Acevedo powers No. 8 Volleyball to 3-0 victory at No. 9 Wisconsin
MADISON, Wis. -- UT senior Dariam Acevedo (Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico) led UT with 17 kills on .382 hitting, as Texas hit .333 for the match on its way to a 3-0 victory Friday evening over No. 9 Wisconsin before 4,226 fans at the UW Field House. Texas improves to 28-5 in season openers and advances to the finals of the AVCA Volleyball Showcase where it will meet third-ranked Washington, a 3-0 winner over No. 15 Ohio. Texas will take on the defending NCAA Champion on Saturday beginning at 7:30 p.m. CDT in a match set for a live national telecast on College Sports Television (CSTV).
"I'm very pleased to open up with a win, in one of the toughest places to play in the country," said sixth-year UT coach Jerritt Elliott. "You're always excited and think you have a pretty good team in the preseason, but in our first night out, I thought we executed pretty well. I thought our composure was very good. We were able to get in a rhythm defensively, which translated into a lot of points for us."
Despite committing five early service errors, Texas remained nearly even with Wisconsin behind the attacking of Acevedo and freshmen Ashley Engle (Yorba Linda, Calif.) and Destinee Hooker (San Antonio, Texas). Hooker registered two decisive kills to give Texas an early 10-9 lead before Wisconsin capitalized on a pair of Texas mistakes to take an 11-10 lead. Engle evened the game at 11 with a kill before Hooker added another putaway for a 12-11 Texas lead.
Later on, with the game tied at 18 apiece, Texas ran off three consecutive points behind a Jennifer Todd (Henderson, Nev.) kill, a Hooker block and a Wisconsin attack error. The Badgers pulled within 22-21 before Texas ran off four more points to take a 26-21 lead and force a Wisconsin timeout. The Badgers responded with four straight points to draw within 26-25 but landed the next serve out of bounds to end the rally. An Acevedo kill and a Wisconsin attack error gave Texas a 29-26 lead. The Longhorns committed a couple of errors before Todd registered the final kill to put away the game, 30-28.
Texas raced out to a quick start in the second game, taking a 6-1 lead with two Engle kills and one block. UT continued on its way to a 17-9 lead behind another Todd kill. The Badgers ran off four points to pull within 17-13 before too Hooker kills gave Texas a 19-13 lead. At 19-15, Texas ran off six consecutive points to put the game out of the Badgers' reach. UT took three of the next four points to assume a 29-16 lead, and Wisconsin saved two game points, Engle put away the second game with her team-leading sixth kill of that stanza to stake Texas to a 2-0 lead.
Texas took a 6-3 lead in the third game before Wisconsin managed to pull even. Trailing 9-8, Texas took the next five points to assume a 13-9 lead. The Badgers rallied for two points behind an Armstrong service error and a Hooker attack error, but Texas took six of the next eight points to take an 18-12 lead. After a Wisconsin block, Armstrong registered two more kills to put UT up 20-13.
Wisconsin scored six of nine points to draw within 23-19 before UT added two points on a Badger service error and an Armstrong block. Hooker added kills on two of the next three points before Armstrong added another kill to give Texas a 29-22 lead. Paolini and Armstrong teamed up for one final block to give UT the 30-22 win and a 3-0 team victory over the host Badgers.
On the match, Texas out-hit Wisconsin by a .333 to .137 margin and outblocked the Badgers, 10-8. Three Longhorns - Engle, freshman Heather Kisner (Sugar Land, Texas) and junior Alyson Jennings (Costa Mesa, Calif.) contributed 12, 13 and 13 digs respectively to cap a tremendous defensive effort. Junior All-America setter Michelle Moriarty (Houston, Texas) led all players with 44 assists.