No. 5 Volleyball powers past Colorado
AUSTIN, Texas -- The fifth-ranked University of Texas volleyball team used a match-high 17-kill performance by freshman opposite hitter Ashley Engle to drop Colorado, 3-0 (30-17, 30-18, 30-26) Wednesday night at Gregory Gym. Texas recorded a .396 attack mark on the night, with three starters hitting .400 or better in the match, while holding the Buffaloes to .184 hitting and a season-low 17 points in game one.
In the first stanza the Horns came out on a 4-0 run and claimed a lead that they would own for the duration of the game. Senior outside hitter Dariam Acevedo capped the run with the first of her eight game-one kills. The Buffaloes traded points with the Horns until UT broke the game open at the 21-13 mark, going on a 5-0 run highlighted by another Acevedo kill and a block assisted by Jen Todd. Texas made one final run down the stretch, using two Acevedo kills and an ace by Michelle Moriarty to stretch the Longhorns advantage to 29-16. A final kill by Acevedo capped the game at 30-19 and gave the senior her eighth kill of the game on as many attempts.
Engle came on strong for the Longhorns in game two, leading UT back from an early deficit and pushing the Horns in front on a kill at the 12-11 mark. The kill registered the first of two kills for the freshman, as she served the Longhorns to an 8-point run. Texas and Colorado played the rest of the game even until a pair of kills by Jen Christian and two more points by Engle handed UT a 30-19 victory.
"We played well both offensively and defensively and we stepped up at several decisive points in the match," said Engle, who tallied seven kills and a .636 attack mark in the second game. "As a team we really try to stay focused mentally and focus on every single point."
In game three Colorado came out inspired, running off three straight points to take a 3-0 edge, and the Buffs held the lead until a block assist by Todd and Lauren Paolini moved Texas in front, 12-11. Texas finally forged ahead behind an Engle kill and a Christian ace to put the Horns in front by four, 18-14. The Longhorns posted one final run late in the game, rattling off five straight points, including a pair of Engle kills to stretch the margin to 26-18. Colorado rallied down the stretch, closing the gap to 29-26, but a kill by Todd sealed the game for Texas and lifted UT to its third consecutive, 3-0, Big 12 win.
"Tonight was another solid match for us," commented Head Coach Jerritt Elliott. "I was very satisfied with they way we performed and competed tonight, but we need to continue to work hard and keep competing the way we have been so far this season."
Engle anchored the Longhorns attack with her 17 kills on .469 hitting, while Christian came off the bench to post 10 kills, six digs and a .300 attack mark. Paolini, Todd and Acevedo each totaled nine kills apiece, with Acevedo also pitching in 10 digs. The game marked the first time that Acevedo has not posted double figures in kills this season.
No. 5 Texas returns to action Saturday, Sept. 23 when they travel to Columbia, Mo. to take on the No. 22 Missouri Tigers. The match's first serve is slated for 6:30 p.m. CST.