No. 10 Volleyball staves off rally to down No. 2 Penn State, 3-2
Sept. 10, 2011
STANFORD, Calif. - The No. 10 Texas Volleyball team snapped its winless drought against No. 2 Penn State with a dramatic five-set victory at the 2011 Nike Big Four Classic Saturday night at Maples Pavilion. The 25-23, 25-20, 19-25, 14-25, 15-10 improved the Longhorns to 3-3 on the season and dropped the Nittany Lions to 4-3 overall. The victory was the Horns' first win over PSU since Sept. 16, 1989, snapping a 10-match losing streak against Penn State.
Freshman outside hitter Haley Eckerman headlined the Texas attack in the win, recording 13 kills, while sophomore opposite hitter Bailey Webster shined with 10 kills on .500 hitting and three blocks. Sophomore setter Hannah Allisonnotched her first assist/dig double-double of the season with her 18-assist, 11-dig effort.
Texas erased all memory of the third and fourth sets in the fifth as two kills from Webster and a pair of service aces from freshman middle blocker Madelyn Hutson and senior setter Michelle Kocherfueled a 9-2 run that put UT ahead 13-7. A third kill by Webster forced set point at the 14-8 mark before Eckerman closed out the set 15-10 with a cross-court kill.
After a back-and-forth battle early in the first, Texas used 16 Penn State errors to battle back and claim the set. A 6-1 Texas run capped by a service ace from freshman outside hitter Khat Bellgave UT a 21-14 run and it went on to win the set 25-23 on a Bell kill.
Texas put together a 7-1 run midway through the second to extend its lead to 18-11 before Penn State fought back to narrow the margin to three. UT bounced back and forced set point on a solo block by Webster and clinched the set 25-20 on a PSU service miscue.
The Longhorns fell behind quickly in the third as Penn State mounted an 11-1 rally to put the set out of reach. Late in the stanza, UT cut the lead down to four at the 21-17 mark before the Nittany Lions sealed the frame 25-19.
In the fourth, Penn State leapt out to an early 6-0 advantage and it did not relinquish the lead, pushing the margin to 10 at the 14-4 mark and clinching the set 25-14.
Texas returns to action on Friday, Sept. 16 when it plays host to Santa Clara at the Time Warner Cable Texas Invitational. First serve is set for 6:30 p.m. Central on Longhorn Network.