No. 18 Volleyball earns first conference victory
AUSTIN, Texas -- The Texas middle blockers didn't need to do much blocking on Wednesday night considering the way they were swinging away for kills against Colorado. Leticia Armstrong and Brandy Magee combined for 42 of UT's 66 kills as the 18th-ranked Longhorns defeated the Buffaloes - 30-16, 27-30, 30-22, 30-19 - in the teams' first Big 12 Conference match of the season in front of 1,570 fans at Gregory Gym.
"Our whole offensive plan tonight was to run through the middle and force action because of our size difference. So tonight, Tea and Brandy may have gotten a few more sets than normal, but they were converting so we just kept going to them. As the season progresses, we'll continue to plan around our strengths."
Armstrong obliterated her previous career high with 24 kills - her prior best was 10 - and hit .529 on a career-best 34 attempts, while Magee connected for 18 kills, tying a season-best, and swinging for a .571 attack mark.
Kiley Hall had a career-high four aces as the Longhorns had 10 on the night to Colorado's two. Both teams collected seven blocks, with Armstrong having a UT-best three, matching CU's Linsey Mann's total on the other side of the net.
As a team, Texas (6-1, 1-0 Big 12) hit .368 and defeated the Buffs for the third straight time. Colorado (4-2, 0-1 Big 12) hit .211 on the night and was paced by Allie Griffin's 17 kills. A total of three Buffs had double-figure kills, including Amber Sutherland (15) and Lara Bossow (11).
"Tea (Armstrong) had a wonderful match tonight," Elliott said. "When we recruited Tea (Armstrong), we knew she was a special talent. She's a player who's logged a lot of practice time between her redshirt year and her freshman year and she's used all that time to get better and improve her game."
In the first game, the Horns pulled out to an eight point lead at 14-6, and UT used extended serving streaks from Lauren Paolini and Dariam Acevedo to build the lead and win the game by 14 points. Armstrong and Magee combined for 10 kills in the game.
Colorado regrouped in the second game to knot the match. After the Buff maintained a lead between one and three points, Texas rallied back to tie the game at 23, 25, 26 and 27, a Sutherland kill gave CU the lead for good.
UT pulled out early in the third game as Magee scored the Horns' first three points. Texas grew its lead to eight points - 15-9 - and cruised the rest of the way in the game, swinging for a total of 19 kills and hitting .371.
The Horns rode their momentum from the third game into game four, allowing CU no closer than six points once the score hit 10-6. Texas steadily extended the lead and, fittingly, ended the game with Armstrong's 24th kill of the night.
In Texas' last match against Colorado, the middle blockers also had a great night. Magee set a career high with 24 kills of her own, and set the Big 12 Conference record for hitting percentage in a four-game match with a .742 mark (24 kills, 1 error, 31 attacks).
The Longhorns return to action on Saturday, Sept. 17, when they travel to Iowa State for a 7 p.m. match against the Cyclones.