No. 3 Volleyball sweeps past TCU in season opener
Aug. 27, 2010
AUSTIN, Texas -- Sophomore opposite hitter Sha'Dare McNeal headlined a balanced Longhorns attack as the No. 3 Texas Volleyball team rolled to a 3-0 victory in its season opener against TCU at the Burnt Orange Classic. The 25-18, 25-12, 25-12 win extended UT's home winning streak to 21 matches and improved its record to 31-6 all-time in season openers.
McNeal shined for the Horns connecting for 10 kills on .562 hitting and collecting 10 digs to post her first career kill/dig double-double. Junior outside hitter Amber Roberson added her first career double-double with 11 kills and 13 digs, while senior All-America outside hitter Juliann Faucette hammered out 10 kills and recorded a career-high seven service aces.
In the first, Texas came out of the gate firing with Roberson capping a 9-1 Texas run with consecutive kills. TCU battled back to shrink the margin to two at the 17-15 mark, but McNeal connected for three kills as part of a set-ending 7-2 run that propelled the Longhorns to a 25-18 victory.
Texas took command early in the second frame, claiming an 8-2 edge when freshman setter Hannah Allison hooked up with senior middle blocker Jennifer Doris on a slide. The Horned Frogs shrank the lead to two before the Horns mounted an 8-0 rally that was fueled by two Allison aces and a pair of kills from McNeal. A 4-0 run headlined by two kills from Roberson ballooned the lead to 22-9 and McNeal's fourth kill of the set gave UT a 25-12 win.
In the third stanza, the Horns fell behind 1-0, but Faucette responded by serving five straight points, including four-consecutive service aces that pushed the UT lead to 5-1. Faucette added two kills during a five-point serving run by senior outside hitter Lauren Dickson and Texas took a 15-5 advantage. Back-to-back points by Faucette on a kill and an ace extended the lead to 23-10 and a kill by McNeal forced match point. Texas closed out the frame 25-12 on an errant service attempt by TCU's Irene Hester.
Texas returns to action on Saturday, Aug. 28 when it resumes action at the Burnt Orange Classic and takes on McNeese State at Noon and Houston at 6:30 p.m. Central.
On adjustments for tomorrow's matches: Just get some more players some looks tomorrow. Try to figure out some of our personnel. We need to get some people who have been injured some more opportunities. I was very pleased for our first performance. We didn't give up many points. The way that we finished was really strong. The only thing we need is a little more balance with our offense; getting Jen Doris more involved and making sure our numbers are pretty equal all around the board.
On tonight's environment: I loved the environment. It's so special to have so many students out. They are starting to catch on that it's a fun sport to be a part of. They are right on the floor, it's a great environment and the community is getting more involved. We need that to be a top-notch program. We want to grow this and make it the best volleyball environment in the country and it's right there when this crowd is so loud like it was tonight. It's special for the players because of how hard they work.
Senior outside hitter Juliann Faucette
On her pre-game nerves: I think there were nerves all around. We have five new freshmen and one new player with Lauren Dickson. Being in this huge environment for the first time is kind of overwhelming, but I think we have a lot of experience with the juniors, seniors and sophomores that have been through it so we help each other out.
Freshman setter Hannah Allison
On her first match as a Longhorn: It was surreal. I've been watching them do it for a lot of years and now I'm the one on the court getting to do it. It made me feel very honored to play for Texas.
Sophomore opposite hitter Sha'Dare McNeal