No. 2 Volleyball picks up 1,000th win, outlasts No. 23 Long Beach State, 3-2
Sept. 4, 2010
AUSTIN, Texas -- It took five sets, but the second-ranked Texas Volleyball team downed No. 23 Long Beach State, 3-2, Saturday night to earn the 1,000th victory in UT history. The Longhorns took an early 2-0 edge in the 25-16, 25-20, 16-25, 20-25, 15-11 win before the 49ers battled back to force a fifth set. Texas' win improved the Horns to 5-1 on the season, while Long Beach State suffered its first loss and fell to 5-1.
Sophomore opposite hitter Sha'Dare McNeal headlined the Longhorns' attack with 14 kills and 13 digs to record the second kill/dig double-double of her career. Senior All-America outside hitter Juliann Faucette connected for 15 kills in the win, while junior Amber Roberson chipped in 12 and junior middle blocker added 10 kills on .571 hitting.
In the first, Texas fell behind 4-1 before a 7-0 service run by freshman setter Hannah Allison pushed UT ahead, 8-4. The Longhorns widened the lead to six on a kill by Faucette that moved the tally to 17-11. Kills by Adams and McNeal late in the set forced set point at the 24-15 mark and a 49ers service error sealed the set, 25-16.
Texas leapt out to a 7-3 lead in the second frame and did not relinquish the lead the rest of the way. The Horns widened the margin to 15-10 on a kill by Allison and stretched the lead to 21-14 on Adams' third kill of the set. Texas turned up the heat down the stretch and senior middle blocker Jennifer Doris closed out the set, 25-20 with a solo block.
The Longhorns were sluggish to start the third set, but managed to battle back and tied the game at 11 all, but failed to claim the lead. A 9-1 run fueled by two kills from Janisa Johnson stretched the 49ers lead to 22-13 and a set-ending kill by Caitlin Ledoux handed LBSU a 25-16 set victory.
In the fourth, Texas took a 9-5 lead on a kill by McNeal and led as late as the 15-14 mark, but a Long Beach State timeout changed the landscape of the set. The 49ers used a 5-1 run out of the timeout to take a 19-16 lead and two kills by Ledoux late in the set allowed Long Beach to force set point at the 24-20 mark. A service ace by Johnson sealed the set 25-20 and forced a fifth and decisive set.
Texas struggled early in the fifth, falling behind 3-1, but it righted the ship quickly when a Faucette kill capped a 4-0 run and put UT ahead, 5-3. The Horns widened their lead to four when an errant attack by Johnson hit the pin at the 10-6 mark and UT pushed the margin to 13-8 on a kill by Faucette. Adams connected for a kill to force set point (14-9) and after a pair of Texas errors a Long Beach service error ended the stanza, 15-11.
Texas returns to action on Friday, Sept. 10 when it meets No. 3 Stanford at the Nike Big Four Volleyball Classic in Gainesville, Fla. First serve is set for 6:30 p.m. Central.
ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM Michelle Bartsch, Illinois - Most Outstanding Player Jennifer Bonilla, Illinois - Most Outstanding Libero Laura DeBruler, Illinois Colleen Ward, Illinois Caitlin Ledoux, Long Beach State Rachael Adams, Texas Juliann Faucette, Texas Sha'Dare McNeal, Texas
On the 1,000th win: It's a nice honor for the program. I have been here for 10 years already. There are a lot of people that were responsible for those victories. With Jody Conradt being the first volleyball coach and to Mick Haley and now it is my opportunity. There have been a lot of All-Americans and players that have been a part of that. It's nice to see this program be an elite program based on the number of wins and we will try to relay that with an email to the alumni. We're honored. It's an honor to be a coach here, it's an honor to be a player here and we recognize that and it's because of the rich tradition of having 1,000 wins.
On Amber Roberson: I was really pleased with her play last night; she was one of the bright spots in the game. She is getting acclimated with being a starter. Her performance on the weekend was very strong and she came out with some big swings.
On Hannah Allison: Hannah is special. There are so many things going through her brain. Going through this for the first time, last night getting pushed with a really good team and having to deal with the stresses with the setter. When she gets comfortable she becomes really competitive and I expect that to increase. We're trying to keep it simple for her, not overload her too much right now but she does some really special things as a setter. We want to keep her confidence growing and keep her developing at the rate that she's doing because we know that she is going to be a lot stronger at the end of the year than she is right now.
Junior middle blocker Rachael Adams
On learning and Juliann Faucette's leadership: After our loss against Illinois last night, we learned a lot about ourselves. We can't get quiet when things start hitting the fan. We have to keep patience and over-communicating is a key factor. As a team we try to help her out. Sometimes she will ask for our help and say she is struggling and want our help. Some people will try to lead vocally so she doesn't have to keep trying to think about her and then think of us and use a lot of her energy. We all come together, day-by-day step-by-step. We all contribute something. Some players are quieter than others but they contribute something different.
Sophomore opposite hitter Sha'Dare McNeal