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Texas volleyball sweeps Texas State as coach Jerritt Elliott sits out, goes into quarantine

Keff Ciardello
American-Statesman Correspondent
Texas outside hitter Logan Eggleston, hitting past Texas State middle blocker Jillian Slaughter, center, and outside hitter Janell Fitzgerald during teams' match earlier this month, led the Longhorns with 14 kills in Tuesday's 3-0 sweep of the Bobcats.

SAN MARCOS — Texas volleyball notched its third straight sweep Tuesday night, blanking Texas State for the second time this season, but the second-ranked Longhorns did it without their head coach.

Jerritt Elliott remained in Austin, in quarantine due to COVID-19 protocols after he was identified in contact tracing with a family member. Associate head coaches Tonya Johnson and Erik Sullivan replaced him as co-head coaches in the 25-11, 25-11, 25-21 victory. 

“It’s obviously a little different, but we all kind of had our roles, so I think we all just took a little of what Jerritt does but did it as a committee,” Sullivan said. “We’ve got a great staff, we’ve been together a long time. Obviously, we want Jerritt around, but we have this continuity where it was just kind of business as usual.”

Logan Eggleston led the way for Texas (20-0) with 14 kills. Skylar Fields had 12 while Melanie Parra and Asjia O’Neal had 10 apiece.

“We’ve been off for a few days, so it felt good to get back in the gym and face a new opponent,” Eggleston said. “Janell (Fitzgerald) is a good player, so she’s always one of the players that we’re always looking out for. Also their setter (Emily DeWalt) does a great job of distributing the ball, so we always have to know where she is.”

Fitzgerald was second on the Bobcats with five kills behind Lauren Teske's six. DeWalt had 14 assists and five digs. 

Texas raced to a 12-2 lead in the first set and closed it with a 12-6 run. Fitzgerald recorded her 1,000th career kill for the Bobcats.

Texas State took its first lead of the match in the second set, going up 8-7. But the lead was short-lived; Texas went on an 18-3 tear, including a 12-0 run to finish the set 25-11. Eggleston and Fields each had five kills and Jhenna Gabriel had 23 assists through the first two sets.

In the final frame, the teams were tied at 2-2 when the Longhorns went on a 4-0 run to take a 6-2 lead. Texas State outside hitter Daleigh Ellison then left with an injury with the Longhorns up 7-5.

After going down 12-7, the Bobcats tied the set at 17-17 after a 5-1 run. Consecutive kills for Eggleston propelled a 4-0 run for Texas to give the Longhorns a 22-18 lead. An ace on match point gave the Longhorns a 25-21 win.

Texas' next match is at home against Rice at the Erwin Center on March 23; the Longhorns will then take on Baylor in Waco on March 26.