Faucette paces No. 3 Volleyball to season-opening sweep of No. 4 USC
Aug. 30, 2008
OMAHA, Neb. -- The third-ranked Texas Volleyball team avenged its NCAA Regional final loss from a year ago, sweeping No. 4 USC Friday night in its season opener at the Runza AVCA Showcase. The Longhorns' 27-25, 25-15, 30-28 victory was paced by a 13-kill, .333 hitting performance by sophomore All-American Juliann Faucette.
In the first set Texas (1-0) jumped out to an early 9-6 advantage on three Lauren Paolini kills and a pair of blocks, but USC (0-1) rallied behind four consecutive Alex Jupiter kills to claim a 10-9 edge. The Longhorns kept the tally close throughout the set and strung together four straight points late in the frame to take a 23-21 lead. The Trojans evened the tally at 25, but a kill by Faucette and a block by Jennifer Doris and Rachael Adams lifted the Horns to a 27-25 victory.
After falling behind 4-1 in the second set, junior opposite hitter Ashley Engle served a five-point run including two service aces to put UT ahead, 7-5. Texas stretched the margin to eight on an ace by junior libero Heather Kisner at the 18-10 mark and Engle's third kill of the set closed out the game with the Horns leading, 25-15.
The Longhorns grabbed an early 6-0 advantage in the third stanza, but the Trojans stormed back to tie the set and push the advantage to five at the 21-16 mark. Texas chipped away at the lead and at the 22-17 mark, UT ran off seven straight points behind the strong serve of Destinee Hooker to grab a 24-22 lead. The Women of Troy battled back to reclaim the lead, but a 4-1 run paced by three Faucette kills sealed the match and gave Texas a 30-28 win.
Texas returns to action at 12:30 p.m. Central on Sunday, Aug. 31 when it takes on No. 2 Stanford in its second match of the AVCA Showcase. The Cardinal dropped its first match, going down in straight sets to No. 7 Nebraska.
On both Big 12 teams beating the Pac-10 teams on the night: I think every school in the country takes pride in their conference. We're very proud to represent the Big 12, and we feel like it's a very strong conference. It's great to be able to represent it.
On his newcomer's performances: They did great. Our setter (Michelle Kocher) did a phenomenal job. There are things that we'll be able to look back and learn from, but she was very steady, very even-keeled, she found our big hitters in clutch situations in both of those games. Rachael Adams had a huge block in game one to win that game, and made another big block in game three.
SOPHOMORE OH Juliann Faucette
On her performance in clutch situations: I felt like we shouldn't give up at those critical points, so I took a little initiative and told our team hey, we can still win this game, and just run with it, and it worked. You never know with volleyball, but I'm glad it worked.