No. 8 Volleyball drops 3-2 decision to Cal Poly
MALIBU, Calif. -- No. 8 Texas (3-1) took a 2-0 lead but was unable to hold off a scrappy Cal Poly (5-0) team, as the Longhorns dropped a 3-2 (32-30, 31-29, 28-30, 28-30, 9-15) decision to the Mustangs Saturday in the Asics Classic at Pepperdine University. UT senior Dariam Acevedo (Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico) led the Longhorns with 22 kills and 18 digs on .302 hitting, while junior Leticia Armstrong (Elkhart, Ind.) added 17 kills on .316 hitting. Junior Michelle Moriarty (Houston, Texas) totaled 63 assists and 15 digs, and junior Alyson Jennings led all players with 25 digs. Kyle Atherstone and Alicia Waller contributed 26 and 25 kills, respectively, for the Mustangs. Waller hit .323 for the match and added 13 digs. Cal Poly out-hit Texas by a .217 to .167 margin and out-blocked the Longhorns, 16.5-13.0.
Texas captured the first point of the match by way of a Cal Poly attack error and took a 3-1 lead on a Destinee Hooker (San Antonio, Texas) kill and another Mustang attack error. After a Texas net violation, UT's Ashley Engle (Yorba Linda, Calif.) added her first kill of the match, but the Mustangs' Waller smacked a kill and a service ace on consecutive points to even the game at four. Texas took three of the next four points on kills from Armstrong (Elkhart, Ind.), Engle and Acevedo for a 7-5 lead before Cal Poly responded with a pair of kills to even the game at seven. The teams split the next six points, but Cal Poly took advantage of a Jennings (Costa Mesa, Calif.) service error and a Chelsea Hayes service ace to assume a 12-10 lead.
Texas responded by taking six of the next seven points highlighted by two Armstrong kills and a block. Cal Poly pulled within 19-18 before Texas took four of five points behind one kill from Engle and three from Hooker to take a 23-19 lead. Cal Poly, however, went on the offensive, registering kills on five of the next seven points to draw within 25-24. After a Waller attack error, the Mustangs claimed a 27-26 lead behind a block, a Texas attack error and a kill to force a Texas timeout. UT took advantage of a Cal Poly service error to even the game, but Waller added another kill to put the Mustangs on top. Texas tied the game at 29 with kills from Engle and Armstrong and held game point after another Armstrong kill, but Waller responded once again to tie the game at 30. However, the Longhorns got a well-placed tap from Moriarty and a Heather Kisner (Sugar Land, Texas) service ace to close out the first game, 32-30.
Tied at six apiece in game two, Texas ran off four straight points behind a Mustang attack error, a Moriarty block, a Kisner service ace and an Armstrong block, prompting a Cal Poly timeout. The Mustangs rallied to even the game at 12, but Texas took four of five points off of two Engle kills and one apiece from Acevedo and Armstrong to take a 16-13 lead. Cal Poly rallied again to tie the game at 16, though Texas capitalized on a pair of Mustang errors - a net violation and a service error - and an Acevedo kill to take a 20-17 lead.
The Mustangs regrouped again, evening the game at 24 apiece behind a Candace Milton kill. After an Armstrong kill, a Jennings dig crossed over the net and onto the sideline for a 26-24 Texas lead. Cal Poly came back with a pair of kills and used a Jen Christian (Gilbert, Ariz.) attack error to assume a 27-26 lead. UT regained the lead behind a Mustang service error and an Acevedo kill at 28-27, but a Christian service error evened the game at 28. Texas held game point after a Cal Poly attack error but a Mustang block temporarily thwarted the Longhorns. A Katherine Hinkle service error and an Engle kill gave Texas the second game, 31-29.
Trailing 9-8 in game three, Cal Poly ran off six straight points to take the lead for good at 14-9. Trailing 18-13, Texas ran off three straight off of an Armstrong kill, a Kiley Hall (Costa Mesa, Calif.) service ace and a Mustang attack error to pull within 18-16. However, Cal Poly took seven of the next nine points for a 25-18 lead. UT managed another run and pulled within 27-25, forcing a Cal Poly timeout. A pair of Texas errors gave the Mustangs game point at 29-25. A Cal Poly service error, an Acevedo kill and a Paolini block brought UT within 29-28, but a Mustang kill ended the game at 30-28.
Tied at 11 in game four, UT ran off four straight behind kills from Paolini and Christian, a Mustang attack error and a Jennifer Todd (Henderson, Nev.) block for a 15-11 lead. Another Christian kill gave the Longhorns a 17-13 lead, but a Waller kill and a Christian attack error sliced the UT lead to 17-15 and forced a Texas timeout. Cal Poly followed a pair of its own violations with a pair of kills at 19-17. The teams traded the next six points before the Mustangs drew within 22-21 with an Atherstone service ace.
UT pushed its lead to 26-23 behind kills from Armstrong and Acevedo only to see Cal Poly register two kills and a service ace to even the game at 26. Armstrong and Waller exchanged kills, and Waller added a service error before Atherstone dropped a putaway, leaving the game tied at 28 apiece. An Acevedo attack error and a Cal Poly block sent the match to the decisive fifth game.
Cal Poly took the first five points of the final game before Engle put Texas on the board with a kill. The Mustangs added four straight points on a kill and three consecutive Texas attack errors for a 9-1 lead. Texas managed a Hooker kill, a Moriarty block and a Hooker block to pull within 9-4, but Cal Poly responded with three straight points on an Atherstone kill and block and a UT attack error. Texas cut the deficit to 13-8 by way of an Atherstone service error, a Mustang net violation and a Todd block, but Cal Poly set up match point with a Milton kill. Acevedo registered one final kill before Milton struck the final blow to deal Texas its first loss.
Texas will look to regroup later Saturday afternoon when it takes on Long Island at 7 p.m. CDT. A live stats link will be available at TexasSports.com.