No. 18 Volleyball sweeps No. 7 Mizzou
AUSTIN, Texas -- After rallying from deficits of five and four points midway through the first and second games, respectively, to take a 2-0 lead into intermission, Texas completed its sweep of No. 7 Missouri to win its sixth match in a row. The six victories mark a season-best for Texas.
Dariam Acevedo had a match-high 18 kills to pace 18th-ranked Texas to a 30-28, 30-27, 30-22 victory over the Tigers. With the win, the Longhorns claimed sole possession of second place in the Big 12 standings with its next match at first-place and top-ranked Nebraska on Saturday, Oct. 15.
"This is a big win for us," Texas head coach Jerritt Elliott said. "The Big 12 race is very tight this year with a lot of quality teams battling near the top of the standings. Anytime you can win on your home court you're helping yourself in the standings."
Leticia Armstrong added 11 kills as the Horns' earned their first win over a top-10 team since Sept. 29, 2004 when they defeated No. 5 Florida, 3-1.
Armstrong has now recorded double-figure kills in seven of eight Big 12 Conference matches this season, and is hitting a team-best .444 in those contests.
Texas (12-2, 7-1 Big 12) handed Mizzou its first three-game loss of the season and the team's first such defeat since Nov. 27, 2004 at Kansas State. Missouri (12-2, 6-2 Big 12) also lost its second match in a row after opening the season 12-0. MU lost to No. 1 Nebraska, 3-1, on Oct. 8.
Missouri saw three players record double-figure kills, led by Na Yang's 14. Nicole Wilson swung for 13 while Lisa Boyd added 10.
The Longhorns held the Tigers to just a .211 hitting percentage, while swinging for a .311 mark in the win. Missouri entered the match first in the Big 12 in hitting with a .306 mark, while Texas was third with a .282 average.
UT's Alyson Jennings had a match-high 12 digs, while a pair of Tigers - Shan Danru and Tatum Ailes - added 10 each.
Texas led in blocks, six to 3.5, and also had three aces to Mizzou's two. The Longhorns swung for 53 kills - including 22 in the second game - while limiting the Tigers to 49. MU entered the match as the national leader in kills per game.
Acevedo, Armstrong and Brandy Magee each had three kills to lead all players. Boyd had two blocks for Missouri.
In game one, Texas fell behind quickly, trailing 4-1 before pulling even at 6-6. Mizzou then gained a 18-13 lead, its largest advantage of the match, before the Longhorns again rallied to knot the score at 19-19 behind three Acevedo kills. The two teams battled back and forth until a Yang attack error gave UT game point at 29-28. The Horns used a Lauren Paolini and Brandy Magee block to win the game and take a 1-0 lead.
Game two followed much of the same script with UT falling behind by as many as four points at 14-10 and then 15-11, before the team came back to tie it at 15-15. Acevedo and Magee each recorded a block and a kill in the rally to knot the score. The two teams traded points, tying the match 11 different times, until a Wilson attack error put the Horns up 28-27. Back-to-back Jen Christian kills gave UT the game and a 2-0 lead headed into intermission.
After a 9-9 tie in the third game, Texas slowly pulled ahead, building its lead to as big as six points - at 19-13 - before Missouri called a timeout. The Tigers inched back to within three points - at 19-16 - before Texas grew its lead to close out the game. Longhorns swung for eight kills in the closing points while benefiting from a trio of Tiger attack errors.
"I'm very proud of our team tonight," Elliott said. "We have the potential to play as well as anyone in the country, and tonight we showed that. We have to learn to keep up this level of play night in and night out."
The victory was only Texas' third over Missouri under Elliott, but the second sweep at home in as many seasons. UT also swept MU (33-31, 30-22, 30-23) in 2004 at Gregory Gym.
UT has won its last 11 matches at Gregory Gym and 21 of its last 22 games at home.