No. 3 Volleyball knocks off Texas State, 3-1
Sept. 11, 2008
AUSTIN, Texas -- The third-ranked Texas Volleyball team posted an opening round victory in the Time Warner Cable Texas Invitational, registering a 3-1 win over Texas State, Thursday night at Gregory Gym. The Longhorns return to action Friday, Sept. 12 when they take on Houston (3-4) at noon and Georgia (6-3) at 6:30 p.m. The Longhorns 25-10, 25-12, 17-25, 25-13 win moved Texas to 4-1 on the season and 1-0 at the tournament.
Texas opened up the first set on an 11-1 run, taking advantage of three blocks by senior All-American Lauren Paolini and a pair of kills by junior All-American Destinee Hooker. Texas State rallied to narrow the margin to six, but Paolini and junior opposite hitter Ashley Engle were too strong down the stretch as two straight Engle aces closed out the frame, 25-10.
The Longhorns added onto their .619 first set hitting performance with a .429 hitting effort in the second frame. The strong serve of Texas' Kiley Hall paced the Horns to a quick 6-1 edge and later in the set junior libero Heather Kisner served 10 straight points to extend the UT lead to 16-5. Texas State narrowed the lead to 10, but two late kills by Engle pushed the Longhorns to a 25-12 set victory.
The Bobcats took control of the third set from the start, taking advantage of seven UT hitting miscues. Texas State led for the duration of the set as the Longhorns were unable to close the gap any further than six points. After a brief UT rally, the Bobcats opened up the scoring and finished off the set with a 25-17 win.
Texas stormed back in the fourth and final set, hitting at a .433 clip with just two attack errors and Hooker and sophomore All-American Juliann Faucette tallying four kills each. The Longhorns opened the set strong and were able to push the lead to 12, when Faucette and freshman middle blocker Rachael Adams combined on a block to close out the set, 25-13.
On what he told the team after the third set: I told them it's going to be a challenge to see how we respond. I was curious to see if we could pick back up the way we were playing in games one and two, and if we could stay composed. We lost our composure in game three.
On if it was uncharacteristic for the team to play the way they did in the third set: I think it's a characteristic that every team is battling right now. We made a lot of subs tonight and that's why you don't see a lot of coaches make a lot of subs. We tried to get some players some quality playing time and I think that just threw them off their rhythm a little bit. We tried to put our starters back in there, but we just couldn't find our rhythm again.
On who stood out tonight: I thought that Destinee [Hooker] played really well. She was very smooth and she did a really nice job. I thought that Ashley [Engle] and Heather [Kisner] did a good job as well. Heather did a great job in the libero position with her ball control. We did some really nice things tonight.
JUNIOR OPPOSITE HITTER Ashley Engle
On playing two matches tomorrow: It's going to be a tough day. All of these teams are talented and we'll just have to take it one match at a time. We have two games tomorrow and not only will it be physically difficult, but also mentally difficult. I think that showed in the third game tonight. Mentally, we weren't really composed and we'll have to really work on that tomorrow.
JUNIOR OUTSIDE HITTER Destinee Hooker
On the slow start in the third set: I think we were excited about being up two games and I feel as though we got behind mentally. Towards the end, we started fighting back, and then in the fourth game, we took control.
On the first home game of the year: It was exciting. It was exciting to see that the crowd was still the same way as it was last year. For it being the first home game, I thought we did really well and I'm proud of our outcome.