No. 3 Volleyball knocks off Kansas, 3-1
Sept. 27, 2008
LAWRENCE, Kan. -- The No. 3 Texas Volleyball team received a 20-kill effort from junior All-America outside hitter Destinee Hooker and an error-free performance by senior All-America middle blocker Lauren Paolini as it downed Kansas, 3-1, Saturday night at the Horejsi Family Athletics Center. The Longhorns' 25-14, 20-25, 25-20, 25-23 victory improved UT to 8-2 on the year and 2-1 in Big 12 play, while KU fell to 7-6 overall and 1-3 in league action.
In the first set, Texas grabbed an early 10-4 edge and it never looked back. A 7-1 run fueled by a pair of kills by Paolini extended the Horns' edge to 23-12 and two kills down the stretch by Hooker helped the Horns close out the set, 25-14. UT out-hit the Jayhawks, .429-to-.000 in the opening frame and Hooker connected for five kills.
After taking an 11-7 edge on three Hooker kills to start the second set, the Longhorns allowed a 6-0 Kansas run and enabled the Jayhawks to claim a 17-13 advantage. Texas managed to narrow the margin to two (21-19) on a block assist by freshmen Rachael Adams and Michelle Kocher, but could not close the gap further, as a 4-1 KU run closed out the set, 25-20.
Texas grabbed the advantage early on in the third set and widened its lead to six (15-9) behind a 6-2 run paced by two Paolini kills. The Longhorns added a 5-1 run highlighted by two kills and a solo block from Hooker to push the lead to 20-12, but a Jayhawks rally narrowed the Horn's lead to 22-18. UT responded by taking advantage of two KU miscues and using a kill by sophomore All-America outside hitter Juliann Faucette to close out the frame, 25-20.
The Longhorns trailed coming out of the gate in the fourth stanza, but pieced together an 8-1 run, beginning at the 12-14 mark to forge ahead 20-15. Paolini and Faucette headlined the run with three kills each. Kansas battled back to close the UT lead to 21-20 before junior All-America opposite hitter Ashley Engle hammered out a kill to close the set, 25-23.
Texas returns to action on Wednesday, Oct. 1 when it travels to Norman to take on Oklahoma. The match will be televised nationally on ESPNU at 7 p.m. Central.
On the second set loss: Our serving and passing really struggled and we made a lot of uncharacteristic errors. In this game you can't make a lot of errors and that is where we need to get better production.
On the play of Lauren Paolini: Lauren is huge for us. We can't get her the ball enough when we are serve-receiving. She has been a huge part of our offense and her connection with (Michelle) Kocher is getting better, which bodes well for our team.
On the play of Destinee Hooker: She had some big swings for us and when KU got a run late in the fourth set, we called a play for her and she bounced back after a hitting error. I am very pleased with the way she is playing and overall I am happy with our improved blocking. We saw some good carryover today from what we have been doing in practice.