Topic's double-double leads Volleyball past LSU
AUSTIN, Texas -- Senior All-American Mira Topic (Kastela Kambelovac, Croatia) recorded her third double-double of the season - on 17 kills and 12 digs - to lead the Texas volleyball team to a 3-0 (30-22, 30-24, 30-21) victory over LSU on Friday night at Gregory Gym in front of 1,676 fans in the second game of the Time Warner Cable Texas Invitational. Texas improved to 5-0 for the first time since 1999 and has yet to surrender a game to its opponents on the season.
Senior Bethany Howden (Austin, Texas) added 11 kills, while sophomore Brandy Magee (Mission Viejo, Calif.) added eight kills, five blocks (two solos, three block assists) and a career-high six aces in the winning effort. For LSU (3-1), Ivana Kuzmic led the way with 11 kills.
"I was pleased with our effort tonight," Texas head coach Jerritt Elliott said. "Our blocking has improved in each of the last few matches and we served well, which was the key tonight. We kept sustained pressure on LSU tonight and we found our rhythm throughout the match."
Texas pulled out to a 20-14 lead in the first game despite hitting .235 for the stanza. Topic had eight kills in the game while the team had 15 total. After being down 5-4, freshman libero Alyson Jennings (Costa Mesa, Calif.) reeled off six-straight points on her serve to hand UT the lead for good.
In the second game, the Horns fell behind 5-3 and the two teams traded points until 15-15, when Texas went on a 9-2 run to extend a 24-17 lead. Holding a 28-21 lead, the Horns allowed LSU to pull within four points - at 28-24 - but a Tiger service error and a game-ending kill by freshman Leticia Armstrong (Elkart, Ind.) ended the threat.
In the final game, Texas jumped ahead 10-2 and managed to hold its lead, pulling out multiple four- and five-point runs in the game. At 27-14, Luzmic scored five-straight points on her serve to help the Tigers close within nine points at 28-19, but a Topic kill and a LSU hitting error ended the threat.
In the night's first match, Louisiana Tech defeated Liberty, 3-0 (30-22, 30-15, 30-23). A pair of Techsters - Megan Rush (12 kills) and Joy Okpa (15 kills) - lead the way offensively. Opka also added 12 digs in the victory.
The tournament continues on Saturday with four matches: 10 a.m. - LSU vs. Liberty; noon - Texas vs. Louisiana Tech; 4:30 p.m. - LSU vs. Louisiana Tech; and 6:30 p.m. - Texas vs. Liberty. All matches will be played at Gregory Gym on the campus of UT.