OMAHA, Neb. − For the first time in a decade, the Texas Longhorns are the last team standing at the NCAA volleyball tournament.
Well, the Longhorns weren’t necessarily standing. There was a dogpile on the floor at the CHI Health Center that Texas was involved in after a 25-22, 25-14, 26-24 win over Louisville in the NCAA’s championship match on Saturday night. Led by Logan Eggleston’s and Madisen Skinner’s 31 combined kills, Texas secured the 2022 NCAA championship.
Texas last won a national championship in 2012. The Longhorns have now claimed three NCAA titles and an AIAW crown.
Named the AVCA Player of the Year on Friday, Eggleston showed why she won that award in Saturday’s opening set. As Texas responded to an early 3-0 deficit, Eggleston had 10 kills on 16 swings.
Texas hit .533 in the opening set, but one key point was credited to the team’s defense. Leading 20-18, Texas prevented Louisville from scoring as Saige Ka’aha’aina-Torres, Zoe Fleck and Emma Halter all had significant saves on a long rally that ended on a combination block from Molly Phillips and Asjia O’Neal. Not to feel left out, Eggleston ran down a deflected volleyball that was sailing towards the scorer’s table to keep the play going.
Texas never trailed in a second set that it hit .400 in.
Louisville held a 24-22 lead in the final set, but Texas scored the final four points. An ace by Keonilei Akana ended the match.
Texas (28-1) joins Stanford’s 2018 squad as the only teams in the last decade to win a national championship after entering the NCAA Tournament as the top overall seed. This is the first Texas team to lose fewer than two times over the course of a season. The 28 wins are the fifth-most of the Jerritt Elliott era, which began in 2001.
Louisville, which was looking for its first-ever championship, ends its season with a 31-3 record.