OMAHA, Neb. (AP)Logan Eggleston, the three-time Big 12 player of the year, had the game-winning kill to reach 16 on the match and No. 1 overall seed Texas beat San Diego 26-28, 25-16, 25-18, 25-20 on Thursday night in the semifinals of the NCAA volleyball tournament.
Texas (27-1), in its 14th semifinal appearance, is going to the championship match for the ninth time in program history. The Longhorns will go for their fourth national championship on Saturday against Louisville, the second overall seed.
Texas trailed 4-0 to start the fourth set but rallied with four unanswered points for an 8-7 lead. Eggleston, who struggled with four attacking errors in the first set, turned it around and had the game-winning kill to send Texas to the championship match.
Other Texas players stepped up with their leader struggling early as Madisen Skinner and Molly Phillips each finished with double-digit kills with 17 and 14, respectively. Zoe Fleck reached 20-plus digs for the fifth time this season with 21 and Bella Bergmark came off the bench for four key blocks.
”I thought we did an great job from the service line after Game 1,” Texas coach Jerritt Elliott said. ”And then we really started to get a lot of touches and controlling the ball, getting good transition swings. We weren’t great at transition for a lot of points with Logan, but we started to figure it out and I’m glad she ended the match with that last swing.”
Second-seeded San Diego (31-1), which was competing its its first NCAA semifinal in program history, had its 28-match win streak snapped. The Toreros were seeking to become fourth team in the last 25 years to make NCAA final in first appearance at final four.
San Diego was undone by 29 errors.
San Diego took the first set 28-26 after 10 lead changes, 21 ties and four set points. It was just the fifth time this season Texas dropped the first set, due to 11 attacking errors and hitting .056.
The first three-point lead for either team came in the second set with Texas leading 16-13. The Longhorns used a 4-0 run for a 21-14 lead in the second set and closed on another 4-0 run.
Texas was much cleaner in the second set, hitting .333 and holding San Diego to .077. The Longhorns had just two attacking errors in the second set compared to eight for San Diego.
The first ace for Texas came in the third set and Bergmark had back-to-back blocks for a 22-16 lead and her fourth block capped a 3-0 run to win the set.
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