Texas freshman Brionne Butler (10) looks to block Ashley Shook (9) during an intrasquad scrimmage at Gregory Gym on Aug. 19, 2017. (Stephen Spillman / for American-Statesman)

BEVO BEAT Volleyball

Freshmen ready for first match at Gregory Gym as Texas hosts its Orange-White Scrimmage

Posted August 17th, 2018

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Last September, Logan Eggleston sat in the Gregory Gym stands as Texas swept Kansas State in a Big 12 volleyball match. One year after her first-ever trip to UT’s home court, she’s upgraded to floor seats.

Eggleston will make her on-court debut at Gregory Gym in the Orange-White Scrimmage on Saturday. The intrasquad skirmish, which is open to the public, is set to begin at 11 a.m. Ex-Longhorn standouts Juliann Johnson, Alyson Jennings and Ebony Nwanebu are also expected to participate.

“I’m super excited. Just to get to see everyone come into Gregory and feel the energy in here and get to finally play under these lights and in front of all the people,” said Eggleston, an outside hitter who joined the Longhorns after skipping her senior year of high school. “I’ve been waiting for two years.”

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Read more: Texas enters 2018 volleyball season with a quartet of applicants for its libero job

Saturday’s scrimmage will give Texas fans their first look at UT’s 2018 recruiting class. Eggleston is joined by incoming freshmen Jhenna Gabriel, Katarina Luketić, Asjia O’Neal and Sydney Petersen. That quintet will be classified alongside middle blocker Brionne Butler, who redshirted in 2017.

Texas coach Jerritt Elliott believes all six freshmen are capable of contributing this season. Using youth on the court is not rare, the coach said. Three freshmen, after all, were role players when Texas won a national championship in 2012.

“I think we have a lot of talent in our class,” Eggleston said. “I think everyone is a super-hard worker and everyone is going to really compete in the gym to make everyone else better. I think our group is really going to help this team.”

Petersen and Eggleston both said the freshmen are fitting in with UT’s 10 returnees. None of the 2018 signees were on campus during the spring, but three of the newcomers went on the team’s summertime tour of Europe. The team began practicing earlier this month and participated in a scrimmage against LSU last weekend.

On Saturday, Elliott said he will be stressing on-court communication and the execution of systems the team has worked on in practice. The Orange-White Scrimmage will be UT’s final tune-up before it opens its season against Oregon on Aug. 24.

“I’m enjoying the process because I like to be prepared for things,” Petersen said. “But some people, I think, are ready to play.”

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