No. 2 Volleyball stays unbeaten with sweep of Oklahoma
Oct. 10, 2009
AUSTIN, Texas -- The second-ranked Texas Volleyball team battled through adversity and off-week rust as it swept past Oklahoma, Saturday afternoon at Gregory Gymnasium. The 27-25, 26-24, 25-15 victory improved the Longhorns to 12-0 on the season and 7-0 in Big 12 play, while the Sooners dropped to 11-7 overall and 4-4 in league action.
In the first set, Texas used a 6-1 run highlighted by two kills from senior All-America outside hitter Destinee Hooker to take a 17-9 edge. Oklahoma answered immediately with a 10-2 run that knotted the set at 19. The lead changed hands four times down the stretch before back-to-back kills by Hooker and junior middle blocker Jennifer Doris allowed UT to close out the set 27-25.
Texas trailed early in the second before a kill by freshman outside hitter Bailey Webster and two OU errors knotted the score at eight. A 7-1 run fueled by two kills, an ace and a block by Hooker allowed the Horns to forge ahead, 17-12, but the Sooners answered and reclaimed the lead at the 19-18 mark. Texas stayed tough late in the frame, using three kills and a solo block by Hooker to capture a 26-24 win.
The Longhorns came out of the locker room inspired in the third stanza as Hooker and freshman middle blocker Sha'Dare McNeal combined for five kills to help UT grab a quick 5-1 advantage. The Sooners mounted a brief rally, but a 12-3 Horns' run headlined by three kills from junior All-America outside hitter Juliann Faucette helped Texas take a 17-6 lead. The Sooners narrowed the margin to 22-13 late, but a kill and a block assist by senior All-America setter Ashley Engle closed out the set 25-15.
Hooker paced the Texas attack on the afternoon with a match-high 18 kills and added seven digs, two aces and five total blocks. Faucette chipped in six kills with 11 digs, while Doris and Engle each recorded five kills. Senior libero Heather Kisner steadied the defense with 18 digs in the victory.
Texas returns to action on Wednesday, Oct. 14 when it travels to Kansas. First serve is set for 6:30 p.m. Central.
On the difficulty of getting back into the rhythm: My concern was being able to acclimate to the competitive side of OU. We talked about it a lot during the week and we didn't transition well, we didn't side-out well and that made it a bit difficult for us.
On the learning experience: I felt like we really did well in the crunch time. We had no rhythm, no momentum, but we found ways to make plays. And overcoming this was a huge part of playing well for us. This is something that happens. It can happen at the end of the season or it can even happen in the tournament, but learning to persevere and come out with the win really shows you a lot about how this team is made.
On the emotions of the game: I wasn't really worried about that as much as I was worried about having had so much time off prior to the match and this game being at noon. Getting back into the rhythm was the concern for me. It wasn't as smooth but it worked out well.
Senior setter Ashley Engle
On last year's match as motivation: It was the reason why we were pressing so hard. We wanted it so bad. We did not play well against OU last year and we knew that this year the team was going to be just as good if not better. So we really needed to show up and play. And in spite of the circumstances of the week, we got it together and did just that.
Senior outside hitter Destinee Hooker