Topic reaches milestone in sweep of Baylor
WACO, Texas -- Senior All-American Mira Topic (Kastela Kambelovac, Croatia) became the seventh Longhorn volleyball player to collect 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs and UT set the record for consecutive games won in a season (24) on Wednesday night as Texas opened Big 12 Conference play with a 3-0 (30-28, 30-19, 30-24) victory over Baylor at the Farrell Center.
With the victory, Texas improved to 8-0 on the season and 1-0 in Big 12 play, while Baylor fell to 6-4 overall and 0-1 in Big 12 play. UT has not lost a game in 2004, defeated its opponents 24-0.
Topic recorded her 1,000th dig in the first game with her fourth of the night and finished the match with 14 digs and 17 kills for her fifth double-double of the season. The two-time All-American has 1,644 career kills and is currently second on the UT career kills list, and is just outside the all-time digs list with 1,010, 18 behind 10th place Missy Kurt (1,028).
Texas broke the consecutive games won record in the match, originally set in 1990 by the Horns team that advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament, and now has a string of 24 games in a row won in 2004. Dating back to the final match of the 2003 season, the team has won 25 straight games after winning the final game against No. 5 Kansas State on Nov. 29, 2003.
Sophomore Brandy Magee (Mission Viejo, Calif.) added nine kills and two blocks, while senior Bethany Howden (Austin, Texas) also added nine kills. Sophomore Dariam Acevedo (Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico) chipped in 11 digs.
Baylor's Desiree Gillard-Young had 13 kills to lead the team as the Bears had 10 service errors on the night.
"I was pleased with how we battled tonight," said Texas head coach Jerritt Elliott after coaching UT for his 100th match at the program's helm. "We were tested in the first game and we had some nerves coming out and opening the Big 12 season. Mira really came through and bailed us out in that first game and that set the tone for the rest of the match.
"We're glad we've set the record for (consecutive) game won, but it's not something we're putting emphasis on. We know it's going to come to an end eventually and we're preparing in practice for it. We had to battle from behind tonight, and I was pleased with how we responded. I was glad we were tested by Baylor," Elliott continued.
After building a 3-0 lead to open the first game, Texas fell behind and never regained the lead again until a Howden kill gave UT a 25-24 advantage. Baylor rallied after Texas took a 28-26 lead and tied the match at 28-28, but a Topic kill and a block by Magee and sophomore Dariam Acevedo (Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico) closed the game and gave UT the tight game-one win to tie the school record of consecutive games won (22).
The two teams battled back and forth in the second game, as well, until 9-9 when UT ran off a 14-5 run to take a 24-14 and command of the game. The Horns closed the game with a 3-0 run and set the record for consecutive games won in a season (23).
In the final game, both teams were knotted at 17-17 before Texas reeled off a 5-0 run to set a cushion to close the game. Howden added three kills in the final seven points to help Texas keep its undefeated streak in tact.
The Longhorns return to the court on Saturday, Sept. 18, when the team hosts Colorado at 6:30 p.m. at Gregory Gym. Live stats and an Internet broadcast will be available at TexasSports.com.