Engle, Hooker shine as No. 3 Volleyball falls to No. 2 Stanford in five sets
Aug. 31, 2008
OMAHA, Neb. -- After trailing two sets to none in the early going, the third-ranked Texas Volleyball team battled back to force a fifth and deciding set, but No. 2 Stanford was too much in the final set, knocking off the Longhorns, 3-2 (25-17, 25-19, 25-27, 20-25, 15-10) Sunday afternoon at the Runza AVCA Showcase
Texas' loss dropped the Longhorns to 1-1 on the year, while Stanford improved to 1-1 after losing to No. 7 Nebraska on Friday.
After a back-and-forth battle early in the first set, Stanford pieced together a 7-0 run fueled by two Alix Klineman kills to take a 10-5 lead. The Longhorns responded with a 5-0 run of their own, using a kill each and a double block from sophomores Jennifer Doris and Juliann Faucette to trim the lead to 14-13. Texas' lead was short-lived as the Cardinal stretched its lead to eight, taking advantage of four Klineman kills down the stretch to claim a 25-17 set victory.
The Longhorns fell behind to start the second frame and despite two quick timeouts, the Cardinal was able to push its lead to 13-5 behind a strong five-point serving run by Gabi Ailes. Following the Stanford run, Texas took advantage of three Cardinal miscues and Doris added a pair of block assists as the Horns went on a 6-0 run to narrow the margin to 13-11. The Longhorns fought hard to tie the game at 17, but could not forge ahead as Erin Waller and the Cardinal caught fire, closing out the set on a 5-0 run to earn a 25-19 win.
Texas grabbed its biggest lead of the match early in the third stanza, claiming a 10-7 edge on a Cardinal attack error and a kill by senior middle blocker Lauren Paolini. Junior outside hitter Destinee Hooker helped the Horns widen their lead to eight, hammering out five kills in an 11-point span to give UT a 20-12 edge. The Cardinal answered the rally, tallying eight straight points to tie the set at 21. The lead changed hands three times from that point and was tied four more times before Hooker connected for her eighth-kill of the set to lift UT to a 27-25 set victory.
In the fourth set, the Longhorns used a pair of Ashley Engle kills and a 5-0 run to claim a quick 5-1 edge, but the Cardinal answered with a 7-0 run of its own to grab an 8-5 lead. Texas battled back to knot the set at 14 and forged ahead on Engle's sixth kill of the frame. The Horns pushed their lead to 19-15 on a Hooker/Paolini block and after squelching a Cardinal rally a Doris kill finished off a 3-0 run to end the set, 25-20.
The Longhorns kicked off the fifth set with two straight points, but a 4-0 Cardinal run paced by the strong serve of Cynthia Barboza pushed Stanford ahead, 4-2. Texas battled back behind four Hooker kills and 6-1 run to claim a 9-7 advantage, but an 8-1 Stanford run erased the lead and propelled the Cardinal to a 15-10 set victory.
Texas returns to action at 4: 30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 5 when it travels to the New Mexico State Tournament to take on Utah.
2008 RUNZA/AVCA SHOWCASE ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
On what the team will take away from the Runza/AVCA Challenge: I think a level of intensity and a level of execution it takes to win. We also will take away the ability to play through when we're not playing well and that's going to put us in a good position during other matches at the end of the season.
On the Texas hitters: We have a lot of weapons and once we could control the ball, I felt that Michelle (Kocher) did a good job with the hitters. We were hitting one-on-one (situations) a lot. We were committed to it. I thought our approach speeds were really good. I thought that when we had a rhythm going, it was really good. We just could not sustain that in game five.
RIGHT SIDE HITTER Ashley Engle
On the difference between sets two and three: I think that we just made adjustments. We kind of knew what was happening, but we just weren't making adjustments quick enough. I think after game two, we really got into a panic mode because it's only three games if we're going to lose. We started picking up the tips and started slowing the game and playing Texas-style volleyball which got us our next two wins.