No. 3 Volleyball sweeps past Houston to win Burnt Orange Classic title
Aug. 28, 2010
AUSTIN, Texas -- The No. 3 Texas Volleyball team used a 13-kill, .458 hitting performance by senior All-America outside hitter Juliann Faucette to down Houston, 3-0, Saturday night in the final match of the Burnt Orange Classic. The 25-19, 25-15, 25-18 victory clinched the tourney crown for the Horns and improved UT to 3-0 on the year, while Houston fell to 1-2.
Faucette garnered tournament most outstanding player honors for her play over the weekend that included her match-best 16 points against the Cougars. Junior middle blocker Rachael Adams aposted her best match of the weekend against UH, registering eight kills on .357 hitting and chipping in two blocks. Freshman setter Hannah Allison continued to shine in the win, recording 31 assists, two service aces, four digs and a pair of blocks.
In the first set, Texas struggled in the early going and fell behind 8-6 before a 5-0 run fueled by a kill and a block from Faucette put the Horns ahead 11-8. The Horns pushed the lead to 16-11 later in the set, but UH fought back to narrow the lead to 19-17. Texas came on strong down the stretch, taking advantage of a pair of kills by Adams during a 6-2 run to clinch the set 25-19.
The Horns used a great service run by Faucette to start the second frame, with the senior notching a pair of aces to put UT ahead, 5-1. Houston closed the lead to one at the 9-8 mark, but that was as close as they would get as Texas used a 5-0 run headlined by two McNeal kills and an ace by junior libero Sydney Yogi to expand the lead to 21-12. McNeal added an ace late in the set and Faucette torpedoed the tile for the final point to give the Horns a 25-15 victory.
Texas was sluggish out of the gate in the third, trailing 9-3 before Faucette keyed a 5-1 run with two kills to close the gap to 10-8. The Longhorns eventually forged ahead with a 4-0 run that put UT in front 14-13. Faucette stayed hot late in the stanza, pacing a set-ending 10-2 run with three kills to lift the Horns to a 25-18 set victory.
Texas returns to action on Thursday, Sept. 2 when it hosts Florida A&M in the first match of the Time Warner Cable Texas Invitational. First serve is set for 6:30 p.m. Central.
On playing freshmen this weekend: It's my responsibility to win games, so there is a fine balance between getting players in and getting looks and trying to keep your rhythm. It's one of the few sports that if you start tinkering with the lineup too much, it gets awkward out there in terms of the chemistry and the rhythm of things. We wanted to be able to get Ashley Bannister some looks, we thought Lauren Dickson, with her experience, came in and did a really nice job serving and playing some backcourt for us. We want to evaluate our players not only in practice, but give them the opportunities on the floor to see how they react in the pressure situations.
On Ashley Bannister's play: It was her first real shot to play in a game. We started her in the third game and she hit for good numbers. There are a lot of things that she still needs to learn, but we're going to have to be able to count on her at some point during the season. She's starting to get healthy again and there are a lot of different footwork patterns that she's going to need to learn to be able to perform at a good level here. I was very pleased with what she was able to do. No hitting errors and that's very important in our gym. She put up three kills on six attempts hitting .500, so you're pleased with that as a coach.
On evaluating this weekend: We're looking at error percentage, kill percentage, dig percentage, and side-out percentage, how we're doing off 1-2-3 option passes and out-of-system swings. In this match, we weren't taking many out-of-system swings and they were transitioning them. Then Jennifer [Doris] had to change the speed of her approach and being a little more aggressive, so we got a little different balls. We'll see some consistencies in the serving percentage and the attacking percentage.
Senior outside hitter Juliann Faucette
Junior middle blocker Rachael Adams
Freshman setter Hannah Allison
On making the all-tournament team after her first tournament: It feels really good. Getting to play with all these girls, they make me look a lot better than I really am, especially setting to these amazing hitters who make every set look perfect, when they're definitely not. I'm very humbled and very honored. I'm ready to push forward from here.