Players and coaches from all four of the teams in the NCAA D1 Women’s Volleyball National Championship semifinals (Thursday night at 7 and 9:30 p.m. on ESPN) have ties to USA Volleyball’s National Team Development Program and even to its national teams
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Dec. 15, 2022) – The University of Texas Women’s Volleyball Team will play for its third NCAA Division I National Championship after beating the University of San Diego 3-1 (26-28, 25-16, 25-18, 25-20) in Thursday’s semifinal at the CHI Health Center in Omaha, Neb.
Texas (27-1) will play in its seventh NCAA National Championship final on Saturday (8 p.m. ET on ESPN2) against Louisville (31-2). San Diego finished its season 31-2.
After a slow start, Texas led San Diego in kills (59-45) and blocks (12-9). San Diego held a 4-3 edge in aces. Texas had a .248 hitting efficiency behind setter Saige Ka’aha’aina-Torres. San Diego hit .112.
“In game 1, we made too many errors,” Texas Head Coach Jerritt Elliott said. “This is a sport where you can beat yourself if you make too many errors and we did that in game 1… I am really proud of our kids and the way the looked at each other and believed in one another. Different people stepped up tonight.”
Texas outside hitter Logan Eggleston, who has been part of USA Volleyball’s National Team Development Program (NTDP) and trained with the Women’s National Team coaches in the spring, led all scorers with 19.5 points on 16 kills, one ace and five block assists.
Outside hitter Madisen Skinner was right behind Eggleston with 18.5 points on 17 kills and three block assists. Skinner also attended USA Volleyball’s spring training and said it inspired her for the 2022 college season.
“It’s always so fun to train with the best,” Skinner said. “It inspires me to come back and bring some of the knowledge I got from USA back to my team and just motivates me to work even harder.”
Opposite Molly Phillips, another NTDP alum, added 14.5 points on 14 kills and one block assist. Libero Zoe Fleck, who played with the Women’s Collegiate National Team over the summer, had 21 digs and 18 receptions.
San Diego outside hitter Breana Edwards led her team with 15 points on 14 kills and two block assists. Middle blocker Leyla Blackwell added 12.5 points on nine kills and seven block assists.
San Diego Head Coach Jenn Petrie, who was named the 2022 AVCA Coach of the Year, lauded her team’s effort in its first ever National Championship semifinal appearance.
“Kudos to Texas, who is a very, very good team,” Petrie said. “(A team) I thought we pushed tonight, and we battled with, and it could have come out the other way on any other given night.”