Topic breaks school career kills mark in sweep of Iowa State
AUSTIN, Texas -- Senior All-American Mira Topic (Kastela Kambelovac, Croatia) recorded her seventh double-double of the season with 22 kills and 10 digs and became the all-time Texas career leader in aces as the No. 22 Texas Volleyball team defeated Iowa State, 3-0 (30-17, 30-11, 30-22), on Wednesday night in front of 1,368 at Gregory Gym.
Topic had three aces on the evening, pushing her career total to 167, enough to bump her over UT career leader Lisa Denker's 166. Topic entered the night in third place with 164.
Texas (10-0, 3-0 Big 12) hit .440 on the evening and limited Iowa State (7-3, 1-2 Big 12) to a .059 hitting percentage. Senior All-American Bethany Howden (Austin, Texas) added 11 kills for the Horns, while freshman libero Alyson Jennings (Costa Mesa, Calif.) had a match-high 13 digs.
Topic, the reigning Big 12 player of the week, has recorded seven double-doubles in 10 matches this season, totaled 170 kills on the season and is averaging a league-best 5.31 kills per game in 2004.
"Mira has always been a hitter and a server," Texas head coach Jerritt Elliott said after the match. "Now she's developing more parts of her game, and has really been an anchor for us this season. As her game as evolved, our team's play has been elevated and we've been achieving a lot more success together."
In the opening game, Texas and Iowa State played evenly until 8-8, then the Horns reeled off a 9-3 run - including five-straight points on Jennings' serve - to take a 17-11 advantage and set the tone for the rest of the match. UT hit .548 in the first game, swinging for 18 kills on 31 attacks with only one error.
The Longhorns used strong serving in the second game from birthday girl, freshman Sarah Holloway (Aurora, Colo.), who staked UT to a 10-0 score on her serve to open the game. UT stretched its lead to 17-4 before they closed the game with a 10-3 run.
"Sarah's serving has really come along. We joked that she carried the momentum from the match-winning ace against Colorado into tonight's match. She has such a deep serve, and it carries well, and that has been an effective weapon for us this year," Elliott said.
In the final game, Texas took a 3-0 lead on three-straight Topic kills and continued its strong play, rolling to a 19-11 lead. ISU tried to make a come back, but a succession of four serving errors in the final stages of the game allowed UT to maintain control for the victory.
"We didn't get into a rhythm until we had 14 or 15 points in the first game. Then we settled down and got back into our systems. We had a great defensive effort tonight and our blocking really allowed us to keep Iowa State off-balance for the whole match," Elliott said.
All 12 members of the team got into the match, and all but one attacker recorded at least one kill. Sophomore Brandy Magee (Mission Viejo, Calif.) recorded six kills and added six digs and two blocks on the night. UT out-dug the Cyclones 49-29 on the evening, and had 51 kills to ISU's 26.
Katie Kruenegel paced Iowa State with nine kills and two blocks, while Brittany Dalanger added 10 digs.
Texas' 10 wins to open the season is the second-highest total in program history, distanced by the 26-0 record the 1990 team strung together before suffering its first loss.
The Longhorns return to action on Saturday, Sept. 25, when the team travels to Lawrence, Kan., to take on the No. 21 Kansas Jayhawks in a 7 p.m. match. Live stats will be available at TexasSports.com.