No. 3 Volleyball sweeps past Iowa State, 3-0
Sept. 24, 2008
AUSTIN, Texas -- The third-ranked Texas Volleyball team used a 19-kill effort by junior All-America outside hitter Destinee Hooker to knock off Iowa State, 3-0, Wednesday night and earn its first Big 12 victory of the season. The Longhorns' 24-19, 27-25, 27-25 win improved UT to 7-2 on the year and 1-1 in league play, while Iowa State dropped to 9-5 and 1-2 in the Big 12.
Texas used a 5-0 run paced by a pair of service aces from junior All-America opposite hitter Ashley Engle to claim a 9-5 edge early in the first set. A solo block and a kill by Hooker on consecutive points helped the Horns push the margin to six. They maintained the six-point spread down the stretch and sophomore All-America outside hitter Juliann Faucette hammered out a kill to lift UT to a 25-19 set win.
The Longhorns trailed for much of the second set, but four kills by Hooker helped keep the tally close, allowing UT to claim its first lead at the 15-14 mark. Texas' lead was brief as ISU reclaimed the advantage on a Victoria Henson kill that pushed the score to 17-16. The Horns and Cyclones battled late in the set, as the score was tied a total of 15 times in the frame. Texas was unable to regain the lead until the 26-25 mark when a solo block by sophomore middle blocker Jennifer Doris gave UT the lead and an ISU error lifted the Horns to a 27-25 win.
In the third stanza, Texas leapt out to an 11-8 lead on a Doris kill, but a 7-1 Cyclones' run erased the Horns' advantage and gave Iowa State a 15-12 lead. The Cyclones pushed the edge to four before a 5-1 UT run fueled by a kill and an ace by Hooker put the Longhorns in front, 22-21. Iowa State responded with a 3-1 run of its own to take the edge, but another Hooker kill and an ISU error propelled UT to a 27-25 victory.
The Longhorns return to action Saturday, Sept. 27 when they travel to Lawrence to take on Kansas. First serve from the Horejsi Center is set for 7 p.m. Central.
On what was going through his mind during the second and third sets: I was thinking that we just had to keep executing on the offensive side and we had to put some points together on the defensive side. Our offense is fine. We pretty much hit all of the marks that we wanted to do. We weren't able to contain them like I thought we should.
On if Saturday's struggles carried over to tonight: No, it was different. There were some different angles and we tried to do some stuff to relieve ourselves. It's just the tempo and Michelle [Kocher] getting her feet under herself to give herself some good quality sets. We're just a little bit unsure of the tempo and location.
On Michelle Kocher's play so far this season: She's had a really good season so far. You go through freshman growing pains and big decisions and there is nothing more valuable than having her playing in these matches.
JUNIOR OPPOSITE HITTER Ashley Engle
On if it is frustrating when the opposing libero digs a lot of balls: It is frustrating, because sometimes you are used to hitting a ball to a certain spot and getting it down, but it doesn't. Mentally, that can be exhausting because you are trying to always think of new places to hit the ball.
On why Iowa State was able to dig so many balls: They are definitely scrappy. I think that is the word I would use. With their hitting, I would say that they are fast. I mean, they are not a tall team, so they hit low to the tape and we're tall and used to blocking high. They are hitting underneath us and chopping it off our hands, and we weren't making the adjustments to their speed.
On if they are glad they faced a scrappy team early on in Big 12 play: I think I'm glad in the fact that it showed where we're at. The Big 12 Conference is a difficult conference, and there are many teams who are just as good as Iowa State was, if not better. If anything, I'll take from this match that I need to work on blocking balls and different things that we really need to improve on as a team. We have a whole season to do it, but every game counts. The faster we can improve, the better,
JUNIOR OUTSIDE HITTER Destinee Hooker
On if her confidence built as the match progressed: It definitely built. I think when we're down, I get even more energized and it pumps me up. The team also gets pumped up. If I'm down, the team pumps me up and vice versa.
On when her confidence started building: It was more of a momentum shift during the second game. You start to want to get the ball back really badly, even when it's not set to you. You get the energy all the way around. When it's neck-and-neck, I'm a fighter. I hate to lose and I'm sure everybody else on this team hates to lose.
On what this match showed them: It showed you that Texas has a target on their back. Iowa State came out with a bang and that's how we expected for them to come out. That's what they did last year, and we knew we couldn't let up.