No. 9 Volleyball wins seventh straight at No. 14 Kansas State
Oct. 6, 2012
MANHATTAN, Kan. -- Sophomore All-America outside hitter Haley Eckerman posted a team-high 19 kills and a career-high 11 digs for her first career double-double as the No. 9 Texas Longhorns defeated the No. 14 Kansas State Wildcats, 3-0 (25-17, 30-28, 25-15), in a Big 12 match. Eckerman hit .417 (19-4-36) with four blocks while junior setter Hannah Allison also had the double-double with 41 assists and career-tying 11 assists.
Khat Bell chipped in eight kills and a season-high seven blocks (one solo, six assisted) as the Longhorns (13-3, 6-0) hit .339 in the match while using 11 blocks in the win. Freshman middle blocker Molly McCage had five kills with no errors and four blocks while senior Sha'Dare McNeal had six kills with three assists, five digs and three blocks.
Kaitlynn Pelger led Kansas State (16-2, 3-2) with 15 kills and five digs while Alex Muff added 10 kills and four blocks while hitting .353 (10-4-17).
Pelger went back-to-back in the first set to give the Wildcats the 8-6 lead. Eckerman brought the Longhorns back with three kills to take the 11-9 advantage. Texas later held the margin at 17-15 before Pelger brought the Wildcats within one, 18-17, with two straight terminations. A service error by KSU as Eckerman's serve paved the way for seven straight points as the Longhorns finished with a flourish to earn the first set victory.
Kansas State got the Longhorns out of system in the second set, building an early 10-4 lead. The Wildcats pushed the advantage to six at 14-8 before Webster put down two straight as UT scored four straight. Kathleen Ludwig made it a 19-15 lead as the Longhorns would later pull within two, 22-20. Pelger terminated and a Texas hitting error gave set point to the host Wildcats at 24-21, but a KSU serving error on the next point swung the momentum in favor of the Longhorns. Back-to-back hitting errors tied the set. Kansas State got its second set point, but another costly serving error once again tied the set. Eckerman would hit long as Kansas State earned its third set point at 27-26. McNeal nailed one off the right side and Bell followed in the middle for the 28-27 lead. Ludwig tied it at 28-28 before Eckerman gave the Longhorns their third set point as Bell and Eckerman combined on the block for the 2-0 match lead.
The lead in the match gave enough energy for the Longhorns as they jumped out to a 13-5 lead in the third set, thanks to five straight points with Eckerman recording the first three kills. The Wildcats could only get as close as a five-point deficit with the Longhorns closing out the match with a 7-2 run.
Texas travels to Louisville for a non-conference match on Monday (Oct. 8), starting at 6 p.m. Gametracker live stats will be available on TexasSports.com with live Twitter updates @TexasVolleyball.
Notes: Texas has recorded seven consecutive 3-0 sweeps, the first time that has happened since the 2009 season when the Longhorns won seven straight from Nov. 18 through Dec. 11...in the 2009 season, Texas also had a streak of nine straight 3-0 sweeps...the 30-28 win by Texas in set two matched the Longhorns' longest set of the season when UT also won by a 30-28 score in the first set on Sept. 15 against Cincinnati...Texas is 12-1 this season when they out-block the opponent...Texas is now 28-7 against Kansas State and has not lost to the Wildcats since the 2003 season...Texas has hit .260 or better in seven straight matches since switching back to the conventional 5-1 offense...Khat Bell had six blocks in a match twice this season before tonight's seven-block performance...Bell was one off her career high of eight, set last year at Baylor...Haley Eckerman's previous best for digs in a match was nine, swet twice...Hannah Allison recorded 40 or more assists for the second time this season (both coming in 3-0 sweeps)...tonight's crowd of 3,044 was the largest crowd at Ahearn Field House for Kansas State this season.
TEXAS 25-30-25 KSU 17-28-15
Sophomore outside hitter Haley Eckerman
On serving making a difference late in the first set: I think we knew we didn't play well on Wednesday against TCU and just had to put that past us. We just had to come out firing tonight.
On fighting back from three set points in the second set: I think we knew we couldn't give up. We practice a drill like that all the time when someone is trailing 19-17, so we just had to keep on fighting and work our way back.
On comfort level with current lineup: We all know our roles with whatever lineup we are in so we just have to play.