No. 3 Volleyball falls to No. 2 Nebraska, 3-1
Sept. 20, 2008Box Score
LINCOLN, Neb. -- The third-ranked Texas Volleyball team fell to No. 2 Nebraska, 3-1, Saturday night in its Big 12 Conference opener. Texas' loss moved the Longhorns to 6-2 on the year and 0-1 in Big 12 play, while Nebraska improved to 10-0 overall and 2-0 in league action.
The Longhorns led early in the first set, holding the advantage until the 11-10 mark when a kill by Lindsey Licht gave the Huskers their first lead. Texas battled back to reclaim the lead (14-13) on a three kills by junior opposite hitter Ashley Engle. The Horns held the edge at the 17-16 mark, but a 9-0 Huskers run fueled by a pair of Jordan Larson kills closed out the set, 25-17.
In the second frame, Texas grabbed a quick 9-5 lead on senior All-America middle blocker Lauren Paolini's third kill of the set. Paolini added three more points in a four-point span to help the Longhorns take an 18-12 lead. Nebraska responded by narrowing the edge to 21-18, but could not close the gap any further, dropping the set to Texas, 25-21.
After leading to start the third stanza, Texas fell behind when Nebraska pieced together a 3-0 run aided by two Kayla Banwarth service aces to take a 10-7 lead. The Longhorns narrowed the lead to one (13-12) and forged ahead after a 6-1 UT run headlined by a kill, solo block and ace by junior All-America outside hitter Destinee Hooker moved the tally to, 19-18. Texas led at the 22-21 mark, but a 4-1 run capped by a Jordan Larson kill lifted Nebraska to a 25-23 set win.
An early 5-1 run paced by a pair UT blocks gave the Longhorns a 9-7 lead to start the fourth set. The Huskers rallied back with a 7-1 run paced by three Licht kills to reclaim the lead and clinch a 16-11 edge. Texas narrowed the margin to four at the 20-16 mark, but Larson was too strong down the stretch as she propelled NU to a 25-18 set victory.
The Longhorns return to action Wednesday, Sept. 24 when it welcomes Iowa State to Gregory Gymnasium. First serve is set for 6:30 p.m.
On Nebraska's runs: Game one really hurt us. We got some rotation match-ups and rotation one hurt us bad. We gave up some big runs in that rotation. It was 17-all and we gave up eight straight points. In game four, we gave up a four-point run. We gave up two or three point runs with that rotation a lot tonight. Out of system, we weren't able to bounce back in those rotations and get a good pass and then committed some unforced errors that weren't necessary.
On the momentum: The two big momentum swings were the overpass we missed where (Sydney) Anderson blocked. I think that was at 22-21 or 21-20. We had an opportunity to score with our blocking match-ups, and I think we made a wrong set selection that could have given us a big point. (Lindsey) Licht was the difference. I told my team before tonight, I thought that was the one we had to stop, and we didn't do a good job of it at all. She had a great night and we weren't able to contain her. (She) was the difference maker in the match.
On the reason he believed Licht would be the difference: I wish she could have reversed that trend (after Wednesday's match at Kansas State). I think it's home environment, I think it's coming out to prove that she is worthy. I know she's had a lot of pressure on her to be the next (Sarah) Pavan, and I think she's done an exceptional job. I just felt like in watching all the matches we have on them, and when she plays well they do some pretty good things. All year long, we've been defending the outside hitters pretty well and I thought we did a good job of that tonight.
On what they were able to do well: Our passing was really good. I was able to get the ball a lot in that. Towards the end of the game, it kind of got shaky and we weren't able to get the ball to the net. We didn't have our three-option passes to get everybody in the offense involved.