No. 6 Volleyball sweeps UCF to conclude Time Warner Cable Invitational
Sept. 15, 2012
AUSTIN, Texas -- Sophomore All-America outside hitter Haley Eckerman had a team-high 15 kills Saturday afternoon as the No. 6 Texas Longhorns swept the UCF Knights, 3-0 (25-14, 25-14, 25-13), to conclude play at the Time Warner Cable Texas Invitational. Freshman Nicole Dalton had a season-high 17 digs for the Longhorns (8-3), who hit .326 in the match.
Eckerman hit .343 (9-3-18) and contributed one service ace, three blocks and a career-high seven digs. Junior setter Hannah Allison registered 33 assists, three digs and one kill. Sophomore utility Madelyn Hutson tied her career best with nine kills.
UT freshman middle blocker Sara Hattis had a season-high seven kills while hitting .700 (7-0-10) with three blocks. Ashley Bannister posted a season-high six kills while matching her career high with four digs.
Angelica Crump led the Knights (3-9) with six kills.
Texas took control early in the first set. Three consecutive Eckerman kills helped the Horns to an early 6-2 lead, before Texas registered eight straight points on Eckerman's serve. Eckerman and Hutson finished with four kills each in the set.
The second set played out much like the first with Texas earning an early 10-1 run and controlling the set throughout. Eckerman added seven kills to help the Longhorns to a .406 hitting percentage in the set.
Texas resumes Big 12 play next Saturday (Sept. 22) with a home match against Oklahoma at 5 p.m. The match will feature a live broadcast on Longhorn Network. Gametracker live stats along with an audio webcast will be available on TexasSports.com and live Twitter updates @TexasVolleyball.
Notes: Haley Eckerman's previous best for digs (six) was set twice (most recently at Missouri, 11/26/11)...Madelyn Hutson posted nine kills last year on Sept. 28 at Oklahoma...Nicole Dalton's previous season best for digs was 13 (twice, last: vs. Minnesota on Sept. 7)...Sara Hattis recorded a season-high three blocks (previous best was one)...junior Megan Futch recorded her first ace as a Longhorn, along with a season-high two digs...Ashley Bannister's previous season high for kills was four (vs. Cal Poly on Aug. 25).
UCF 14-14-13 TEXAS 25-25-25
Most Valuable Libero: Emily Macintyre, Cincinnati
Most Valuable Player: Jocelynn Birks, Illinois
Texas head coach Jerritt Elliott
On today's match: I thought we did a really good job with our serve receive. We are trying to find a little more balance and thought we did a good job with that.
On what to do before upcoming conference play: We must solidify the lineup and just get organized with that. We have to come in and play at a high level. Oklahoma is playing very well right now and our conference has had some big wins this week, so it is going to be a very competitive conference as it has been in the past. Our girls can win the conference, but we are going to have our hands full and we have got to be good night in night out.
On thoughts about service errors this weekend: We talk about that in practice and try to maintain our error percentage. We were high in sets one and two (against Cincinnati). We had a total of 29 errors, so we pretty much scored 45 percent of the points for the other teams. In set three, we did a much better job. It is part of being young and part of understanding how to manage a game, but I think we did a really good job of that after set two. They understand it, they are applying it, and when they put their mind to it, they can do that. It is key for us.
Sophomore outside hitter Haley Eckerman
On what was motivation for matches today after loss to Illinois: I think all of us were motivated by doing what we need to do to score and just playing together as a team. That was a big focus to just playing together, cheering, getting excited, and pumping each other up.
On comments about Nicole Dalton: She does a great job at talking, being excited, and just being a team player overall along with the other freshmen too.
Freshman outside hitter/setter Nicole Dalton
On her development as a player so far this season: I think I have developed a lot since I have been here. Coming in this summer was a big help and then as I have been in the practice gym where everyone is very competitive and just pushing me to do my best.
On lessons learned from other players: I've learned that you have to come in and compete every day. I have talked to some people individually but just got to go your hardest every day.