No. 7 Volleyball falls to top-ranked Nebraska, 3-0
LINCOLN, Neb. -- The No. 7 Texas Volleyball team dropped its Big 12 Conference opener to No. 1 Nebraska, 3-0 (30-24, 30-17, 30-25), Wednesday night in front of a capacity crowd of 4,167 at Nebraska Coliseum. Texas fell despite a 20-kill effort by freshman outside hitter Juliann Faucette, who hit at a .351 clip for the night.
Texas (4-3, 0-1 Big 12) was out-hit by Nebraska (8-0, 1-0 Big 12) on the night, .400-to-.217 and the Huskers out-blocked the Horns, seven-to-three. Faucette highlighted the Texas attack, but it was Huskers' senior All-American Sarah Pavan that dominated the match, tallying 16 kills on .520 hitting to pace top-ranked Nebraska.
The Longhorns trailed 5-2 early in game one, but battled back to narrow the margin at 9-7 when freshman outside hitter Juliann Faucette connected for the first of her six game-one kills. Texas continued to fight, closing the score to 19-18 on a Nebraska attack error. The Horns kept it close, but the Huskers would prove to be too much down the stretch, using three kills by Pavan to push their lead to 28-22. UT rallied briefly with a two-point run, but a Longhorns' service error and a Huskers block handed NU a 30-24 victory.
The Longhorns kept the game tight in the second frame, knotting the tally at 7-7, however, a 6-1 Huskers run highlighted by three Pavan kills and a block assist, pushed the NU lead to 13-8. Nebraska would not look back, going on an 8-2 run paced by three Texas miscues that allowed NU to extend its lead to 25-14. Late in the game the Horns did not have an answer for the Huskers, committing a pair of service errors that allowed Nebraska to close out the game, 30-17.
Huskers' senior All-American Christina Houghtelling connected for three kills to start the third stanza and gave NU an early 5-2 lead. Nebraska then took advantage of five Texas miscues and used a 7-0 run to claim a 13-4 edge. Faucette boosted the Horns midway through the game, connecting for four kills in a six-point span to help close the margin to 23-19. Texas would not get any closer, as Nebraska regained the advantage and closed out the game, 30-25.
Junior opposite hitter Lauren Paolini added nine kills for the Longhorns, while senior setter Michelle Moriarty collected 37 assists and seven digs in the loss. Senior libero Alyson Jennings anchored the UT defense on the night with a team-high eight digs.
Texas returns to action Saturday, Sept. 15 when it takes on Missouri in its Big 12 home opener at Gregory Gymnasium. First serve is slated for 6:30 p.m.
On the play of freshman outside hitter Juliann Faucette: Juliann played better than any freshman that I have ever had when we have come to Nebraska. I was extremely proud of her competitiveness and the way that she fought tonight. She has improved a lot in a very short period of time.
FRESHMAN OUTSIDE HITTER Juliann Faucette