Season-high attendance helps No. 9 Volleyball win against Oklahoma
Sept. 24, 2012
By Elissa Schneiderman, Texas Media Relations
AUSTIN, Texas -- On just the second point of the match Saturday afternoon at Gregory Gym, junior setter Hannah Allison executed a textbook pass to sophomore outside hitter Haley Eckerman, who was positioned in her left court sweet spot. Eckerman took a massive swing and made solid contact with the ball. The public address announcer then declared, "point Texas" as the Longhorn crowed swelled with a resounding, "point Texas!" in response.
The season-high crowd of 4,181, who packed Gregory Gym on Texas Traditions Day had made their presence known and ultimately, the crowd helped spur No. 9 Volleyball (9-3, 2-0) in their 3-0 (25-18, 25-14, 25-10) sweep of conference rival Oklahoma.
The Sooners' 42 combined points scored on Saturday were the fewest allowed by Texas in the series since rally scoring was implemented in 2001.
"Anytime you have a crowd like that, it is worth points to us," head coach Jerritt Elliott said in the post-match conference Saturday evening.
"I want to take the time to thank the fans for coming out. It was a great environment for our team and made them feel really special. It is nice to have that kind of support behind us in a big match."
The crowd's energy was contagious and the Horns were rallied by the enthusiasm.
"The crowd is a huge help," junior outside hitter Bailey Webster said. "Having a whole support system behind you, cheering for you when you are doing well, and still supporting you when you may miss out on a point, helps a lot to move forward and finish the game off. It was great."
For Elliott, passionate fans and a home venue that fills up regularly is advantageous from a recruiting standpoint, as well.
"[The crowd is] a big part of our program and that type of environment is the reason why a lot of these players are sitting here," Elliott said.
"It is special when we have those kind of numbers show up, which we would like to get a little bit more consistent in. It is a great product with a great bunch of young women playing at a high level."
Elliott encourages UT fans to continue showing support for his squad, particularly as they transition deeper into conference play and look ahead to a lengthy post-season run.
"We feel that we have a very fun team to watch and they are very athletic," Elliott said. "We hope that fans continue to come out and support us because it is very important for our run, not only the Big 12 but also hosting the Regionals, should we be able to advance that far."
The next home match for the Longhorns will be Wednesday (Oct. 3) against TCU at 7 p.m