No. 7 Volleyball downs No. 4 Santa Clara
AUSTIN, Texas -- Freshman opposite hitter Ashley Engle and junior outside hitter Dariam Acevedo each tallied 15 kills as No. 7 Texas upset No. 4 Santa Clara, 3-0 (30-20, 30-25, 30-17), Thursday night in the Longhorns first match of the Time Warner Cable Texas Invitational. The Horns return to action tomorrow to take on No. 2 Penn State at 6:30 p.m. in a game televised nationally on CSTV. Penn State (7-0) opened up the tournament with a 3-0 (30-19, 30-21, 30-21) victory over No. 15 Missouri (6-2).
Texas (5-1, 0-0 Big 12) gained control of the match early on, using a 5-0 run paced by a pair of Acevedo kills to take an 11-8 lead. The Horns pulled away at the 21-17 mark when Destinee Hooker recorded a kill and block on consecutive points, and Engle followed with two straight service aces to push the Texas advantage to 25-17. Junior libero Alyson Jennings then closed out game one on a service ace to complete a 4-0 and close out the Broncos, 30-20.
The Horns ran out to a 5-2 edge in game two, behind a pair of Acevedo aces and they would never look back. Acevedo then chipped in a kill as part of a 4-0 pushing the Texas advantage to 11-6. Near the midway point another Acevedo ace sparked a 5-0 run that moved the Texas lead to 19-12, and three kills from the senior down the stretch gave the Longhorns a 30-25 win and a 2-0 lead after two games.
Engle took control for the Longhorns in game three, recording six kills including the game winning point. The freshman got the UT attack rolling in game three with a service ace and came on strong late in the game to record five of the Horns final 11 points and lifting Texas to a 30-17 victory with a tip at the net.
"It is an awesome feeling especially since this is my first home game at Texas," Engle said. "The atmosphere tonight and the great game plan the coaches put together made tonight's match a really special night."
The Texas victory moved the Longhorns home court regular season winning streak to 17 matches in a row, dating back to October of 2004. Since Oct. 20, 2004, UT is 20-1 on its home floor in regular season (17-0) and NCAA tourney (3-1) contests.
UT finished the 2004 season by winning its final five regular season home matches, and then went 11-1 last year at Gregory, winning 11 matches in a row before ending the year with a NCAA second-round loss to No. 7 Hawaii.
"I knew we had a good team that could compete at a high level coming in to the season," said head coach Jerritt Elliott, "and tonight we understood the game very well and made all the adjustments necessary to play at that level."
Engle and Acevedo headlined the club with 15 kills a piece, with Engle posting a .545 attack mark, three service aces, four assists and six digs. Acevedo hit .324 on the night, while recording three service aces and seven digs. Junior setter Michelle Moriarty totaled 35 assists on the match and freshman Heather Kisner highlighted the UT defense with nine digs.
To date this year, Texas stands 3-0 against top 10 ranked teams. Last year, Texas went 1-1 against top five ranked teams, splitting the season series with then No.1 Nebraska.
Texas returns to action Friday, Sept. 8, when they take on No. 2 Penn State in day two of the Time Warner Cable Texas Invitational. First serve is set for 6:30 p.m. and the game will be televised live on CSTV.