, she managed to attach closely with junior outdoors hitter Madisen Skinner, who will likely be harmful for opponents within the upcoming season as a possible six-rotation participant.
Switch junior outdoors hitter Jenna Wenaas had a hot-hitting hand, however grappled closely with serve return and ball placement for Swindle.
Sophomore Emma Halter and junior Keonilei Akana each repped the black libero jersey. Nonetheless, Halter’s fast mobility was extra useful in aiding a struggling again row protection now with out Fleck. Halter’s ball placement set the Longhorns up for an in-system offense, which creates extra alternatives for Texas and can put the Longhorns within the fall.
A mixture of Skinner’s highly effective swinging arm along side redshirt senior center blocker Asjia O’Neal’s proficient blocking method is a harmful duo to face. O’Neal and Skinner’s management and expertise will create a brand new dynamic for the 2023 season.
“Our tradition is already fairly established,” O’Neal mentioned. “I feel as a result of we’ve got upperclassmen that maintain that normal actually excessive, it’s simple for folks to come back in and see what the expectations are and fall by way of with it.”
Skinner mentioned that their relationship with each other proves to be essential in studying from one another and establishing good connections on the courtroom.
“We spend money on our friendships off the courtroom, as effectively,” Skinner mentioned. “We all know we will maintain one another accountable, and we all know we care about one another, and that’s all that issues. It’s all from a spot of affection, and everyone knows that.”