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Texas volleyball team shocked by Rice for second straight match

American-Statesman Staff
Texas head coach Jerritt Elliott speaks to his team during a Big 12 volleyball match at the Erwin Center in October. The Longhorns suffered their first loss of the season in an upset against Rice on Tuesday.

Not only did the Rice Owls hand the No. 2 Longhorns their first loss this season, but they made it two straight wins over a Texas team that had previously won 36 in a row in the matchup.

Logan Eggleston led Texas (20-1) with 21 kills, but it wasn't enough to avoid a five-set 10-25, 25-16, 25-23, 14-25, 15-13 win for the Owls.

A weekend matchup with No. 6 Baylor awaits the Longhorns before they close out the regular season with two matches against TCU.

More:Another sweep has No. 2 Texas volleyball feeling right at home

Despite falling to Baylor in five sets Friday, the Owls (14-4) weren't about to lose to another top-10 opponent.

Nicole Lennon led Rice with 18 kills and 14 digs. Anota Adekunle added 12 kills for the Owls. Carly Graham had 32 assists and 12 digs.

Melanie Parra had 13 kills for Texas while Brionne Butler was a kill and a block shy of a double-double. Jhenna Gabriel had 43 assists, nine digs and two aces. Parra led with four aces while Asjia O'Neal had three. Despite those numbers, Texas struggled with 13 service errors in the game.

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Following a strong first set for Texas, Rice amassed 30 kills in the next two games on the way to taking both frames and a 2-1 set lead.

The Longhorns bounced back to take the fourth set on a kill by Eggleston, forcing a deciding game. Of Texas' final four points of the set, three were kills by Eggleston.

The teams played even early in the final set and tied at 8-8 before Texas took a 12-9 advantage.

The Owls ended the match on a 6-1 run, however, to secure the upset win. Lennon had a kill to set up match point and an attacking error by Eggleston closed it out.