No. 8 Volleyball downs UTSA, claims tourney crown
Sept. 17, 2011
AUSTIN, Texas - The eighth-ranked Texas Volleyball team used a 13-kill performance by senior All-America middle blocker Rachael Adams to knock off UTSA, 3-1 Saturday night and win the 2011 Time Warner Cable Texas Invitational. The 27-25, 19-25, 25-22, 25-18 victory improved the Longhorns to 6-3 on the season and dropped the Roadrunners to 6-8 overall.
Adams was joined in double-digits by tournament MVP Khat Bell who registered 12 kills and nine digs in the win. Sophomore opposite hitter Bailey Webster added a career-best 11 kills and hit .333 to aid the Horns' attack, while sophomore setter Hannah Allison posted her third assist/dig double-double of the season with her 30-assist, 12-dig outing.
After trailing UTSA for the majority of the first set, Texas battled back from a 20-15 deficit as Webster connected for six kills including a kill that forced set point at the 26-25 mark. A double-block by Adams and Bell sealed the frame and gave UT a 27-25 set victory.
The Longhorns fell behind early in the second and never steadied the ship, surrendering a 5-1 run that allowed the Roadrunners to claim a 20-14 edge and ultimately win the set 25-19.
Texas won a see-saw affair in the third, struggling to begin the set before fighting back to take a 17-15 lead on a solo block by freshman outside hitter Haley Eckerman. Texas and UTSA traded the next 13 points until a pair of Roadrunner miscues propelled UT to a 25-22 win.
In the fourth and final stanza, Texas finally gained composure, hitting .433 in the set and earning a 25-18 win. The Horns trailed 16-13 halfway through the frame, but they rallied for five straight points behind two aces from freshman middle blocker Madelyn Hutson to take an 18-16 lead and two more aces by senior outside hitter Amber Roberson to close out the Longhorns' set-ending 6-0 rally.
Texas returns to action on Tuesday, Sept. 20 when it travels to TCU for its final non-conference match. First serve is set for 6:30 p.m. Central.
On adjustments the team needs to make before beginning Big 12 play: We've just got to become a little more steady. We've got to buckle down on our serve, and see patterns, and be able to get a little more kill production. We've got to get better middle blocker production. That was missing this weekend, especially for Rachael Adams. But we're confident she'll come back and be a big part of our offense and do a nice job with that.
On positives from the tournament this weekend: I think there's a lot of positives. I thought this morning we did a great job of getting our back row attack involved for the first time in system. And Khat Bell put up numbers that she hasn't been able to put up all season long. Overall we grew as a group and continued to learn. And that's invaluable right now.