No. 8 Volleyball sweeps past Baylor in Big 12 home opener
Sept. 18, 2010
AUSTIN, Texas -- The eighth-ranked Texas Volleyball team got back on the winning track, Saturday afternoon as junior middle blocker Rachael Adams hammered out 10 kills to lead the Horns to 3-0 win over Baylor. The 25-23, 25-21, 25-14 victory improved the Longhorns to 6-4 on the season and 1-1 in Big 12 play, while Baylor dropped to 7-5 overall and 0-1 in league action.
Adams led all players in kills, committing just one error on 18 swings, posting a .500 attack mark and adding four blocks. Freshman outside hitter Ashley Bannister aided the offense with seven kills on .316 hitting and outside hitters Amber Roberson and Juliann Faucette chipped in six kills apiece.
In the first, Texas claimed the lead at the 5-4 mark and pushed the lead to six on a service ace by junior setter Michelle Kocher that widened the margin to 17-11. Following the ace, Baylor mounted a 6-0 run to even the tally at 17, but Texas bounced back to claim a 23-20 edge on a Baylor error. Bannister forced set point with a kill and with the Horns leading by one Faucette registered a service ace to lift UT to a 25-23 win.
Texas came out swinging in the second frame using a 4-0 run capped by a Sha'Dare McNeal service ace to take a 10-5 lead. The Horns maintained the five-point margin with a kill by Adams that moved the tally to 18-13 and forced a Baylor timeout. Later in the set, the Bears fought back to within three when UT squandered three set-point opportunities and allowed Baylor to shrink the lead to 24-21. Texas called timeout following the Baylor rally and freshman setter Hannah Allison hooked up with Adams on a quick set to close out the set, 25-21 on the very next point.
The Longhorns grabbed an early lead in the third stanza, but Baylor kept the tally close and managed to knot the score at eight all. Texas forged ahead behind a 9-2 run fueled by two kills each from Adams, Roberson and McNeal that put UT ahead, 17-10. Senior middle blocker Jennifer Doris came on strong late in the set with two blocks and a kill before Faucette closed out the set, 25-14 with a kill.
Texas returns to action on Wednesday, Sept. 22 when it travels to Missouri for a Big 12 Conference showdown. First serve is set for 6:30 p.m. Central.
Head coach Jerritt Elliott
On what the team has improved on in the past few matches: Our passing has definitely increased in the terms of the numbers we've been looking for. We've been really struggling from the service side. For the last few matches, our numbers have been pretty good. We were a little shaky in the first match, but after that, we really steadied out.
On Rachael Adams' role on the team: She's evolving into a go-to player for us. Last year, she was averaging about two kills a game, and we needed her to be close to three or four. We actually can't get her the ball enough. In terms of her ability to score, her percentages are going up. If we can get our overall team kill-percentage to be a little bit higher, I think we'll be in the mix. Rachael is a huge component of our team. She is the best offensive weapon we have right now. It's very difficult to stop her based on her being next to Sha'Dare [McNeal], based on us passing to the center of the court and based on blocking assignments because she is one-on-one a lot. She has a huge role for us, and when she's on, she's really good and we're a good team.
Junior middle blocker Rachael Adams
On the team's performance tonight: It feels great. A W is always fun. We went in just wanting to play and not put so much pressure on ourselves with the Texas tradition that has paved our way and just know that the season is not going to be perfect and pretty, there's going to be speed bumps. In the end, we have to stick together and work together. It will all come together in the end.
Freshman setter Hannah Allison